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CEO & Chief MHO Joint Update: May 25, 2020

SENT TO ALL STAFF, MEDICAL STAFF, STUDENTS AND VOLUNTEERS ON BEHALF OF KATHY MACNEIL, PRESIDENT & CEO – AND DR. RICHARD STANWICK, CHIEF MEDICAL HEALTH OFFICER


We are one week into phase two of the BC Restart Plan and people are slowly starting to venture out into the community as they expand their bubbles. In our communities, we haven’t had a new positive case in 16 days and currently have only one test positive case in Island Health. Unfortunately, this does not mean we are out of the woods as we have seen in other jurisdictions – we must remain vigilant.

We understand people are weary of the restrictions they have been under since the start of the pandemic and want to return to pre-COVID life. As we move through phase two and towards the month of June, schools will return to classes part-time, people will be able to travel a bit more within B.C., and more parks and activities will reopen. Through this graduated re-opening of our society, we remain cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see low numbers, and that’s because you continue to be all-in. It is very important we continue to encourage our friends, families and neighbours to stick to the incremental steps outlined by Dr. Henry.

Our success to date has relied heavily on our public health teams who continue to do an incredible job of testing, interviewing and monitoring cases and their contacts, conducting surveillance and reporting on COVID cases. Since the beginning of COVID-19, our public health team has conducted epidemiological investigations on outbreaks and clusters from out-of-country travel, flights, cruises, bus and train travel, from work sites and public events. They have worked relentlessly to reduce the transmission through surveillance and contact tracing and we are so incredibly thankful to this team of ‘virus hunters’.

STAFF AND MEDICAL STAFF TOWN HALL TOMORROW AT NOON

We’ll be holding our weekly staff and medical staff telephone town hall tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon. Watch your email in the morning for this week’s call-in numbers. We look forward to updating you and taking your questions via Sli.do – you can begin posting your questions now using code #IHCOVID.

PROVINCIAL DAILY UPDATE

Today, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 12 new COVID-19 confirmed cases over the past two days (five on Saturday and seven on Sunday) across B.C., bringing the total to 2,530. Of those 2,102 have fully recovered and are no longer at risk of transmitting the virus.

Across B.C. there are 37 people in hospital, with seven in intensive care or critical care. Dr. Henry and Minister Dix shared their condolences with the families of four additional people who have died from COVID-19, in long-term care homes in the lower mainland. There have now been 161 deaths in B.C.

(In our update on Saturday we incorrectly reported the total number of deaths was 152. The correct number was 157. Our apologies for the error.)

At Island Health, there has been no change. We have had a total of 127 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and have one patient in hospital who is not in ICU. We have 121 people who have recovered and no longer have to practice self-isolation measures, as they are no longer at risk of transmitting the virus. Thank you for all you continue to do to hold our numbers steady.

You can read the joint news release here.

Reminder: This is the last week to complete the COVID-19 survey: Your story, our future. The survey is open until May 31 and will provide important data for public health as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CONCLUSION

May25Today we close with a shout out to paramedics to recognize their role as members of our health-care team during B.C. Paramedic Services Week. Paramedics are key partners on the front line responding in times of crisis, transferring patients and providing community paramedicine to support people in their homes. Throughout COVID-19, paramedics have worked alongside our teams. 

We invite you to watch this video showing COVID-19 simulation exercise to see paramedics and Island Health teams working together to prepare for the transport of COVID-19 patients.

Tonight when we are out banging pots and cheering on health care heroes at 7PM, let’s send our positive thoughts to paramedics, thanking them for their contributions each and every day.

~ Kathy and Richard

Stay informed:

  • Visit Island Health's ‘source of truth,’ COVID-19 webpage on the Intranet.
  • The Medical Staff website has specific information for medical staff.
  • Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC have resources here.
  • We are also posting information for the public at islandhealth.ca/covid19 and through our social media channels. We encourage you to follow/retweet/share BCCDC’s and Island Health’s posts.