Dear Spectrum Health Patients,
The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving and we’d like to provide an update as of tonight. We have met as a team and decided the current situation calls for us to make immediate changes to the way we provide you care. Our goal is to minimize potential exposure to the virus for as many people as possible, while freeing up resources to attend to those who require urgent care.
Starting today and until further notice – we will no longer be booking routine appointments (including routine physicals, pap smears, wart treatments and ear syringes). If you have an appointment scheduled currently, you will be contacted to cancel or amend non-urgent appointments or given the opportunity to speak with your physician by phone instead. For those who have booked using our online booking system, we would appreciate your assistance in cancelling any non-urgent appointments yourself through online booking, given the current demands on our staff.
We will be reviewing our booked appointments and any that can be accomplished safely by telephone or a virtual visit will be booked as such. Those visits that are of a more urgent nature and require an in-person examination will still be offered this option.
In order to help reduce the spread of the virus – we ask for your help. If you have respiratory or flu-like symptoms (cough, cold, fever, runny nose, sore throat), we ask that you STAY HOME and call our office. We now have additional time allocated for nurses and doctors to do telephone assessments. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND OUR OFFICE WITHOUT INSTRUCTION IN THIS CASE.
As a community, our responsibility at this time is to minimize the virus’ spread and try to mitigate the impending impact on our healthcare system. We also ask that you do not attend the EMERGENCY ROOM unless it is a clear EMERGENCY. There are other modes of testing if you are concerned you have contracted the virus (the Urgent Primary Care Clinics are available and set up for this at this time and other testing sites will be available shortly).
In regards to your greater social obligations – we urge you to wash your hands and stay home. Please reconsider attend large public venues, events and travelling and consider working from home if this is an option for you. The more successful we are at social distancing, the best chance we have at minimizing the impact of this virus.
Update regarding travel: Today the BC government has strongly advised against all non-essential travel outside of Canada. All travellers returning from outside the country are required to stay home from work and school for 14 days upon their return to BC in voluntary self-isolation.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this. These changes will be regularly assessed and are in place until further notice.