COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Flu Season Clinics

We are rapidly approaching the start of influenza season. Meanwhile, we remains in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic with increasing numbers of cases across the province. We, on the island, have been able to avoid any outbreaks of COVID-19 so far with low numbers of COVID-19 infections. The measures we have employed – limiting our contacts to those within our bubble, maintaining physical distance from others, wearing a mask when we are unable to maintain distance or are in public spaces, and washing our hands – should also help to limit the spread of ‘flu this year. The annual influenza vaccine is now available for immunization. ‘Flu vaccination remains an important means to protect individuals from illness and prevent community spread with the potential for a ‘twindemic’. The family doctors of Salt Spring will be working with Public Health and other community partners to provide ‘flu vaccinations at a community ‘flu clinic this year. Individual physician offices hav…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Thanksgiving Weekend

As we anticipate the Thanksgiving long weekend, a time when we normally get together with family, it is a good time to reflect on what we, as Islanders, have to the thankful for. We have had a low rate of COVID-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic and we have not had a community outbreak on Salt Spring. In particular, our seniors living in residential care have not been exposed to outbreaks. We have had strong leadership from our public health team, including our provincial health office, Dr. Henry and our Minister of Health with clear and unambiguous guidance on how to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. As the long weekend approaches, it is important to continue to follow the public health orders and guidelines; Maintain our bubbles of a small number of close family and friends Limit our gatherings, including restricting our Thanksgiving gatherings to those already in our bubble Maintain physical distancing when in public or with people not in ou…
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100 Men Share Fundraising Proceeds with Laundromat and Search and Rescue

100 Men Who Care Salt Spring Island conducted its first e-gathering between Monday October 4th and Thursday, October 8th by email and Zoom with members voting between two Salt Spring not-for-profit organizations who were nominated by members of 100 Men: Salt Spring Island Laundromat and Soap Exchange Under the auspices of Wagon Wheel, a group has been working long and hard to bring a Laundromat back to Saltspring -an community health necessity that has been missing for over 5 years. This is a non-profit social enterprise which now has a storefront location downtown, and new washers and dryers on-island ready to install. To date the Salt Spring community has been very generous in a lengthy funding campaign. But $50,000 is required to cover the store renovation, machine installation and start up costs. The renovations have begun. The goal is to open before the new year. Once in operation, the store will offer both domestic and commercial laundry services, organic soap a…
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New Deer Disease Suspected in Gulf Islands

Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease (AHD) is suspected as the cause of death of over 60 deer on at least two Gulf Islands. However, further testing is needed to confirm a definitive diagnosis. While there is no known human health risk from the virus, and there is no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans, hunters in the area are being advised not to consume meat from animals found dead, obviously ill or acting abnormally prior to death. As well, research indicates that it is not transmissible to livestock and pets. A network of wildlife professionals has assisted provincial wildlife health staff to investigate the possible emergence of AHD since deer were discovered dead on Galiano Island in September. Samples from these animals were sent to Canadian and United States laboratories to confirm the cause of the disease. Since its initial discovery in California, AHD cases are recorded in the western United States annually with outbreaks in some locations. With improved …
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Local Advocates Rally for Safe Cycling and Salish Sea Trail Completion

Over 70 local bike riders and cycling advocates gathered today for a social bike ride from Portlock Park to the United Church Meadow in Ganges in a show of support for safe cycling and to challenge local governments to support investments in local cycling infrastructure. Organized by Salt Spring Solutions as part of the GoByBike Week events being hosted around the province, the gathering was also an opportunity to rally support for investments in the completion of the Salish Sea Trail across Salt Spring Island. Local advocates are working to motivate Salt Spring's unusual, and for the purposes of these kinds of initiatives, not particular well structured government organizations, to take charge of implementing the long-held vision of improving Fulford-Ganges Road from the Fulford Ferry through to the Vesuvius Ferry to not only improve conditions for drivers, but to extend the width of the road shoulders to offer safe spaces for bikes to transit onto and across the island as …
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Wild Salmon Allies Gather for Removing Net Pen Fish Farms Campaign

This past Saturday in Ganges on Salt Spring Island, 28 wild salmon allies came to rally in support of removing net pen fish farms from this beautiful land that we call home. People gathered to support the Cohen Commissions Recommendations and all 101 nations in B.C that demand the removal of the 18 fish farms in the Discovery Islands. In the 2015 election Justin Trudeau promised his Liberal Government would act on all recommendations of the Cohen Commission. We need to hold this government accountable. We will continue putting pressure on the Government/DFO to remove these fish farms in BC. Open Net Pen Salmon Farming is putting our wild salmon populations at risk as they travel on their migratory path through constricted waterways filled with unnatural amounts of sea lice, viruses and diseases that are spreading from the farms to the wild Fish. The salmon and all of their dependants need our voice to save the lifeblood of this amazing coast from being extinguished. He…
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ASK Salt Spring Explores Mental Health

Fifteen participated in this ASK Salt Spring gathering on one of those perfect last days of summer in the United Church Meadow. Although all questions were welcomed, the focus of the conversation was upon mental health in our community. We were pleased to welcome health professional and co-chair of the Salt Spring Health Advancement Network (SSHAN), David Norget; President of the Salt Spring Community Health Society, Jennifer Williams; and Willie McPherson, of the Chu’an Society. David began the conversation by speaking briefly about himself and his involvement with SSHAN, a network of health professionals and health-related non-profits working together to address health issues challenging Salt Springers. He initiated the conversation by briefly telling us about SSHAN’s mental health initiative, dedicated to collaborating and cooperating to bring seamless mental health services to our island. Jennifer told us about the mental health initiative of the Salt Spring Communi…
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Over $5500 Raised for Indigenous Legal Defence Funds During Unique Floating Concert

Local organizers with RAVEN Trust, an organization that leads Indigenous legal defence campaigns, raised over $5500 during Salt Spring Island's very first COVID-19 appropriate floating concert. The idea was dreamt up by local organizer extraordinaire, Andrea Palframan, who is the Director of Engagement and Communication with the Victoria based non-profit. The 'Throw a Boat Down - Concert Afloat with Luke Wallace' invited community members to participate in a truly unique Salt Spring Island fundraising experience that would also ensure physical distancing protocols could be observed. Over 40 different watercraft, canoes, paddle boards, kayaks, and small boats, with more than 80 people in them, floated together while listening to activist/musician Luke Wallace sing in support of RAVEN Trust's work. Another 50+ people also watched from along the shore. Luke Wallace played a number of his songs that included appeals for respect and preservation of the natural world and Indige…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Local Case Information

In the wake of the recent positive COVID-19 case in the community, physician offices are fielding many questions. We would like to direct people appropriately so we can focus on our patients’ needs. As individual family physicians, we have no additional information about the Salt Spring situation to give to the public - your family physician's office will not be able to provide further details. Instead, the places to look for information are the Island Health Website and the BCCDC. For information about local outbreaks and exposures, see the Island Health site. Friendly reminders about symptoms and testing: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, fever, headache) and need a swab call the 1-844-901-8442 number to book an appointment. Testing is not done if you do not have symptoms. If you are UNWELL with respiratory symptoms and need advice, contact 811 for advice or if symptoms are more severe, the emergency room at Lady Minto Hospital. If you have symptom…
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Local Organization SWOVA Becomes The Circle

This summer, SWOVA—Saltspring Women Opposed to Violence and Abuse—is announcing its new name. SWOVA Community Development and Research Society has become The Circle Salt Spring Education Society, a name that reflects its long-time work in schools with children and youth. The idea for the change was brought to the organization several years ago. SWOVA’s program facilitators suggested that SWOVA change its name to embrace a more inclusive perspective that empowers everyone with the attitudes and skills for healthy and respectful relationships. The process began with a discussion about how to prepare SWOVA for the next decades of its service to the Salt Spring community and beyond. After researching, brainstorming, and consulting, the organization’s staff and board decided on a name that’s easy to remember and say—a name that reflects SWOVA’s values, such as respect and diversity. Its new name—The Circle—reflects a key feature of the organization’s long-time work. When pr…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Kindness Will See Us Through

COVID-19 cases are up across the province, but mainly in the lower mainland and predominantly associated with larger gatherings. Cases in our local Island Health Authority thankfully remain low. If you have cold or flu like symptoms and are concerned you may have COVID, please call the COVID booking line at 1-844-901-8442 and you will be booked for testing at Lady Minto Hospital. Please do NOT just arrive at Lady Minto expecting to be seen. This overwhelms our staff, wastes resources, and makes for longer wait times for everyone. We want to ensure that those who actually need care, get it in a timely manner. Finally, a reminder to be kind. Hospital staff continue to endure rude and abusive behaviour. While we understand that the pandemic has increased stress, kindness and patience are the values that will see us through this together.
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COVID-19: Possible Exposures in Sidney

Island Health is notifying people who visited the following locations in Sidney between August 20 and August 22 about possible exposures to COVID-19.

Location

Address

Dates and Times

10 Acres Cafe & Market at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa (NOT The Pier restaurant)

9805 Seaport Place, Sidney, B.C.

· Thursday, August 20 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

· Friday, August 21 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe

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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Hockey Stick Apart

As new daily cases continue to increase, we are seeing the result of expanded social interactions of the last few weeks. In order to be able to enjoy the remainder of the summer and avoid going back to Phase 1 type restrictions, we need to keep practicing social distancing. Please continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to protect the vulnerable members of our community.
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COVID-19: Research Team Using Island Health Data To Find Hidden Cases

A Victoria research team is using math and statistics to help anticipate future COVID-19 waves so that public health strategies can target ways to manage possible future outbreaks. This work is possible thanks to a $149,300 award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) COVID-19 Research Response Fund and the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s (VHF) generous donors. “By estimating the number of undetected cases, we will gain a better understanding of the spread of the current wave and the underlying spread of a future wave,” explains Dr. Laura Cowen, principal investigator and Associate Professor in the University of Victoria’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “Our mathematical model will allow the detection of early signals that a future wave has begun, and identify infections among high risk groups such as the elderly, school children, and long-term care clients.” Using Island Health data, Cowen (also the Associate Dean, Research in the Fac…
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Under Pressure - Lady Minto Site Director Recalls Learning to Deal with COVID-19

Researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control estimate that less than one percent of this province’s population was infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic’s first wave. That’s good news and bad news. The bad news, of course, is that the vast majority of us are still susceptible to the virus and must remain vigilant. The good news, however, is that the steps BC took to combat the pandemic worked to keep exposure and transmission rates low. Salt Springers are familiar with the very public role Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has played in teaching British Columbians about combatting the COVID crisis. However, few have been privy to what it was like inside the hospital, learning to deal with COVID. Lady Minto Hospital Site Director Sara Gogo says it was a rollercoaster. “With the information changing so quickly, we’d tell the staff one thing and then, sometimes that would change minutes later. We were really excited about some of the changes…
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Maliview (Salt Spring Island) Wastewater Discharge Notice

A failure of the outfall pipe from the Maliview Wastewater Treatment Plant has occurred resulting in treated effluent being discharged onto the beach intertidal zone. The area impacted is in the vicinity of the Maliview Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall pipe at the intersection of Maliview Drive and Walkers Hook Road on the northeast part of Salt Spring Island. As a result of this discharge, residents are advised to avoid entering the waters along the affected shorelines as the wastewater may pose a health risk. As a precaution and in consultation with Island Health, the beach within the affected area will be posted with public health advisory signs until repairs are completed and marine water sample results indicate enterococci levels are below the 70CFU/100mL recreational limit.
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Stay the Course

First, a big thank you to the community for trying so hard over the long weekend to follow the rules, even though the rules can definitely put a damper on having fun. Unfortunately, nothing changes: we need to stay the course with washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks when we can not maintain a 6-ft distance. This is the way we all need to function for the foreseeable future. Messages about school reopening in just a few short weeks are causing both anxiety and relief. There is still much to sort out to make school a safe environment for students and staff, and we will need to be patient as our education and health leaders work together to sort this out. Family physician offices and our Lady Minto emergency department are currently very busy, in part due to the accommodations in place for COVID. Please be advised that patients with non-urgent issues might have to wait to be seen.
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Kindly Wear Masks

Please be kind. As we move into month seven of the pandemic, in the medical field we are seeing more episodes of people lashing out at others or disregarding the rules. If you are feeling irritated, whether with the receptionist at your Family Doctor's clinic or the unit clerk at the entrance to the hospital, please remember they are doing their best under extremely difficult circumstances. New policies, new technologies, and ongoing stress are taking their toll on many of our staff. This also applies to all those individuals who are working in the community at grocery stores, the recycle depot, pharmacies and restaurants, to name a few, so that the rest of us can carry on with our day-to-day activities and enjoy our summer as best we can. Please do not take your frustration out on all the wonderful individuals who are trying so hard to keep all of us safe. We hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the BC Day long weekend with friends and family, but please follow the rules. I…
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Scrap Your Car for an eBike Rebate Increase and Business Cargo Bikes

The Province is increasing e-bike rebates for individuals and businesses to help make electric-powered bikes more affordable and accessible, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “The popularity of e-bikes is on the rise and our government wants to encourage more people to purchase and ride these bikes,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “That’s why we are boosting the e-bike rebates for people and businesses. E-bikes are a much cheaper alternative to cars and are a safe way to travel. We look forward to seeing more people using e-bikes for getting around.” People who trade in a vehicle to scrap now have access to a rebate of $1,050 toward the purchase of any type of new e-bike — an increase of $200 from the previous year. The rebate is delivered through the Scrap-It transportation options program. The ministries of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure are providing $1,000 toward the rebate,…
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Watch: BC Air Ambulance Services at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island

We're fortunate to live in a community that has an outstanding local hospital, but when one of us is hurt and we need specialized medical attention at one of the larger hospitals in Vancouver or Vancouver Island, and we need it fast, this is how it happens. Watch the video below. BC Ambulance can transfer patients by ferry, but when the circumstances are critical and time-sensitive, in most cases here on Salt Spring Island, that transport is by helicopter. Since 1998, Helijet has been contracted to provide helicopter transport for the British Columbia Emergency Health Services’ (BCEHS) Air Ambulance using air medical equipped Sikorsky S76 helicopters. From their bases at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, BC, Prince Rupert, BC and Kamloops, BC, a dedicated team of pilots and engineers are on call to aid the need of the ambulance services for patients. The twin-engine helicopters and their dedicated crews are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. T…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Increase in Cases

As numbers of COVID cases increase across the province, closer inspection reveals that a disproportionate number of these originated in Kelowna due to just a few larger gatherings and a relaxation in social distancing. If we want to keep our hard-earned freedoms over the rest of the summer, all of us must continue to do our part and follow the rules. For the sake of our local businesses, farmers and artisans who are all struggling to stay open, please follow the rules whether in a pub, at the market, or in the grocery store. If you are travelling off Salt Spring or welcoming visitors to your home, remember that these activities could bring the virus into our community. All Salt Spring medical clinics are open and our local family physicians are seeing patients. Please be patient with staff as they do their best to keep you safe. Finally, if you think you should be screened for COVID, please call 1-844-901-8442 and they will arrange an appointment for you at Lady Minto…
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