COVID-19 Update: May 11, 2020

Dear Patients of Spectrum,

Finally, some good news!

Premier John Horgan recently announced the gradual easing of restrictions on social interactions in British Columbia starting mid-May. BC stands out as a relative success story in the control of COVID-19 with the lowest mortality rate of any jurisdiction in North America or Europe with a population greater than 5-million people. We can all be proud of the positive effect our sacrifices have had on keeping our communities healthy. Yet even as we cautiously inflate our social bubbles, we have a continued responsibility to do our part in minimizing transmission of this virus. The reality remains that we likely won’t have a protective vaccine for COVID-19 for 12-18 months.

Spectrum remains open for telephone, video, and in-person visits and we encourage you to make an appointment with our team when needed. Most encounters will continue to be virtual in nature with face-to-face appointments occurring only after screening by a doctor or nurse. If you are certain you need to be seen in person, for example if you’ve had an injury or need an injection, please call our front desk instead of booking online. In line with BC’s restart plan, we will carefully expand our capacity for in-clinic physician and nursing visits next week. We have a number of strategies in place to ensure physical distancing within our waiting area. For example, we’ve temporarily rearranged our seating to ensure adequate space between visitors. We have increased the frequency with which we sterilize surfaces throughout the clinic and have staggered appointment times amongst our providers to minimize traffic. In turn we ask that you do your best to arrive promptly. If you are early and able, please wait outside of the building until your appointment time to avoid unnecessary exposure in the clinic. We also ask that if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, new shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste etc.) please do not enter the clinic. We still do not have the supplies to perform COVID-19 testing and so we ask that you stay home and call us for direction on testing and treatment.

It’s understandable that some people are postponing medical tests or interventions for fear of having to enter hospitals or other public places. The team at Spectrum is concerned that this strategy could result in a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of serious medical conditions. Please contact us if you have new or changing symptoms of any kind, or if you want to have a discussion about the risks of holding off on certain examinations until COVID-19 settles. We’re here to guide you; there’s no need to make these decisions on your own. To foster these discussions, we have done our best to ensure you have access to a Spectrum medical professional in a timely fashion and in a manner that is convenient for you. So, we discourage you from visiting other medical clinics such as Babylon Health or the local walk-in clinic. We always have a doctor or nurse available for advice, even in the evening or on weekends, and only Spectrum has access to your full medical history.

As we shift into the next phase of this pandemic and the fear of uncertainty dissipates, we can begin to reflect on what this experience has brought to us. This has undoubtedly been a difficult time for everyone, but these experiences are what shape us and force us to grow. It has certainly changed the way we work at Spectrum and likely some of the adjustments we were driven to make will remain. Think about the positive strategies you’ve developed to cope during the last 6 weeks and how you might incorporate them into your life going forward. Let’s hope we can all take something positive away from this ordeal.

– Your team at Spectrum Health

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