Posted on: September 12, 2022
Environment Canada has revised a Special Air Quality Statement to include Nanaimo, East Vancouver Island (Nanoose to Fanny Bay) and the Comox Valley. These areas join Greater Victoria (Victoria, Sidney, Saanich, Langford, Metchosin), Duncan Area (Shawnigan Lake to Ladysmith), and the Southern Gulf Islands. Smoky skies are expected to persist through Sept 12.
Potential impacts for Island Health include:
Potential to affect diverse client populations
- Potential for clients and patients with respiratory conditions or concerns to experience increasing difficulties due to the air quality
- Potential for increased pressure on emergency departments due to increased air quality and impact on patients with respiratory issues
- Potential difficulties for under-housed clients within outreach and community care due to a decrease in air quality.
- Potential difficulties for vulnerable people that have chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outside
- Potential risk for staff/volunteers/patients/residents to experience breathing difficulties.
- Watch for effects of poor air quality: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, eye irritation, headache, nausea.
- Staff/volunteers, clients and patients should stay inside if they have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help.
- Reminder that open windows may let in more polluted air. If clients/patients home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned
- Monitor weather forecasts and warnings closely for updates e.g.
- Monitor HealthLinkBC online for resources at www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/heat-related-illness
- Information on Air Health