VP Pandemic Planning & Chief MHO Joint Update: September 15, 2020


Underneath this great cloud of smoke that many of us have been experiencing for the past several days, the weather is turning and the days are starting to get cooler. The temperature coupled with the smoke have created an abrupt shift to spending time indoors with the windows closed, making it essential that we adhere to the COVID precautions we have in place. 

We want to use this as a reminder to everyone that we need to be ready for potential cases arriving at our facilities. We have had a good stretch of time without COVID-positive individuals in our hospitals, but this trend is unlikely to hold forever given the increased number of cases in the province. It is time to refresh ourselves about PPE protocols, cohorting practices, patient placement and transport protocols, person-under-investigation protocols, etc. All of this information, and much more, can be found on our COVID-19 intranet pages and we encourage you to take some time to prepare for what may lie ahead. As a proactive measure to help with readiness, Island Health’s Patient Flow & Care Transition staff have started meeting with acute site leaders across Island Health to discuss cohorting approaches and surge planning.

Pro-tip: to search for information specific to your area of focus, use the links provided on the COVID-19 page:


Thank you for continuing to provide excellent care and service to the residents in Island Health while keeping yourselves, your colleagues and families safe.


I’ve had a COVID-19 test and I’m awaiting test results. What do I do?

Notify your leader that you are awaiting test results and stay home until you receive the test results.

If you receive a negative result and are asymptomatic you can return to work. If you test positive, you will be contacted by a Communicable Disease Nurse who will provide you with directions. They will also investigate where and when you worked, and help determine who you may have had close contact with. Occupational Health and Safety will work with your leader to identify what shifts you worked and if others might have been exposed.

You will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days from onset of symptoms; however, if you still have symptoms after this time you should remain at home until symptoms cease. Coughing may persist for several weeks, so a cough alone does not mean you need to continue to self-isolate for more than 10 days. Read more in our HR FAQs.


A reminder to all clinical staff at acute care sites that Island Health issued green scrubs are not to be worn outside of hospital propertyGreen scrubs are meant to be used in direct care areas where wearing personal clothing is not appropriate, and as such they may come into contact with infectious materials. 

Some citizens in the community have reported concerns that staff who are out and about in green scrubs are potentially shedding infectious materials in public areas or picking up unwanted germs that could end up back in clinical areas. We acknowledge that not all people wearing scrubs in the community are Island Health staff, but as leaders in health-care, we need to set a good example.

As we aspire to provide a high level of care during this time of heightened viral awareness, it’s important to know that the public is watching. Thank you for not wearing green scrubs outside our hospitals.


Thank you to the many staff who are using the collection bins for worn N95 masks. Currently, Island Health is discarding approximately 50% of worn N95s unnecessarily, so we want to take this opportunity to remind care staff that we are still collecting N95 masks in designated, marked, collection bags. Some tips to help our collection of worn N95 mask are:

  • Throw worn N95s into designated purple collection bags only;
  • Do not throw other used PPE or items into N95 collection bags (e.g. garbage, gloves, gowns); and
  • Do not wear makeup (i.e. foundation and lipstick) when wearing an N95 mask.

Exceptions to this collection process are:

  • N95 masks that have been used with a COVID-19 confirmed/positive patient-- place in a tied/sealed poly bag before placing it in collection bin;
  • N95 masks that are soiled, ripped or have torn straps – dispose as per normal operating procedures; and
  • N95 masks used in areas where cytotoxic drugs are in use – dispose as per normal operating procedures.

Thank you for your support. Click here to read more about the N95 collection process.


Provincial Update (new numbers today):

  • 97 people have newly-confirmed COVID-19 for a total of 7,376 people
  • No new deaths – 219 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C.
  • 1,590 people with active COVID-19 in B.C. – 63 in hospital – 20 in critical/ICU

Island Health Update (Friday, Sept 11 – Tuesday, Sept 15):

  • 8 people have newly-confirmed COVID-19 for a total of 195 people
  • 0 deaths –  5 COVID-19 related deaths in Island Health
  • 12 people with active COVID-19 in Island Health – 0 in hospital – 0 in critical/ICU
  • See breakdown by region (South/Central/North) – updated on Monday or as cases are reported

Read the recent updates from Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry:


Since September 10th, the following resources have either been created or updated on the COVID-19 Intranet page.


  • No updates


  • PPE-Donning, Doffing and Reusing

These 3 resources were updated to reinforce that reusable gowns need to be tied in a bow at the neck (not knotted), and need to be untied when doffing; do not pull them over your head. This will ensure that staff do not contaminate their head and face during doffing, help laundry staff during the cleaning process and prevent potential damage to the gown:

Check out what is New Today on the BCCDC website.