COVID-19 UPDATES

Self-Assess for COVID-19 and download the app here: https://covid19.thrive.health/

All updates on this page have been sent as clinic-wide emails to clients of the clinic. If you have not received an email, please check your spam folder or your featured tab menu in your email account as often these automatically get sorted by your email provider.

Hello SCBP Clients,

The SOUTH Update
COVID-19: September 2020

Be calm, be kind, be safe.

~Dr. Bonnie Henry

* New Content

  1. *COVID-19: Update from Dr. Bonnie Henry
  2. *New COVID-19 testing sites as of Aug 25
  3. *Waiting room and wearing masks
  4. Anti-Racism committee update
  5. South Hill - Most appointments STILL via phone/video
  6. Vaccine clinics: ***new dates
  7. Baby care basics - *new dates
  8. Motherlode - Pathways forward for new mothers
  9. SCBP - Prenatal Care *new update
  10. SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  11. SCBP - Postpartum Care & Zoom Drop-in
  12. Motherlode - Pathways for dealing with anxiety in pregnancy
  13. Registered Clinical Counselor sessions - virtual, in clinic and outside
  14. *Return to work and/or school info
  15. *Free virtual health/exercise coaching
1. COVID-19: Update from Dr. Bonnie Henry

September is here, and with this brings the end of summer vacations and a return to routine. This week our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, advised British Columbians to limit our social contacts which may have been relaxed during the summer months. This means tightening our bubbles and being especially mindful of the number of interactions we have with others, and taking extra care to wash our hands often.

We all want to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to all of the parents and parents-to-be in our South community this week! The transition from summer back to school can be hard on families, but throw in a pandemic and even the most well-prepared parents feel at a loss - especially with conflicting and rapidly changing information. With our children seeing a return to in-person learning next week, and heightened anxiety experienced by parents, children, and teachers, we have added what we hope are helpful links and resources on header 14 - Return to school information.

COVID-19: BC Dashboard

Click on the links or image below to access the BC COVID-19 dashboard for the latest case counts and information:

Mobile and most browsers:

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/a6f23959a8b14bfa989e3cda29297ded

Internet Explorer users:

https://governmentofbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/11bd9b0303c64373b5680df29e5b5914

2. New COVID-19 testing sites - update as of August 25th

New Testing Site @ VCC in East Vancouver is open from 9:30am to 7:30pm 7 days a week for people 12 and up. Click here for testing sites.

3. Waiting room and wearing masks

With flu-season approaching we remain ever vigilant on physical distancing. You will see all our staff wearing masks.

Masks are mandatory for everyone during visits. We ask that all patients, over the age of 5, wear masks.

Please bring your own mask as we have very limited supply. If you forget your mask, you can purchase one from us for $2.00.

Please DO NOT come up to the clinic early for your appointment. In order to maintain physical distancing, we must keep as few people in the clinic as possible. This may mean that we ask you to wait outside after you have checked in. Likewise please leave the clinic immediately after your appointment. Please call or email us to book a follow up appointment or request any records. Thanks for your cooperation to keep us all safe.

Click for info about mask wearing
4. Anti-Racism committee update

We have formed an interdisciplinary committee at South to analyze current practices and develop a plan for an actively anti-racist and anti-oppressive clinic. We are currently working on a training protocol for all current and future members of the South team to ensure a standard of understanding and commitment to racial justice on an individual level. We then will be addressing strategies to tailor our current programming to be accessible and applicable to all.

Opportunity for ACTION:

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially stressful time for individuals who are poor, racialized and/or marginalized. If you are able, we would encourage folks in our South community to consider donating any gently used baby goods to organizations like Baby Go Round. Many of our patients depend on services like these in their childcare journey.

https://babygoround.ca/donate-items/

As always, we welcome any feedback or suggestions regarding this work.

-Dr Preveena Dharamaraj

5. South Hill - Most appointments STILL via phone/video

**PLEASE READ BEFORE YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT **

In-clinic visits remain extremely restricted as the providers are often working outside the clinic. All in-person appointments at the clinic must be booked a doctor or NP and can not be booked online. If you feel you need to be seen in person, you must first have a phone appointment and the doctor/NP will help you from there.

We have noticed an increasing number of “no answer” type “no shows” for scheduled phone/video appointments. As our days are often fully booked, we may have to move on to the next patient if you are not available when we call. In order to make sure we can provide appointments to everyone who needs them, please:

**Make sure you provide THE BEST PHONE NUMBER for you to be reached at, when you book your appointment online.

**Be ready to receive the call from 5 minutes before to 30 minutes after your booked time.

Being ready means:

  • call blocker shut off on your phone (so you can accept a call from a blocked number)
  • sitting in a quiet, private space, other distractions minimized

**NOTE: we are not able to do an appointment while you are driving, or otherwise committed to another task that requires your full attention.

**If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please use the same process you would for an in person appointment by emailing us @ south.families@gmail.com or leaving a voicemail message with at least 24 hours notice.

**Missed appointments may incur a missed appointment charge that you will need to pay before your next appointment**

If you’re booking an in-person appointment with a concern about your skin, it can be really helpful to your provider to send a photo of the skin concern at least 1 day ahead of your appointment to south.families@gmail.com.

Tips for taking a good photo:
1. Use good light, if blurry, please take again.
2. If it is something small, it can be helpful to place a dime beside it in the photo for us to be able to tell size.

**Masks are mandatory at all times while you are in the clinic**

Click here for details on booking virtual appointments

We will alert you to when we will be widely opening our doors to see patients. For now, we are continuing with restricted in-person clinic appointments. We are following the Doctors of BC Guidelines for Expanding in-person care. You can find this guideline here.

https://bcfamilydocs.ca/recommendations-for-expanding-in-person-care

6. Vaccine Clinics: INFANT and CHILD ROUTINE VACCINES

If appropriate with you and your care provider, you may choose to have vaccines with your regional PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICE. Contact them directly for scheduling information.

We are now booking vaccines for children age 4 to 6 years, as well as babies.

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we have specific clinics for spaced out, vaccine only appointments.

Vaccine clinic dates: We are running vaccine clinics on specific days throughout September and October so book your phone or video visit to discuss your baby’s growth and development and at that appointment the providers will book your child’s vaccine appointment at the next available clinic.

Click for details about booking a Vaccine Appointment
7. Baby Care Basics Workshops - New dates

Baby Care Basics - 1 to 6 months


This virtual session welcomes families with babies between the ages of 1 to 6 months for an informal and collaborative educational session about baby care including; baby (and parent) sleeping, introducing solids, tender baby skin care and safety in the home.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 15 families/babies per session. To register please please call South Hill Clinic (604-428-8878) or send an email with your name and the Subject Line: Baby Basics to: south.families@gmail.com

The next session will be held on:
Friday, September 18th: 3:00 - 4:30 PM - FREE**

This group is facilitated via Zoom (secure video) by Dr. Justine Spencer. All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend.

Baby Care Basics - 6 months to 1 year

This virtual session welcomes families with babies between the ages of 6 months to 1 year for an informal and collaborative educational session about baby care including; sleep and safety tips for the child on the move; review of solids and food progression, breastfeeding & weaning, baby’s developmental milestones.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 15 families/babies per session. To register please please call South Hill Clinic (604-428-8878) or send an email with your name and the Subject Line: Baby Basics to: south.families@gmail.com

The next session will be held on:

Thursday, September 17th: 2:00 - 3:30 PM - FREE**

This group is facilitated via Zoom (secure video) by Dr. Maralyn Hope. All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend.

8. Motherlode: Pathways Forward for New Mothers - New dates

Back by popular demand! This group is for those who identify as a mother who are struggling with any form of depression, anxiety or being overwhelmed in the postpartum period (baby or toddler up to 3 years of age). The group runs a week for 6 weeks and covers information on diagnosis, symptoms and treatments of depression, anxiety & just simply feeling overwhelmed. Self-care is an important focus that is woven into the 6 week course with specific sessions on nutrition, exercise, sleep, time for yourself and gathering support. We review goal setting together each week, specific to your self-care and well-being. This group runs for 6 weeks starting:

Wednesdays from September 23 to November 4th - FREE**
2:00pm to 3:30 pm, virtually, on Zoom.

For the continuity and cohesiveness of the group, it is important that you commit to attending all six sessions. This is not a drop-in group.

Participation is limited and fills up quickly! If you are interested but are not accepted into this group, we will add your name to a waitlist for the next session. These groups are run ongoing throughout the year.

If you are interested, please send an email with your name, preferred email address, and the names and ages of your children to south.families@gmail.com. In order to be eligible, you need to be able to converse and read English.

This group is facilitated via Zoom (secure video) by Dr. Maralyn Hope. All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend. All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend.

9. South Community Birth Program - Prenatal Care

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at approximately: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

Due to a COVID surge and in order to maintain your safety in the clinic we are once again limiting patient time in the clinic. Flu season is around the corner and all patients in labour, with any signs or symptoms of COVID, are being treated as potentially having COVID and will be under investigation. For this reason we also want to limit your exposure to the seasonal flu and the common cold. Keeping face-to-face encounters less than 15 min also helps to reduce transmission.


Starting next week, Sept 9:

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive at your appointment time and stay in your car. Your care provider will call you and conduct the majority of your appointment on the phone/video and then ask you to come directly into a room for the physical exam portion of your visit. We will be cleaning the room before you enter. This is being done to minimize the amount of time you are in the clinic.

We ask your partner or support person to NOT come up and to please wait in the car. We are happy to do the physical exam while your chosen partner is on the phone.

**Masks are mandatory at all times while you are in the clinic**


All necessary lab requisitions and relevant educational materials will be emailed to you. Your care provider will be booking your follow-up appointment details after every appointment. Some pregnant people may need fewer in-person visits, while others with complications will require more.

10. South Community Birth Program - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom Groups

After some initial technical learning curve/glitches, our virtual zoom CP Groups are going well. A few pointers:

  1. You will receive an email with the meeting invite within 24-48 hours before your group date. Please read through the email and pdf documents and bring your signed consent forms with you to your belly check. Zoom meetings will not be recorded due to confidentiality.
  2. CP Zoom groups will mostly be held earlier in the afternoon and you will still be coming in for your regular belly check in the evening with your specified time, which we will confirm with you the day before. You will be in and out of the clinic in 10 minutes for your belly check. Partners are asked to attend the visit by phone or video.
  3. Please continue to maintain physical distancing in our clinic. Please do not group together or stand in the hallways.
11.. SCBP - Postpartum Care & Zoom Drop-in - New dates

For Postpartum Care, our hospital visits are done on day 1 and/or 2. We are continuing with a modified schedule for postpartum care, individually tailored to your needs.

All of your postpartum care takes place in our Connecting West room. We have created three offices for our nurses and have moved all PP resources into this one space. Seating is arranged to create social distancing. We strive to keep our clinic green - please use only one receiving blanket to change and weigh your baby then deposit into the laundry basket.

  1. We know how hard it is to get out of the house with a new baby! But please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled 45 minute appointment time. If you are late, your 45 minute appointment will need to be shortened. If you are more than 20 minutes late, we will need to reschedule you.
  2. Please check in with admin staff when you arrive. They will direct you to the PP waiting room in Connecting West. DO NOT SIT IN THE MAIN WAITING ROOM AREA.
  3. We know how difficult it is to get to the clinic after you have just given birth. For this reason partners or support people are welcome to attend the PP for the early visits. Talk to your nurse about your schedule of visits going forward and when it is possible to come on your own. Please be aware that we MUST continue to maintain physical distancing - please do not group together or stand move from your socially distanced chair to admire another baby close up!
  4. You can plan to alternate with virtual and in-person clinics visits. Plan these appointments with your nurse.

Postpartum Drop-in Zoom Groups - Every Wednesday from 12pm to 2:00pm

THESE DROP-IN ZOOM GROUPS ARE NOW OPEN TO EVERYONE - TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND OTHER NEW PARENTS THEY ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US!


Postpartum Drop-in Group is now on Zoom! We continue to meet every Wednesday between 12-2. Guest speakers will be there to teach you something new, answer your questions and, along with Alison & Chelsea, help facilitate the sharing of your own knowledge. Check out the schedule on the SCBP website under “Workshops” where you will also find the link to the zoom meeting. Spread the word to your CP groupies & postpartum friends in general!

Wednesday, September 9th - How to do Infant CPR with Michelle Labelle

***Please check our website for all the Wednesday PP groups***

https://scbp.ca/workshop/postpartum-drop-in-group

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

12. Motherlode Prenatal - Pathways for dealing with anxiety in pregnancy

South Community Birth Program is excited to again offer The Motherlode Prenatal program for those who identify as a mother-to-be. We know that becoming a mother is a journey that isn’t always easy. Challenges from our own childhoods, and stresses from the modern world can make becoming a mom seem distant, scary or hard to imagine. In the groups we will use tools such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, breathing exercises, group discussion and small homework assignments to try and reduce anxiety and stress around becoming a new mom. In my years at SCBP I have learned that just getting pregnant women together to discuss issues and concerns around pregnancy can be very helpful. Come explore the work of becoming a mom in a safe and supportive group. We ask that you plan to attend all 6 sessions, as there are activities within the group from week-to-week.

Motherlode Prenatal is held weekly on Thursdays on Zoom or outdoors.

Next session starts:

Oct 15 - Nov 26, from 5pm to 6:30pm *FREE

The group is open to 10 pregnant women at SCBP who have an estimated due date after Dec 1, 2020.

The groups are led by Lori Wolfe, our Nurse Practitioner.

13. Registered Clinical Counselor

Danielle Schroeder MA, RCC

Danielle is continuing to provide virtual appointments and also meeting with patients outside weather permitting or in the clinic, acknowledging that human connection, in person, can also be therapeutic. She has virtual or in-person appointments available on:

Tuesdays between 9am and 5pm
Thursdays between 3pm and 8pm
Fridays between 9:30am and 5:30pm

Other days and times can be made by special arrangement.

For more information or to register please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com
14. Return to school information
Example of Health and safety letter for parents - when children are returning to in-person instruction
Click for return to school example
Vancouver School Board - Daily health assessment
The VSB has sent a form to all parents to conduct a daily health assessment of your children before sending them to school.
Click for daily health assessment example

Setting children & youth up for a successful return to school in the era of COVID-19:

This was an excellent webinar on August 31. We attach the slides from this presentation here:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/covid-19-return-to-school

BC Children’s Hospital Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Laura Sauvé talks about preparing children for back-to-school during the COVID-19 pandemic

http://www.bcchildrens.ca/about/news-stories/stories/preparing-children-for-back-to-school-during-the-covid19-pandemic


COVID-19 and Children (ages 0-12)

This is an excellent resource sheet prepared by the BC Centre for Disease Control. You will find information on how COVID-19 affects children and how to keep them safe and healthy, both mentally and physically.

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-and-children

15. Free Virtual Health/Exercise Coaching: HealtheSteps™

Designed by sports medicine experts, and part of a Canada-wide university-supported program. Are you looking to move more, sit less, and eat healthier? Then you should join the HealtheSteps™ Program! As a participant of the HealtheSteps™ Program you will receive individualized healthy living prescriptions and personalized virtual coaching to help you improve your exercise levels, step counts, and diet. HealtheSteps™ involves six virtual sessions over a 6-month period. We’ll help you every step of the way!


To register: www.healthesteps.ca

The South UPDATE is monthly or as needed. Let us know if you have information that you would like us to add for the wider community.

Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA

(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team

Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD

(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team

We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.

If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.
If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1

Your one-stop-shop for all our patient updates:

https://southhillhealth.com

https://scbp.ca

Copyright © 2020 South Hill Family Health Centre and South Community Birth Program, All rights reserved.


COVID-19: Update July 2020

Be calm, be kind, be safe.

~Dr. Bonnie Henry

* New Content

  1. Message about Anti-Racism work from all of us at South Hill and the Birth Program, including resources
  2. *South Hill - Most appointments STILL via phone/video and phone appointment etiquette
  3. *Vaccine clinics: **2 to 18 month AND 4-6 years old - sign up for Monday and Saturday- *new dates
  4. Baby care basics - *new dates
  5. Motherlode - Pathways forward for new mothers - *new dates
  6. SCBP - Prenatal Care
  7. SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  8. SCBP - Postpartum Care & Zoom Drop-in - *new dates
  9. Registered Clinical Counselor sessions - both virtual and outside

1. Message from all of us at South Hill and the Birth Program

While the recent collective uproar against racism was long overdue - it is even more crucial that we use this momentum to continue to further change. We are conscious of the damaging nature of performative activism and as such want to focus our updates on concrete steps. Racism is a public health issue, and our practice needs to address how this affects all of the patients in our care. Our goal is to create a culturally safe and actively anti-racist practice by consulting BIPOC folks, and compensating them for their labour.

We have created a compilation of resources to encourage our community to educate themselves in the history of Black and Indigenous racism, and how we can work towards being better allies. We have also created an anti-racist committee who will develop a plan and policies to improve the delivery of care, and how we support BIPOC patients. We encourage folks in our community to reach out with thoughts and suggestions.

Compilation of Anti-Racism Resources

Dr. Preveena Dharmaraj, MD, CCFP

Family Physician | Unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories (Vancouver)

Clinical Instructor | Department of Family Practice | University of British Columbia

2. South Hill - Most appointments STILL via phone/video and phone appointment etiquette

We have noticed an increasing number of “no answer” type “no shows” for scheduled phone/video appointments. In order to make sure we can provide appointments to everyone who needs them, please:

**Make sure you provide THE BEST PHONE NUMBER for you to be reached at, when you book your appointment online.

**Be ready to receive the call from 5 minutes before to 30 minutes after your booked time.

  • being ready means:
  • call blocker shut off on your phone (so you can accept a call from a blocked number)
  • sitting in a quiet, private space, other distractions minimized

**NOTE: we are not able to do an appointment while you are driving, or otherwise committed to another task that requires your full attention.

**If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please use the same process you would for an in person appointment by either emailing us at south.families@gmail.com or calling and leaving a voicemail at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment.

**As of July 6, 2020 missed appointments may incur a missed appointment charge that you will need to pay before your next appointment.

Click here for details on booking virtual appointments

We will alert you to when we will be widely opening our doors to see patients. For now, we are continuing with restricted in-person clinic appointments. We are following the Doctors of BC Guidelines for Expanding in-person care. You can find this guideline here.

https://bcfamilydocs.ca/recommendations-for-expanding-in-person-care

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with COVID-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment and App

3. Vaccine Clinics: 2 - 18 months, NOW also
offering 4-6 years!

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we have specific clinics for spaced out, vaccine only appointments. We are holding vaccine clinics every Saturday, Monday and have added some Tuesdays and Wednesdays, to make sure all our patients can be seen. ** REMINDER: You must have a PHONE appointment with your family doctor BEFORE a vaccine clinic appointment can be booked.

Vaccine clinic dates:

July 7, July 8, July 11, July 13, July 14, July 15, July 18, July 20, July 21, July 22, July 25, July 27, July 28, July 29

Click for details about booking a Vaccine Appointment

4. Baby Care Basics Workshops - New dates

Baby Care Basics - 1 to 6 months


This virtual session welcomes families with babies between the ages of 1 to 6 months for an informal and collaborative educational session about baby care including; baby (and parent) sleeping, introducing solids, tender baby skin care and safety in the home.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 15 families/babies per session. To register please please call South Hill Clinic (604-428-8878) or send an email with your name and the Subject Line: Baby Basics to: south.families@gmail.com

The next session will be held on:

Friday, July 17th: 3:00 - 4:30 PM - FREE**

This group is facilitated via Zoom (secure video) by Dr. Justine Spencer. All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend.

Baby Care Basics - 6 months to 1 year

This virtual session welcomes families with babies between the ages of 6 months to 1 year for an informal and collaborative educational session about baby care including; sleep and safety tips for the child on the move; review of solids and food progression, breastfeeding & weaning, baby’s developmental milestones.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 15 families/babies per session. To register please please call South Hill Clinic (604-428-8878) or send an email with your name and the Subject Line: Baby Basics to: south.families@gmail.com

The next session will be held on:

Thursday, July 16th: 2:00 - 3:30 PM - FREE**

Thursday, July 30th: 2:00 - 3:30 PM - FREE**

This group is facilitated via Zoom (secure video) by Dr. Maralyn Hope. All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend.

5. Motherlode: Pathways Forward for New Mothers - on Zoom - New dates

Back by popular demand! Groups are facilitated by Dr. Maralyn Hope. Open to all patients at South Hill and SCBP. There is still room left in the next session starting Wednesday, July 29th. Open to all patients at South Hill and SCBP.

This group is for those who identify as a mother who are struggling with any form of depression, anxiety or being overwhelmed in the postpartum period (baby or toddler up to 3 years of age). The group runs a week for 6 weeks and covers information on diagnosis, symptoms and treatments of depression, anxiety & just simply feeling overwhelmed. Self-care is an important focus that is woven into the 6 week course with specific sessions on nutrition, exercise, sleep, time for yourself and gathering support. We review goal setting together each week, specific to your self-care and well-being. This group runs for 6 weeks starting:

Every Wednesday from July 29th to September 9th - FREE**
2:00pm to 3:30 pm, virtually, on Zoom.

For the continuity and cohesiveness of the group, it is important that you commit to attending all six sessions. This is not a drop-in group.

Participation is limited and fills up quickly! If you are interested but are not accepted into this group, we will add your name to a waitlist for the next session. These groups are run ongoing throughout the year.

If you are interested, please send an email with your name, preferred email address, and the names and ages of your children to south.families@gmail.com. In order to be eligible, you need to be able to converse and read English.

6. South Community Birth Program - Prenatal Care

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at approximately: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive 5 minutes before your appointment time and stay in your car. Have your phone on and be parked nearby. We will call you to come up (when the room is clean). In order to maintain safety in the clinic:

  1. Your entire appointment will now be in the room, NOT on the phone. Your partner or a support person is welcome but will be required to maintain social distancing.
  2. Please check in with admin staff when you arrive. They will take your blood pressure and weight. We welcome partners’ involvement but please be aware that we MUST continue to maintain physical distancing in our clinic. Please do not group together or stand in the hallways.
  3. You will be directed right to the room to see your careprovider.
  4. Please do your best not to bring your older children to clinic appointments. If there is no other option please have them stay in a stroller while in the clinic. If they are too big for a stroller please hold their hand and keep them with you at all times. If your child is unable to NOT touch surfaces we will ask your partner/support person to wait outside with them.

7. South Community Birth Program - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom Groups

Connecting Pregnancy: After some initial technical learning curve/glitches, our virtual zoom CP Groups are going well. A few pointers:

  1. You will receive an email with the meeting invite within 24-48 hours before your group date. Please read through the email and pdf documents and bring your signed consent forms with you to your belly check. Zoom meetings will not be recorded due to confidentiality.
  2. CP Zoom groups will mostly be held earlier in the afternoon and you will still be coming in for your regular belly check in the evening with your specified time, which we will confirm with you the day before. You will be in and out of the clinic in 10 minutes for your belly check.
  3. As above, we welcome partners’ involvement but please be aware that we MUST continue to maintain physical distancing in our clinic. Please do not group together or stand in the hallways.

8: SCBP - Postpartum Care & Zoom Drop-in - New dates

For Postpartum Care, our hospital visits are done on day 1 and/or 2. We are continuing with a modified schedule for postpartum care, individually tailored to your needs.

At your next visit you will notice that all of your postpartum care will now take place in our Connecting West room. We have created three offices for our nurses and have moved all PP resources into this one space. Seating is arranged to create social distancing. We strive to keep our clinic green - please use one receiving blanket to change and weigh your baby then deposit into the laundry basket.

  1. We know how hard it is to get out of the house with a new baby! But please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled 45 minute appointment time. If you are late, your 45 minute appointment will need to be shortened. If you are more than 20 minutes late, we will need to reschedule you.
  2. Please check in with admin staff when you arrive. They will help you measure and weigh your baby.
  3. Talk to your nurse about your schedule of visits going forward.
  4. You can plan to alternate with virtual and in-person clinics visits. Plan these appointments with your nurse.
  5. As above, we welcome partners’ involvement but please be aware that we MUST continue to maintain physical distancing in our clinic. Please do not group together or stand in the hallways.
  6. Please do your best not to bring your older children to clinic appointments. If there is no other option please have them stay in a stroller while in the clinic. If they are too big for a stroller please hold their hand and keep them with you at all times. If your child is unable to NOT touch surfaces we will ask your partner/support person to wait outside with them.


Postpartum Drop-in Zoom Groups - Every Wednesday from 12 to 2

Postpartum Drop-in Group is now on Zoom! We continue to meet every Wednesday between 12-2. Guest speakers will be there to teach you something new, answer your questions and, along with Alison & Chelsea, help facilitate the sharing of your own knowledge. Check out the schedule on the SCBP website under “Workshops” where you will also find the link to the zoom meeting. Spread the word to your CP groupies & postpartum friends in general!

July 8 - Postpartum Pelvic Floor Health (Vagina Coach Kim Vopni)

July 15 - Infant Massage (Doula Extraordinaire Noriko Ishibashi)

July 22 - Brain Development in the First Year (Registered Psychologist Erika Penner)
July 29 - Infant Oral Health and Development (Paediatric Dentist Bradford Scheideman)

THESE DROP-IN ZOOM GROUPS ARE NOW OPEN TO EVERYONE- TELL YOUR FRIENDS
AND OTHER NEW PARENTS THEY ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US!

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

9. Registered Clinical Counselor - Dates available


Danielle Schroeder MA, RCC

Danielle is continuing to provide virtual appointments and also meeting with patients outside weather permitting or in the clinic, acknowledging that human connection, in person, can also be therapeutic. She has virtual or in-person appointments available on:

Tuesdays between 9am and 5pm
Thursdays between 3pm and 8pm
Fridays between 9:30am and 5:30pm

Other days and times can be made by special arrangement.

For more information or to register please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com

Our UPDATE is now monthly or as needed. Let us know if there is something you would like us to add for the wider community.

Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA
(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team

Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD
(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team

We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.


If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.
If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO MAINTAIN A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC

COVID-19: Update #12

May 23, 2020

Be calm, be kind, be safe.

~Dr. Bonnie Henry

Update #12 Contents

* New Content

  1. *BC’s restart plan: The next stage of our challenge
  2. COVID-19: Self assessment - remember to look here first for all COVID related questions - updated regularly
  3. South Hill - Phone/video appointments - In clinic appointments still remain limited
  4. Vaccine clinics: 2 months to 18 months - sign up for Monday and Saturday dates
  5. *Baby care basics - Two new workshops
  6. *Motherlode - Pathways forward for new mothers - new dates
  7. *SCBP - Prenatal Care
  8. *SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  9. *SCBP - Postpartum Care & Zoom Drop-in
  10. *Registered Clinical Counselor sessions - both virtual and outside
  11. Canadian COVID-19 in pregnancy surveillance - website
  12. *COVID-19 - In the news
1. BC’s Restart Plan: The next stage of our challenge

As the pandemic hit B.C., we asked British Columbians to do their part and they took action to stay home and help flatten the curve. With each day, the rate of growth in COVID-19 cases has steadily declined and more than 1,350 people have recovered. And we have the lowest mortality of any jurisdiction in Canada, the United States and western Europe with more than 5 million people.

From the outset, the focus of B.C.’s efforts has been on protecting people by slowing the rate of transmission. BC’s Restart Plan is the first in a series of steps that we will take together to protect people and ensure that our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.

FIGURE 1: Cumulative diagnosed COVID-19 case rates by select countries



B.C. has made extensive use of modelling and planning in our decision-making process, including the Oxford Stringency Index.

While mathematical models of pandemics are just that – models – B.C.’s modelling has accurately predicted several key indicators in our efforts to flatten the pandemic curve, including trends in hospitalization rates, visits to ICUs, and recently confirmed infections.

Data showing the movements of British Columbians indicates that, to do their part to flatten transmission, people in the province have reduced their social interactions and contact with others to about 30% of normal. By sticking with the existing protective measures, we can expect a further decline in the rate of new infections. The same mathematical modelling indicates a return to pre-COVID-19 normal in our social interactions would have a disastrous effect, dramatically increasing infections, undoing our combined efforts and putting people at risk. Even at 80%, there could be a significant spike in transmissions.

However, the modelling does show we can increase our rate of contact to about 60% of pre-COVID-19 normal, while maintaining a flat rate of transmission. In other words, we can double the amount of social contacts we have now and still flatten the curve.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/bc-restart-plan

How we will get people back to work - A Safer Restart with WorkSafeBC

Like essential services during the pandemic, all employers must demonstrate that they can operate safely. In fact, all employers are required under the Workers Compensation Act to ensure the safety of their employees at work. As local businesses, non-profits and organizations plan for their restart, WorkSafeBC is here to help.

WorkSafeBC will work with industry associations to ensure the direction and guidance they provide to their members meets the requirements set out by the Provincial Health Officer. WorkSafeBC will work with employers and workers through educational materials, consultation, and workplace inspections to help them restart safely. Employers will be required to:

Sectors that have operated during the pandemic may need to update their COVID-19 Safe Plans to fit with updated Health and Safety Guidelines, best practices and resources.

For resources, visit the WorkSafeBC website or call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line at 1-888-621-7233.

Parks Reopen on May 14, 2020 - Camping reopens on June 1, 2020

BC Parks, recreation sites and trails that can accommodate physical distancing will reopen for day use only

Check the BC Parks website for the most up to date information


Reopening our schools

We know there is no substitute for in-class instruction — and an important step toward our recovery is getting kids back into the classroom, so parents can get back into the workplace.

Initial health data indicates children are less affected than adults by the COVID-19 virus. Public health staff and officials will continue to review the health data. And the Ministry of Education and school divisions all around B.C. are reviewing options to allow for a safe return to school.

Starting June 1, parents have the choice to bring their children back to class on a part-time basis for the 2019/2020 school year as part of BC’s Education Restart Plan (PDF).

For more information on protective measures that will be required of schools and post-secondary institutions, daycares and summer camps, please refer to the BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy (PDF) and the BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Checklist (PDF).


Supporting Families & Businesses - Complete list of government programs

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/bc-restart-plan

2: COVID-19: Self assessment - updated regularly

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with Covid-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment and App
3. South Hill Phone/Video Appointments - We want to reassure you that we would love to virtually “see” you, even just to check in.

More info about preparing for your video or phone appointment with your family doctor: https://bccfp.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Preparing-for-a-virtual-appointment-infographic.jpg

In-clinic visits remain extremely restricted, if you feel you need to be seen in person, you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will arrange for you to come in.

Front desk medical assistant staff will not be booking this appointment for you. All in-person appointments will be made by your primary care provider.

Our video appointment software is very simple, and secure. You just need a smartphone OR tablet/laptop with camera and microphone AND an internet connection. No other special equipment or software is needed, but we will ask you for your consent and then allow you to sign in.

We will alert you to when we will be widely opening our doors to see patients. For now, we are continuing with restricted in-person clinic appointments. We are following the Doctors of BC Guidelines for Expanding in-person care. You can find this guideline here.

https://bcfamilydocs.ca/recommendations-for-expanding-in-person-care

Click here for details on booking virtual appointments
Our video appointment software is very simple, and secure. You just need a smartphone OR tablet/laptop with camera and microphone AND an internet connection. No other special equipment or software is needed, but we will ask you for your consent and then allow you to sign in.
4. Vaccine Clinics: 2 months - 18 months ONLY

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we have specific clinics for spaced out, booked, vaccine only appointments. We are prioritizing vaccines for babies & toddlers ages 2-18 months. We are continuing to delay children 4 to 6 years old, for now. We are holding vaccine clinics every Saturday AND Monday. They fill up fast, so book right away.

Vaccine clinic dates: May 25, May 30, June 1, June 6, June 8, June 13, June 15, June 20, June 22, June 27, June 29
Click for details about booking a Vaccine Appointment
5. Baby Care Basics Workshops - NEW

Baby Care Basics - 1 to 6 months


This virtual session welcomes families with babies between the ages of 1 to 6 months for an informal and collaborative educational session about baby care including; baby (and parent) sleeping, introducing solids, tender baby skin care and safety in the home.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 15 families/babies per session. To register please please call South Hill Clinic (604-428-8870) or send an email with your name and the Subject Line: Baby Basics to: south.families@gmail.com

The next session will be held on: Friday May 29th: 3:00 - 4:30 PM - FREE**

This group is facilitated via Zoom (secure video) by Dr. Jeanette Pedersen and Dr. Justine Spencer. All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend.

Baby Care Basics - 6 months to 1 year

This virtual session welcomes families with babies between the ages of 6 months to 1 year for an informal and collaborative educational session about baby care including; sleep and safety tips for the child on the move; review of solids and food progression, breastfeeding & weaning, baby’s developmental milestones.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 15 families/babies per session. To register please please call South Hill Clinic (604-428-8870) or send an email with your name and the Subject Line: Baby Basics to: south.families@gmail.com

The next session will be held on: Thursday June 2nd: 2:00 - 3:30 PM - FREE**

This group is facilitated via Zoom (secure video) by Dr. Jeanette Pedersen and Dr. Maralyn Hope All patients at South Hill and SCBP are welcome to attend.

6. Motherlode: Pathways Forward for New Mothers - on Zoom

Back by popular demand! Groups are facilitated by Dr. Maralyn Hope. There is still room left in the next session starting Wednesday, June 3rd. Open to all patients at South Hill and SCBP.

This group is intended for mothers who are struggling with any form of depression, anxiety or being overwhelmed in the postpartum period (baby or toddler up to 3 years of age). The group runs a week for 6 weeks and covers information on diagnosis, symptoms and treatments of depression, anxiety & just simply feeling overwhelmed. Self-care is an important focus that is woven into the 6 week course with specific sessions on nutrition, exercise, sleep, time for yourself and gathering support. We review goal setting together each week, specific to your self-care and well-being. This group runs for 6 weeks starting:

Every Wednesday from June 3rd to July 15th - FREE**
2:00pm to 3:30 pm, virtually, on Zoom.

For the continuity and cohesiveness of the group, it is important that you commit to attending all six sessions. This is not a drop-in group.

Participation is limited and fills up quickly! If you are interested but are not accepted into this group, we will add your name to a waitlist for the next session. These groups are run ongoing throughout the year.

If you are interested, please send an email with your name, preferred email address, and the names and ages of your children to south.families@gmail.com. In order to be eligible, you need to be able to converse and read English.

7. South Community Birth Program - Prenatal Care

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at approximately: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive 5 minutes before your appointment time and stay in your car. Have your phone on and be parked nearby. We will call you to come up (when the room is clean). In order to maintain safety in the clinic:

  1. Your entire appointment will now be in the room, NOT on the phone. Your partner or a support person is welcome but will be required to maintain social distancing.
  2. Please check in with admin staff when you arrive. They will take your blood pressure and weight. We welcome partners’ involvement but please be aware that we MUST continue to maintain physical distancing in our clinic. Please do not group together or stand in the hallways.
  3. You will be directed right to the room to see your careprovider.
  4. Please do your best not to bring your older children to clinic appointments. If there is no other option please have them stay in a stroller while in the clinic. If they are too big for a stroller please hold their hand and keep them with you at all times. If your child is unable to NOT touch surfaces we will ask your partner/support person to wait outside with them.
8. South Community Birth Program - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom Groups

Connecting Pregnancy: After some initial technical learning curve/glitches, our virtual zoom CP Groups are going well. A few pointers:

  1. You will receive an email with the meeting invite within 24-48 hours before your group date. Please read through the email and pdf documents and bring your signed consent forms with you to your belly check. Zoom meetings will not be recorded due to confidentiality.
  2. CP Zoom groups will mostly be held earlier in the afternoon and you will still be coming in for your regular belly check in the evening with your specified time, which we will confirm with you the day before. You will be in and out of the clinic in 10 minutes for your belly check.
  3. As above, we welcome partners’ involvement but please be aware that we MUST continue to maintain physical distancing in our clinic. Please do not group together or stand in the hallways.
9: SCBP - Postpartum Care & Zoom Drop-in

For Postpartum Care, our hospital visits are done on day 1 and/or 2. We are continuing with a modified schedule for postpartum care, individually tailored to your needs.

  1. We know how hard it is to get out of the house with a new baby! But please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled 45 minute appointment time. If you are late, your 45 minute appointment will need to be shortened. If you are more than 20 minutes late, we will need to reschedule you.
  2. Please check in with admin staff when you arrive. They will help you measure and weigh your baby.
  3. Talk to your nurse about your schedule of visits going forward.
  4. You can plan to alternate with virtual and in-person clinics visits. Plan these appointments with your nurse.
  5. As above, we welcome partners’ involvement but please be aware that we MUST continue to maintain physical distancing in our clinic. Please do not group together or stand in the hallways.
  6. Please do your best not to bring your older children to clinic appointments. If there is no other option please have them stay in a stroller while in the clinic. If they are too big for a stroller please hold their hand and keep them with you at all times. If your child is unable to NOT touch surfaces we will ask your partner/support person to wait outside with them.


Postpartum Drop-in Zoom Groups - Every Wednesday from 12 to 2

Postpartum Drop-in Group is now on Zoom! We continue to meet every Wednesday between 12-2. Guest speakers will be there to teach you something new, answer your questions and, along with Alison & Chelsea, help facilitate the sharing of your own knowledge. Check out the schedule on the SCBP website under “Workshops” where you will also find the link to the zoom meeting. Spread the word to your CP groupies & postpartum friends in general!

May 27 - Female Libido and Sex After Baby (Registered Psychologist Carolin Klein)
Join Zoom Meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84670216963

June 3 - Infant Play (Monica Chan, Parenting Coach at The Imperfect Parent)
Join Zoom Meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83811290827

June 10 - Feeling the weight: Getting unstuck from emotions that can often weigh us down as new parents, especially as we try to adapt to this global “new normal” (Danielle Schroeder, MA, RCC)

June 17 - Infant CPR (Michele Labelle)

June 24 - Babywearing 101: Benefits, Safety and Options (Babywearing Educator Karla Castro)

July 1 - Canada Day – no workshop today!

July 8 - Postpartum Pelvic Floor Health (Vagina Coach Kim Vopni)

July 15 - Infant Massage (Doula Extraordinaire Noriko Ishibashi)

July 22 - Brain Development in the First Year (Registered Psychologist Erika Penner)

THESE DROP-IN ZOOM GROUPS ARE NOW OPEN TO EVERYONE- TELL YOUR FRIENDS
AND OTHER NEW PARENTS THEY ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US!

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

10. Registered Clinical Counselor

Danielle Schroeder MA, RCC

Danielle is continuing to provide virtual appointments and also meeting with patients outside with social distancing, acknowledging that human connection, in person, can also be therapeutic. She has virtual or in-person appointments available on:

Tuesdays between 9am and 5pm
Thursdays between 3pm and 8pm
Fridays between 9:30am and 5:30pm

Other days and times can be made by special arrangement.

For more information or to register please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com
11. Canadian COVID-19 in pregnancy surveillance: Epidemiology, maternal and infant outcomes

This multi-provincial surveillance project serves to better the understanding of COVID-19 in pregnancy, to increase understanding of the epidemiology of COVID-19 in pregnancy, and to provide critical data to inform recommendations for pregnant people and their infants. The project will determine the burden of COVID-19 among pregnant people in Canada, as well as maternal and infant outcomes associated with infection, including whether the virus may be transmitted from mother to fetus in pregnancy.

Learn More

12. COVID-19 - In the news & government support

Modeling informs next steps for B.C. - this is now posted on the BCCDC website

On April 17, Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix shared detailed modeling & projections, informed by PHSA’s Data Analytics Research and Evaluation (DARE) team and the BC Centre for Disease Control. The modelling captures trends to date and explores different scenarios going forward related to the number of COVID-19 cases B.C. might see and what impact that might have on critical care capacity depending on the rate and extent of relaxation of physical distancing and other societal restrictions currently in place.
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/modelling-projections

COVID-19 news and resources for people living with pain

The growing concern over the community transmission of COVID-19 can be overwhelming, but please know that you’re not alone with pain. During this time, Pain BC is committed to continuing to do what we’ve always done: working towards a future where no one is alone with pain. Below you can find a list of news, information and resources specifically for people in pain that can be helpful during this time. Please note that this list will be updated regularly as more information and resources become available. Please check back regularly.

https://www.painbc.ca/covid-19-news-and-resources-people-living-pain


COVID-19 Resource for pregnant people and families for COVID-19 specific information

While being pregnant during a pandemic can bring up wonder or worry, we hope that these resources will support your preparation for labour, birth, postpartum, newborn care and parenting.

http://pregnancyvancouver.ca/covid-19-pregnancy

Our UPDATE is now twice a month. UPDATE #13 will be sent out Saturday June 6. If we have urgent news we will send out a blast earlier. Let us know if there is something you would like us to add for the wider community.

Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA
(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team

Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD
(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team

We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.


If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.
If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO MAINTAIN A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC

COVID-19: Update #11

May 9, 2020

Be calm, be kind, be safe.

~Bonnie Henry

Update #11 Contents

** New Content

  1. ** Next steps to move BC through the pandemic: BC’s restart plan- New!
  2. COVID-19: Self assessment - remember to look here first for all COVID related questions - updated regularly
  3. **Phone/video appointments - In clinic appointments remain limited at this time- New!
  4. Vaccine clinics: 2 months to 18 months - sign up for Monday and Saturday dates
  5. **Baby care basics - New!
  6. **Motherlode - Pathways forward for new mothers - New!
  7. **SCBP - Prenatal Care - New!
  8. ** SCBP - Postpartum Care & Postpartum drop-in - New!
  9. SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  10. **Registered Clinical Counselor sessions in clinic - New!
  11. **Pregnancy and COVID-19 Website - New!
  12. **COVID-19 - In the news & government support - New!

Join us in rejoicing in some restrictions being lifted! Below is a synopsis of the restart plan:

1. Next steps to move BC through the pandemic: BC’s restart plan

Message (excerpts) from the Premier - John Hogan

Our combined efforts have meant BC has fared better than most. We have seen the rate of transmission decline and we are flattening the curve, but we know pandemics come in waves. COVID-19 is no different and it won’t truly be behind us until a vaccine is ready. We are making headway in the struggle against COVID-19 because we’re all in this together.

After Victoria Day, we will move further towards a recovery. With safe operations plans in place, more and more industries will reopen and get people back to work. And we will ease some of the restrictions in place to improve our quality of life, while reducing the risk of a spike in transmission. This is not a return to normal. Moving too quickly could put all of our combined efforts and progress in jeopardy. COVID-19 is a wakeup call for all of us. We need to be better prepared so our healthcare system and our economy are never again so dramatically impacted by a pandemic. I know that together we can do this.
B.C. Premier John Hogan

Message (excerpts) from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry

WE HAVE UNITED IN A SINGULAR PURPOSE – to flatten our curve. Now, we have reached an important milestone with our COVID-19 pandemic in BC: we are at the end of our beginning. COVID-19 and the risks to our province are far from gone, but we can now begin to chart our path forward.

Our “new normal” is based on principles that apply to every person and every situation. These principles are the foundation of how we need to move forward with our BC plan, and will remain in place for the weeks and months ahead. These principles include:

Staying informed, being prepared and following public health advice;

  1. Practising good hygiene – hand hygiene, avoid touching your face and respiratory etiquette; 3. Staying at home and away from others if you are feeling ill – with no exceptions – whether for school, work or socializing;
  2. Maintaining physical distancing outside the household, e.g., no handshakes or hugs, keeping your number of contacts low and keeping a safe distance;
  3. Making necessary contacts safer with appropriate controls, e.g., using plexiglass barriers or redesigning spaces;
  4. Increasing cleaning of frequently touched surfaces at home and work;
  5. Considering the use of non-medical masks in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as on transit or while shopping; and,
  6. Continuing to minimize non-essential personal travel. I have seen the strength and resilience in British Columbians that I know will hold us in good stead in the months ahead. We must continue to keep our firewall strong and remain committed to our efforts to protect our province.
Be kind, be calm, be safe.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry

Overview

As of May 1, 2020, more than 2,100 British Columbians have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 100 people have died. As the pandemic hit BC, we asked British Columbians to do their part, and they took action to stay home and help flatten the curve. With each day, the rate of growth in COVID-19 cases has steadily declined and more than 1,350 people have recovered. And we have the lowest mortality of any jurisdiction in North America or Europe with a population of more than five million.



From the outset, the focus of our efforts in BC have been on protecting people by slowing the rate of transmission. BC’s Restart Plan is the first in a series of steps we will take together to protect people and ensure our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.

How we’ll start getting people back to work

Unlike many other places that imposed strict “lockdown” policies, BC’s approach was to require safe operation of a broad range of services designated as essential services, to protect our health care system and maintain access to key services and supplies. Many non-essential businesses remained open, provided they could operate safely.

If coronavirus cases begin to increase, we will revert to the restrictions set out in the previous stage.

Phase 1 - Essential services operating operating during COVID-19

  • Essential health care and health services
  • Law enforcement, public safety, first responders and emergency response personnel
  • Vulnerable population service providers
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Food and agriculture service providers
  • Transportation
  • Industry and manufacturing
  • Sanitation
  • Communications and information technology
  • Financial institutions
  • Non-health essential service providers
BC’s restart will be a careful, step-by-step process to ensure all of our combined efforts and sacrifices are not squandered. For the different organizational sectors to move forward, they will be asked to develop enhanced protocols aligned with the Public Health and Safety Guidelines. A cross-ministry committee of deputy ministers will monitor the process and ensure overall alignment with Public Health and Safety Guidelines and WorkSafeBC. The Provincial Health Officer will continue to provide input and advice, as needed, throughout the review process.

Phase 2 - Mid-May onwards - Under enhanced protocols

  • Restoration of health services
  • Re-scheduling elective surgery
  • Medically related services:dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, chiropractors, physical therapy, speech therapy, and similar services
  • Retail sector
  • Hair salons/ barbers/other personal service establishments
  • In-person counselling
  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs – with sufficient distancing measures
  • Museums, art galleries, libraries
  • Office-based worksites
  • Recreation/sports
  • Initial park re-opening (May 14, day use only)
  • beaches and outdoor spaces
  • Child care

ELECTIVE AND NON-URGENT SURGERIES TO RESUME

Over the last three years, BC implemented an ambitious strategy to increase patient access to surgeries, expand priority programs and reduce wait times. COVID-19 wiped-out that progress. In March, the Province reluctantly cancelled elective and non-urgent surgeries – while still performing more than 8,200 urgent or emergency procedures. This resulted in the cancellation of thousands of scheduled elective surgeries, which was necessary to ensure British Columbians with COVID-19 would have access to hospital beds. Beginning on May 18, 2020, elective and non-urgent surgeries will resume.

RE-OPENING OUR PARKS AND CAMPSITES

Re-opening BC’s iconic parks, recreation sites and trails will happen in managed stages. Our priority is providing safe access and services to people throughout the province, while maintaining the safety of park staff and park operators. BC Parks and Recreation Sites and Trails BC will reintroduce services in keeping with direction from the Provincial Health Officer.

Beginning on May 14, 2020, those BC Parks, recreation sites and trails that can accommodate physical distancing will re-open for day use. Parks and recreation sites that can safely provide existing service levels, such as garbage disposal and washroom facilities, will do so. These facilities will be cleaned more frequently. Some areas and facilities WILL remain closed, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and visitor centres. Check BCParks.ca for the most up to date information.

Camping at provincial parks and recreation sites will reopen beginning June 1, 2020 with some exceptions. BCParks.ca will carry information about the status of camping in provincial parks.

RE-OPENING CHILD CARE AND SUMMER CAMPS

For many child care centres that operated as essential services during the pandemic, they have already adapted and are operating safely. But reopening more child care centres will be a key part of getting more parents back to work. The basics will include routine daily screening of staff and kids; frequent cleaning; and ensuring staff and children who have cold or flu symptoms do not attend child care or summer camps.

EXPANDING PUBLIC TRANSIT SERVICES

As BC begins our restart and more people gradually return to the workplace, there will be greater pressures on our public transportation networks to help people get around safely. Ensuring operators and passengers can safely use public transit is critical. Enhanced health and safety precautions, including frequent cleaning; wearing non-medical masks for riders and staff; use of plexiglass or physical barriers where possible for drivers; and staying home when sick will be a part of the new normal for the foreseeable future

Phase 3 (June to September- under enhanced protocols) If transmission rates remain low or in decline

  • Hotels and resorts (June)
  • Parks – broader re-opening, including some overnight camping (June 1)
  • Film industry – beginning with domestic productions (June/July)
  • Select entertainment – movies and symphony, but not large concerts (July)
  • Post-secondary education – with mix of online and in-class (September) į
  • K-12 education – partial return in June, full return in September

RE-OPENING OUR SCHOOLS

The Ministry of Education and school divisions all around BC are reviewing options to allow for a safe return to school. An announcement on a phased approach to resuming in-class instruction will be made in the coming weeks. This will not be a return to normal. With weeks left in the school year, we anticipate many kids will not return to the classroom until September. But we are also exploring ways to safely get some kids back to school before the summer, to allow more parents to return to work. How these changes unfold are the focus of intensive discussion among Ministry of Education officials, school trustees, the BC Teachers’ Federation, CUPE, and other education sector partners.

For more information on protective measures that will be required of schools and post-secondary institutions, please refer to: BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy and Checklist.

Phase 4 (dates to be announced) Conditional on at least one of the following:

  • Wide vaccination
  • “Community immunity”
  • Broad successful treatments
    • Activities requiring large gatherings, such as: conventions, live audience professional sports, concerts
    • International tourism
***The timing of a safe restart of night clubs, casinos and bars is a more complicated consideration. As with other sectors, industry associations will be expected to develop safe operations plans, for review, that are in keeping with Public Health and Safety Guidelines, as well as WorkSafeBC***

THE LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

It will be a while before COVID-19 is behind us. Until then restrictions on large gatherings and international travel will remain. But some things will become a little easier. Over time, our parks, schools, child care facilities and camps will re-open. Neighbourhood stores and restaurants will re-open too. Guidelines will be in place for these businesses and organizations to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones. We’re not through this yet, but there are important things you can do to protect you and your loved ones, neighbours and colleagues.

  • Stay informed, be prepared and follow public health advice
  • Practice good hygiene (frequent hand washing, avoid touching face, cough into your sleeve, disinfect frequently touched surfaces)
  • Stay at home and away from others if you’re feeling ill (don’t go to school or work sick)
  • Maintain physical distancing outside your household (no handshaking or hugging, small numbers of contacts, keep a safe distance)
  • Clean your home and workspace more often
  • Consider using non-medical masks when physical distancing isn’t possible (on transit, shopping)
Together, we can take these actions to keep the curve flat, while doing more to improve our personal well-being, restart our economy and strengthen our connections in our communities.

BC’s Restart Plan lays out a series of steps that we will take together to protect people and ensure that our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.

Learn More
2: COVID-19: Self assessment - updated regularly

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with Covid-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment and App
3: Phone/Video Appointments - with everyone staying home we want to reassure you that we would love to virtually “see” you, even just to check in.

More info about preparing for your video or phone appointment with your family doctor:

https://bccfp.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Preparing-for-a-virtual-appointment-infographic.jpg

In-clinic visits remain extremely restricted, if you feel you need to be seen in person, you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will arrange for you to come in.

Reminder! Our video appointment software is very simple, and secure. You just need a smartphone OR tablet/laptop with camera and microphone AND an internet connection. No other special equipment or software is needed, but we will ask you for your consent and then allow you to sign in.

We will alert you to when we will be opening our doors to see patients.

For now, we are continuing with restricted in person clinic appointments.
Stay tuned for changes coming soon.

Click here for details on booking virtual appointments
Reminder! Our video appointment software is very simple, and secure. You just need a smartphone OR tablet/laptop with camera and microphone AND an internet connection. No other special equipment or software is needed, but we will ask you for your consent and then allow you to sign in.
4. Vaccine Clinics: 2 months - 18 months ONLY

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we will be opening the clinic on Saturdays for spaced out, booked, vaccine only appointments. We are prioritizing vaccines for babies/toddlers ages 2-18 months. (e.g. children 4 to 6 years old) continue to be delayed for now.
We have vaccine clinics every Saturday AND Monday.

They fill up fast so book right away.

  • May 16
  • May 23
  • May 25
  • May 30
Click for details about booking a Vaccine Appointment

5. Baby Care Basics


For babies 1 to 6 months old - & their parents!


This virtual session welcomes families with babies between the ages of 1 to 6 months for an informal and collaborative educational session about baby care including, baby (and parent) sleeping, introducing solids, tender baby skin care and safety in the home.

The group is a one-time event with up to 15 families/babies per session. The next session will be held on:

May 15th: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

There is no cost for this group

This Zoom group is facilitated by Dr. Jeanette Pedersen and Dr. Justine Spencer.

All babies at South Hill Health and South Community Birth Program are welcome to attend.

To register please please call South Hill Clinic (604-428-8870) or send an email with your name and the Subject Line: Baby Basics to: south.families@gmail.com

6. Motherlode: Pathways Forward for New Mothers - on Zoom


Back by popular demand! Groups are facilitated by Dr. Maralyn Hope

This group is intended for mothers who are struggling with any form of depression, anxiety or being overwhelmed in the postpartum period (baby or toddler up to 3 years of age). The group runs once a week for 6 weeks and covers information on diagnosis, symptoms and treatments of depression, anxiety & just simply feeling overwhelmed. Self-care is an important focus that is woven into the 6 week course with specific sessions on nutrition, exercise, sleep, making time for yourself and gathering supports. We review goal setting together each week, specific to your self-care and well-being. For the continuity and cohesiveness of the group, it is important that you commit to attending all six sessions. This is not a drop-in group.

This group runs for 6 weeks starting:

Every Wednesday from July 3rd to July 8th - FREE**
2:00pm to 3:30 pm, virtually, on Zoom.

Participation is limited and fills up quickly! If you are interested but this group if full, we will add your name to a waitlist for the next session. These groups are run ongoing throughout the year.

If you are interested, please send an email with your name and the names and ages of your child(ren) to south.families@gmail.com. In order to participate, you need to be able to converse and read English.

7. South Community Birth Program - Prenatal Care

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at approximately: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive at your appointment time and stay in your car.

WE WILL STILL CALL YOU TO COME UP (WHEN THE ROOM IS CLEAN). PLEASE CHECK IN WITH ADMIN - THEY WILL TAKE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE AND WEIGHT THEN BRING YOU RIGHT TO YOUR ROOM. WE WANT TO AVOID ANYONE HANGING OUT IN THE WAITING ROOM.

YOUR ENTIRE APPOINTMENT WILL NOW BE IN THE ROOM - NOT ON THE PHONE.

WE ARE SO HAPPY TO ONCE AGAIN HAVE YOUR PARTNER OR SUPPORT PERSON IN THE ROOM FOR THE VISIT! HOWEVER, WE KINDLY ASK THAT YOU DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO THE VISIT UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST. IF YOUR CHILD IS UNABLE TO NOT TOUCH SURFACES IN THE ROOM WE WILL ASK YOUR PARTNER TO WAIT OUTSIDE WITH THEM.

8. South Community Birth Program - Postpartum Care

For Postpartum Care, our hospital visits are done on day 1 and/or 2.

WE WILL BE STARTING TO PHASE OUT PHONE/VIDEO VISITS FOR YOUR POSTPARTUM APPOINTMENTS. TALK TO YOUR NURSE TO PLAN YOUR VISITS GOING FORWARD. WE HAVE HEARD FROM MANY OF YOU THAT THE IN-PERSON VISITS TO HELP WITH BREASTFEEDING ARE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE. BUT IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ALTERNATE WITH VIDEO AND IN PERSON CLINIC VISITS, LET YOUR NURSE KNOW.

POSTPARTUM DROP-IN ZOOM GROUPS ON WEDNESDAYS FROM 12 TO 2

Postpartum Drop-in Group is back and now on Zoom! We will continue to meet on Wednesdays between 12-2. Guest speakers will be there to teach you something new, answer your questions and, along with Alison & Chelsea, help facilitate the sharing of your own knowledge. Check out the schedule on the SCBP website under “Workshops” where you will also find the link to the Zoom meetings. Spread the word to your CP groupies & postpartum friends in general!

THESE DROP-IN ZOOM GROUPS ARE NOW OPEN TO EVERYONE - TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND OTHER MAMAS ON QUARANTINE THAT THEY ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US!

Pacific Post Partum Support Society (PPPSS) Pregnancy Support Group

Pacific Post Partum Support Society is pleased to announce that we are offering a drop-in peer support group for pregnant parents and parents whose babies have arrived (birth or adoption) since March 1st. During this difficult time PPPSS recognizes that expecting and very new parents are experiencing situations and worries that are beyond the normal stresses of this period. We would like to offer a dedicated place for expecting and new parents to meet and support each other during this time. The group will be facilitated by one of our experience staff, who will be on hand to offer resources, tips and lead discussions.

The group will meet, initially, on Wednesdays 12:30 to 2:30. We encourage parents to sign up, using the Zoom link. A simple registration is required.

It will be open to the first people who sign in each week as we will close the group off at 10 participants in order to give everyone time to share. If a parent is unable to get into the group due to it being full, one of our volunteers will help direct them to support.

Parents may contact the group facilitator for more information: clare@postpartum.org

Please find the full handout poster here.

9: SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom Groups

Connecting Pregnancy: After some initial technical learning curve/glitches, our virtual Zoom CP Groups are going well. You will receive an email with the meeting invite within 24-48 hours before your group date. Please read through the email and information and bring your signed consent forms with you to your in-person belly check. These groups will be held earlier in the afternoon and you will still be coming in for your regular belly check in the evening with your specified time which we will confirm with you the day before. Zoom meetings will not be recorded due to confidentiality.

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

10. Registered Clinical Counselor

Danielle Schroeder MA, RCC

We have received wonderful feedback on Danielle’s virtual support groups, focussed on dealing with the uncertainty, confusion and changes to our daily lives, caused by the COVID-19 virus. We are pleased to let you know that Danielle is available again for in-person counseling sessions, in the clinic. While she is happy to continue with virtual visits if you prefer, she also acknowledges that human connection, in person, can also be therapeutic. She has virtual or in-person appointments available on:

Tuesday, May 12, 19 and 26 - between 9am and 5pm
Thursday, May 14, 21 and 28 - between 3pm and 8pm
Friday, May 15, 22 and 29 - between 9:30am and 5:30pm


For more information or to register please email Danielle at:
yellaschroeder@gmail.com
11. Canadian COVID-19 in pregnancy surveillance: Epidemiology, maternal and infant outcomes

This multi-provincial surveillance project serves to better the understanding of COVID-19 in pregnancy, to increase understanding of the epidemiology of COVID-19 in pregnancy, and to provide critical data to inform recommendations for pregnant people and their infants. The project will determine the burden of COVID-19 among pregnant people in Canada, as well as maternal and infant outcomes associated with infection, including whether the virus may be transmitted from mother to fetus in pregnancy.

Learn More

12. COVID-19 - In the news & government support

Modeling informs next steps for B.C. - this is now posted on the BCCDC website

On April 17, Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix shared detailed modeling & projections, informed by PHSA’s Data Analytics Research and Evaluation (DARE) team and the BC Centre for Disease Control. The modelling captures trends to date and explores different scenarios going forward related to the number of COVID-19 cases B.C. might see and what impact that might have on critical care capacity depending on the rate and extent of relaxation of physical distancing and other societal restrictions currently in place.
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/modelling-projections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its list of possible symptoms of the coronavirus

This step reflects the broad variation and unpredictability in the way the illness can affect individual patients. Echoing the observations of doctors treating thousands of patients in the pandemic, the federal health agency changed its website to cite the following symptoms as possible indicators of Covid-19, the infection caused by the coronavirus:

  • chills
  • repeated shaking with chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • and, new loss of taste or smell.

Province secures shelter and supports for people living in major encampments

On April 25, the B.C. government announced it is working with the cities of Vancouver and Victoria to transition people living in encampments in Oppenheimer Park, Topaz Park and on Pandora Avenue into safe, temporary accommodations with wraparound supports to protect their health and safety in the overlapping COVID-19 and overdose crises. Since March 2020, the Province, in partnership with BC Housing and local municipalities, has worked to secure and operate 686 hotel and community centre accommodations in Vancouver and 324 hotel spaces in Victoria. The Province is focused on reducing the immediate health and safety risks to people living and working in these densely populated encampments, as well as those in the neighbouring communities. This transition is supported by an order under the Emergency Program Act under the provincial state of emergency issued by Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, as part of the Province’s all-of-government response to COVID-19. The order sets May 9, 2020, as the deadline to transition people out of the encampments.

More support for family caregivers

As part of British Columbia’s emergency COVID-19 response plan, the Province announced yesterday that it is doubling this year’s funding for Family Caregivers of British Columbia to $1 million, helping support both caregivers and seniors. Family Caregivers of B.C. is a not-for-profit organization that supports people who are caring for elderly loved ones, family or friends. With a network of local agencies throughout B.C., Family Caregivers will increase the capacity of its toll-free helpline with longer hours and offer a number of virtual connections related to emotional supports and health-care navigation.

Seniors and people who are caring for elderly loved ones, family or friends in need of supports can call 211 or 1-877-520-3267.

Virtual opportunities for LGBTQ2S+ students to connect

Students from the LGBTQ2S+ community, who may be feeling vulnerable and disconnected from their peers and schools, now have more virtual opportunities to connect with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to new provincial supports announced on April 26. For the first time, B.C.’s Gay-Straight or Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) meet-ups will be held virtually rather than in person, where students can join their friends online or over the phone.

The new approach and resources to be provided are informed by consultation with educators from 40 school districts, 14 independent schools and two First Nations, who recently took part in a webinar to learn ways to protect students’ privacy and safety while holding virtual GSA meet-ups. Virtual GSAs can provide a comfortable, supportive forum for students to share education information, or discuss LGBTQ2S+ issues, movies or books, and activities like playing networked video games or creating stuck-at-home music playlists. These at-home materials complement the recent Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions announcement of $5 million to expand existing mental-health programs and launch new services to support British Columbians during the pandemic.

Funding to improve rural internet connectivity

To help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. government has announced targeted funding that will give people in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in British Columbia access to faster internet services at a time when they need them most.

The $50-million Connecting British Columbia program now includes a funding stream to help internet service providers with immediate network equipment upgrades to rapidly improve capacity and internet speeds in underserved communities throughout the province.

Provincial state of emergency extended to May 12, 2020

The provincial state of emergency is being extended for the third time, to support the extraordinary measures taken by the Province under the Emergency Program Act to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“British Columbians have shown great leadership in our efforts to flatten the curve, but we can’t take our foot off the gas now,” said Premier John Horgan. “As we look toward the future and our ‘new normal,’ we must remember what got us to this point and continue to stay the course now to keep our communities and our loved ones safe.”

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has officially extended the state of emergency through the end of the day on May 12, 2020.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0022-000783

Our UPDATE is now twice a month. UPDATE #12 will be sent out Saturday May 23. If we have urgent news we will send it out earlier. Let us know if there is something you would like us to add for the wider community.



Stay healthy and safe,



Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA
(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team



Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD
(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team



We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.


If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.
If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO MAINTAIN A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC


COVID-19: Update #10

April 25, 2020

Be calm, be kind, be safe.

~Bonnie Henry

Update #10 Contents

  1. Support for anxiety and depression during COVID-19- A comprehensive resource list
  2. COVID-19: Self assessment - remember to look here first for all COVID related questions - updated regularly
  3. Phone/video appointments - We have lots of available appointments! Tips for a successful appointment
  4. COVID-19 testing guidelines
  5. Vaccine clinics: 2 months to 18 months - new dates!
  6. Messages of support for South Hill patients!
  7. SCBP - Prenatal Visits
  8. SCBP - Postpartum Visits & Postpartum drop-in
  9. SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  10. Prenatal support - Zoom group - new dates!
  11. Pregnancy and COVID-19 - Current Study
  12. Messages of support for SCBP patients!
  13. COVID-19 - In the news
  14. Government Support
  15. Food Resources during COVID-19
Thank you for bearing with us through these stressful and unprecedented times.
1. Support for anxiety and depression during COVID-19- A comprehensive resource list

We have gone back to our first UPDATE #1 (which seems so very long ago, doesn’t it?) and in this issue, UPDATE #10, we have compiled and expanded on all the support services available to help you (and your kids/family) cope with the uncertainty and anxiety that COVID-19 has made us all experience. You will now see an explanation on what each service can provide so you do not have to scroll through each resource to see what it can offer. Please let us know if you know of any other resources we may have missed.

South Hill and SCBP Registered Clinical Counselor

Has Covid-19 caused you to feel more anxious? Our registered counselor, Danielle Schroeder, is “seeing” patients with on-line appointments. Contact her to inquire about her sliding scale fees. Extended health covers her services. Subsidies available. All you have to do is ask…
https://oab.owlpractice.ca/danielleschroeder/booking


New virtual mental health supports for COVID-19 on the way

To ensure British Columbians have increased access to vital mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province has announced $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and services and launch new services to support British Columbians.
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MMHA0009-000655


BounceBack

Expanding access to free online, video and phone-based coaching and skills-building program so that more seniors, adults and youth who are experiencing low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry, can receive care. (Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division). Available now. For more information, visit:
www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19


Virtual counselling services

Expanding access to virtual community counselling for individuals or groups at low or no cost. A list of community counselling agencies offering virtual support is online. Available now. For more information, visit:
www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19

Peer support and system navigation

Expanding access to virtual mentoring and supports by increasing the number of peer support and system navigation workers. (Canadian Mental Health Association). Available now. For more information, visit:
www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19

Living Life to the Full

Launching access to free virtual Living Life to the Full peer support and practical skills courses for coping with stress, problem solving and boosting mood. The eight-week course is led by a trained facilitator. (Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division). Available now. For more information, visit:
www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19

Virtual mental health supports for youth: Foundry Virtual Clinic

Nine existing virtual Foundry centres are now accepting virtual walk-in counselling. A new provincewide youth-focused virtual clinic with counselling, peer support, primary care and family support for young people aged 12 to 24 and their families will be available via voice, video and chat. Available April 20, 2020. For more information, visit:
www.foundrybc.ca

Virtual mental health supports for seniors: BC211

The Province has already expanded bc211, a provincewide information and referral service, to match seniors whose support network has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with volunteers. This service will take calls from people who would like to volunteer to help seniors in their community with basic needs, including grocery shopping and pharmacy drop-offs and check-ins. Available now. For more information, visit:
http://www.bc211.ca/

Virtual mental health supports for victims of family or sexual violence: VictimLink BC

Immediate 24/7 crisis support for victims of family or sexual violence is available by phone through VictimLink BC’s 24/7 telephone service. Available now. For more information, call 1 800 563-0808 or email:
VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca

UBC of Okanagan collaborates with BC Psychological Association to offer free psychological first-aid

The BCPA Covid-19 Psychological Support Service is designed to help any BC resident who is experiencing stress, anxiety, or uncertainty due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Apply online or call this number: 604-827-0847
https://www.psychologists.bc.ca/

20 questions to ask instead of “How are you doing right now?”

When we keep asking the same question, or no questions at all, we lose out on a chance for deeper connections with our conversation partners, who also happen to be the people we care most about. We are tricked into believing we know how they’re feeling or what they’re thinking, when we haven’t even scratched the surface.
https://qz.com/work/1836105/20-great-questions-to-ask-instead-of-how-are-you-doing-right-now

An Eco Therapeutic mediation in ten steps: This is an exercise to help your body release the stress of constantly bracing for a disaster

Video and audio recordings from nature, plus tips from experts with some relaxing bell ringing!
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/style/self-care/coronavirus-guided-meditation-nature.html

Meditation for happier, healthier you: Free app

Freaking out? You’re not alone - and you’re not malfunctioning. We’re in a moment of uncertainty and anxiety. Hence our new experiment: Ten Percent Happier Live. Every day, we’ll offer a live sanity break, featuring our host, Dan Harris, and some of the world’s best meditation teachers, streaming from their homes to yours.
https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide

Mindfulness - Comprehensive list of resources

Watch these mindfulness videos to guide you through mindfulness practice. These short mindfulness practices can support you in becoming more present and reduce stress in your daily life.
http://www.phsa.ca/health-promotion-site/Documents/Mindfulness-Resources-at-PHSA.pdf

FOR YOUTH: Wellness together Canada: How to cope with social distancing during COVID-19

Social distancing. School closures. Cancelled events. Terms like these have become a regular part of our vocabulary over the past few weeks. As a result of the new coronavirus, young people across Canada are adjusting to lots of change and a new normal.
https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-info/how-to-cope-with-social-distancing-during-covid-19/

Here, Kids Help Phone shares some ways you can cope with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.


WHO guide to mental health and psychological considerations during COVID-19

This time of crisis is generating stress throughout the population. The considerations presented in this document have been developed by the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use as a series of messages that can be used in communications to support mental and psychosocial well-being in different target groups during the outbreak.
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf

New counselling service for post-secondary students

The B.C. government, through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, today announced Here2Talk, a new mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Apply online or call this number: 1-877-857-339
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AEST0024-000698

Insight Timer App for sleep, anxiety and stress:

It is scientifically proven that sleep meditation can help fight mild insomnia and other sleep disorders. If you wake consistently at night or suffer from restless sleep patterns, this broad collection will help calm the mind and relax the body in preparation for sleep.
https://insighttimer.com/

Be there - How to recognize someone might be struggling with their mental health

How to recognize when someone might be struggling with their mental health and gives you 5 Golden Rules to help you support and be there for them.
https://bethere.org/Be-There-Basics

Anxiety Canada

This app employs scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help users learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of their anxiety.
https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/what-to-do-if-you-are-anxious-or-worried-about-coronavirus-covid-19/

Calm - Take a deep breath. Train your mind to sleep more, stress less and live better

Take a deep breath. Train your mind to sleep more, stress less and live better.
https://www.instagram.com/calm/?hl=en

20 things to do at home instead of banging your head against a wall

Okay, so things have escalated quickly. Whether you’re hunkering down at home or just avoiding crowds for the moment, we’ve been putting our heads together at the MNC HQ to make life a little easier for you. Sure you can catch up on a juicy novel and watch Netflix to your heart’s content – but what else? It’s time to get creative and make lemonade…
https://www.messynessychic.com/2020/03/12/hobbies-at-home/

2: COVID-19: Self assessment - updated regularly

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with Covid-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment and App
3: Phone/Video Appointments - with everyone staying home, our appointment volume is down and we want to reassure you that we would love to virtually “see” you, even just to check in.

Tips for a successful VIRTUAL appointment.

  1. BOOK THE RIGHT KIND OF APPOINTMENT - The South Hill website online booking page https://southhillhealth.com (Veribook) has several options, please poke around and find the one that best suits what you need. Bonus points! At the end of your appointment, Ask your doctor/NP if you selected the one they think you need.
  2. LEAVE ENOUGH TIME - Please be available for your appointment 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the scheduled appointment time! (We do our best to be on time, but this is new stuff for everyone, please be patient)
  3. VIDEO APPOINTMENTS, enter the “virtual waiting room” at least 5 minutes before your appointment time.
  4. KNOW YOUR PREFERRED PHARMACY: this includes FAX NUMBER (!! really !!), mailing address and exact name of pharmacy. Have this information written down and in front of you at the time of the appointment.
  5. Allow your phone to accept calls from “unknown” or “blocked” phone numbers.
  6. Find a quiet, private place to have your appointment.
  7. If the appointment is cut off unexpectedly, prepare to receive a telephone follow up.

More info about preparing for your video or phone appointment with your family doctor:
https://bccfp.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Preparing-for-a-virtual-appointment-infographic.jpg

In-clinic visits remain extremely restricted, if you feel you need to be seen in person, you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will arrange for you to come in.

We have made some changes to our South Hill website online booking page at: https://southhillhealth.com. Now at the time of booking you can choose between a phone or video appointment online.
Click here for details on booking virtual appointments
Reminder! Our video appointment software is very simple, and secure. You just need a smartphone OR tablet/laptop with camera and microphone AND an internet connection. No other special equipment or software is needed, but we will ask you for your consent and then allow you to sign in.
4: COVID-19 testing Guidelines - Changes!
  • We use the testing guidelines posted on the BCCDC’s website. The guidelines for testing health care workers have NOT changed.
  • Even patients with MILD SYMPTOMS are now being tested. If you have symptoms, please use this assessment tool https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en.
    • Testing is being done at designated sites (and occasionally at the clinic). You can check here for a collection site near you: British Columbia COVID-19 Collection Centres A doctor’s note is not needed to go to these testing sites. However, we would be happy to help you decide if you should make the trip! Just book in with your regular care provider, or call and ask for a same day appointment with “the doctor of the day”.
    • Patients who DO NOT have symptoms should (still) not be tested for COVID-19.
5: Vaccine Clinics: 2 months - 18 months ONLY

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we will be opening the clinic on Saturdays for spaced out, booked, vaccine only appointments. We are prioritizing vaccines for babies/toddlers ages 2-18 months. (e.g. children 4 to 6 years old) continue to be delayed for now.
We have vaccine clinics every Saturday AND Monday.

They fill up fast so book right away.

  • April 27
  • May 2
  • May 4
  • May 9
  • May 11
  • May 16
  • May 23
  • May 25
  • May 30
Click for details about booking a Vaccine Appointment


Messages of support from the South Hill team to all our patients!

Although we miss seeing all your faces in the clinic, we are happy to still be able to talk to you via phone and email, and help connect you to your providers and the services you need. Some of you have even sent pictures and little messages of encouragement yourselves to us! Those have been widely appreciated and shared with everyone in the clinic. These are the small acts of kindness that we’re seeing everyday, in and out of the clinic, and they are what will see us through safely to the end of the pandemic. We look forward to the day when the restrictions are lifted and the clinic is as busy and as full of life as it was before. Until then, keep safe and well, and take care of yourselves and each other.
Celia Chan, admin team leader at South Hill


The past few weeks have been challenging. During these unprecedented times, we can truly feel the sense of community now more than ever. Take this time to enjoy a slower pace; take time to enjoy the moment, breath and relax. Physical distancing does not mean isolating, stay connected, and be kind to one another. This has never been more important. Be assured that I am here to continue providing you with the care that you need, no matter how small. I am here to help you in any way that I can. Remember to stay home, stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive.

Chère communauté francophone, nous faisons présentement face à des temps difficiles. Maintenant plus que jamais, nous pouvons ressentir l’importance de se soutenir en tant que communauté. Profitez du confinement pour ralentir votre rythme de vie, relaxer, respirer et vivre le moment présent. La distanciation sociale ne signifie pas l’isolement. Restez connectés avec vos familles et amis, tout comme avec vos professionnels de la santé. Soyez assurés que je suis disponible pour vous et votre famille afin de veiller à votre santé et bien-être. #çavabienaller
Dr Evelyn Perron


Watch this space for messages from more South Hill providers in future updates.

7: SCBP - Prenatal Visits

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at approximately: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive at your appointment time and stay in your car. Your care provider will call you and conduct the majority of your appointment on the phone/video and then ask you to come in for the physical exam portion of your visit. This is being done to minimize the amount of time you are in the clinic. When you arrive in the clinic we are practicing Physical Distancing.

We will continue to do most of our information sharing on the phone/video. While we are in this critical phase of Physical Distancing, we will be doing quick medical check-ups in the clinic but all necessary lab requisitions and relevant educational materials will be emailed. Your care provider will be booking your follow-up details after every appointment. Some pregnant people may need fewer in-person visits, while others with complications will need more.

8: SCBP - Postpartum Visits
For Postpartum Care, our hospital or in-clinic visits will be held on approximately days 1 and 2. Clinic visits will be booked in 2 parts- a 15 minute clinic visit for the exam and then a follow up phone or video appointment to review the baby’s feeding plan, etc. We will see you once in the first week; then at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. There will be as many phone/video appointments as needed, in between these postpartum visits.

POSTPARTUM DROP IN GROUP IS BACK!

Postpartum Drop-in Group is back and now on Zoom! We will continue to meet on Wednesdays between 12-2. Guest speakers will be there to teach you something new, answer your questions and, along with Alison & Chelsea, help facilitate the sharing of your own knowledge. Check out the schedule on the SCBP website under “Workshops” where you will also find the link to the zoom meetings. Spread the word to your CP groupies & postpartum friends in general!”

9: SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom Groups

Connecting Pregnancy: We are launching our virtual zoom CP Groups and are hosting our first one today. You will receive an email with the meeting invite within 24-48 hours of your group date. Please read through the email and pdf documents and bring your signed consent forms with you to your belly check. These groups will be held earlier in the afternoon and you will still be coming in for your regular belly check in the evening with your specified time which we will confirm with you the day before. Zoom meetings will not be recorded due to confidentiality.

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

10: Prenatal support Zoom group - see new dates!
This is a pre-registered group and will be limited to 8 people (or couples) per session and the sessions run over 3 weeks.

Prenatal Virtual Support Group

Danielle Schroeder (Registered Clinical Counsellor, MA, RCC)


Dates: Friday, April 24th, Friday May 1st and Friday, May 8
From 4:30pm to 6:00pm


Cost : $75 for the all three groups
Full subsidies are available - Just ask!

We are all dealing with a tremendous amount of uncertainty, confusion and changes to our daily lives, which can cause increased anxiety, depression and fear. If you are feeling unsettled or worse, please know that we are here to help. We are offering a Virtual Prenatal Support Group for expecting parents. Social and emotional support is an important part of self-care during this time of physical distancing.

This Virtual Prenatal Support Group is a safe space to talk openly about how you have been feeling and coping through your pregnancy with the support of others going through something similar.

For more information or to register please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com
11: Pregnancy and COVID-19 - Current Study

In this correspondence to the editor, the authors describe the clinical characteristics of pregnant people with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China

Key results:
  • 118 pregnant people (median age 31 years, IQR 28-34) were identified between December 8, 2019, and March 20, 2020, representing 0.24% of COVID-19 patients at the identified hospitals.
  • Diagnosis: 84/118 (71%) tested positive by PCR, and 34/118 (29%) had suggestive chest CT findings.
  • Clinical and laboratory characteristics:
    • 75/118 (64%) were infected in the third trimester;
    • 55/106 (52%) were having their first baby;
    • The most common symptoms in 112 pregnant people with available data were fever (75%) and cough (73%);
    • 51/116 (44%) had lymphopenia;
    • 88/111 (79%) of patients who underwent chest CT had bilateral lung infiltrates.
  • Severity of disease:
    • 109/118 (92%) had mild disease;
    • 9/118 (8%) had severe disease (hypoxemia); 6 of the 9 developed severe disease after delivery, including one patient who received non-invasive mechanical ventilation (critical disease).
      • vs. Risk in the general population of COVID-19 patients across mainland China has been reported at 16%.
  • Outcomes:
    • 94% were discharged as of March 20, 2020, including all patients with severe or critical disease. There were no deaths;
    • There were 2 ectopic pregnancies, 3 spontaneous abortions, and 4 induced abortions (due to patients’ concerns about COVID-19);
    • 68/118 (58%) delivered during the study period, of which 93% received a C-section;
      • In 61% of cases (38/62), this was performed due to concerns about effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy.
    • 21% (14/68) deliveries were premature and 8 were induced (7 due to COVID-19 concerns);
    • There was no neonatal asphyxia or neonatal death;
    • Throat swabs of 8 newborns and breast milk of 3 mothers were tested, with negative results for SAR-CoV-2.
  • Conclusions: “The present data do not suggest an increased risk of severe disease among pregnant people”.

Messages of support from the SCBP team to all our patients!

The ADMIN team at SCBP would like to say Thank You to all of our patients who have been extremely cooperative, patient and understanding throughout the transition to the “new normal” at SCBP. We miss seeing all of your beautiful faces and cute babies and being able to interact with you without a mask, gloves and scrubs on but please know that we are here for you to assist you in any way we can. We hope you are staying safe and healthy but still finding ways to have FUN with your loved ones.

A HUGE Thank You to our amazing clinicians at South Hill and South Community Birth Program, all the midwives, doctors and nurses, for everything they have done to make this transition as smooth as it has been for ALL OF US; for taking such great care of their ADMIN team ensuring that we are all protected and safe, everyday. We would be nothing without you.
Gerilou Fontanilla, ADMIN team leader at SCBP

Thank you all for taking the physical distancing guidelines seriously and for doing your part in bending the curve! I know the current situation feels uncertain and can bring about new concerns, and I am happy to speak with you about your physical and mental health needs to help navigate this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to use us as a resource. We are here for you.
Dr Preveena Dharmaraj

Watch this space for messages from more SCBP provider messages in future updates.

13: COVID-19 - In the news

Modeling informs next steps for B.C. - this is now posted on the BCCDC website

On April 17, Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix shared detailed modeling & projections, informed by PHSA’s Data Analytics Research and Evaluation (DARE) team and the BC Centre for Disease Control. The modelling captures trends to date and explores different scenarios going forward related to the number of COVID-19 cases B.C. might see and what impact that might have on critical care capacity depending on the rate and extent of relaxation of physical distancing and other societal restrictions currently in place.
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/modelling-projections

B.C. launches Covid-19 dashboard

A new, interactive dashboard featuring the latest numbers about COVID-19 launched this week. The dashboard provides an overview of testing and case information throughout the province including total case counts, case counts by health authority, numbers of people who are in hospital, in the ICU, who have died and recovered. It is a collaboration between PHSA, BCCDC and the Ministry of Health.
https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/a6f23959a8b14bfa989e3cda29297ded

14: Government Support

Click on the blue links to access supports for vulnerable populations. More B.C. government information can be found about the temporary suspension of evictions of tenants in subsidized and affordable housing; the temporary rental supplement program; emergency support through Community Living BC; spaces that have been secured for vulnerable people to self-isolate; temporary supports and supplements for people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors; and emergency support for food banks.


Collaborative framework for rural, remote and inidigenous communities in B.C.

The government has announced a new, collaborative framework that will help ensure people living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in B.C. have access to critical health care they can count on to meet their unique needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

The framework outlines immediate actions to improve health-care services and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  1. Improved medical transportation options to larger centres, including flight and ambulance;
  2. Housing options for people looking to self-isolate near their families while remaining in their home communities;
  3. New and faster COVID-19 testing technology;
  4. Culturally-safe contact tracing that respects privacy in small communities;
  5. Access to Virtual Doctor of the Day, a program that connects First Nations members and their families in remote communities to a doctor or nurse practitioner using videoconferencing;
  6. Options for accommodation near larger centres with more medical services; and,
  7. Increased mental health supports in communities.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0020-000725

New ticketing measures to enforce Emergency Program Act orders

On Sunday, April 19 the B.C. government announced that police and other enforcement officers now have the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for price gouging and the reselling of medical supplies and other essential goods during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If required, police and other enforcement officers will also be able to actively enforce and ticket those who:

  • exceed the quantity limits on the sale of specified items;
  • do not comply with the requirement for hotel and other lodging operators to provide accommodation at the request of the Province to serve as self-isolation facilities or to support essential workers.
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000717
15: Food Resources During COVID-19

Places in Vancouver for free food hampers and to-go meals

View large version of this image
We are moving our UPDATE to twice a month. UPDATE #11 will be sent out Friday May 8. If there is urgent news we will send it out earlier. Let us know if there is something you would like us to add for the wider community.



Stay healthy and safe,



Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA
(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team



Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD
(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team



We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.


If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.
If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO MAINTAIN A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC


COVID-19: Update #9

April 18, 2020

Update #9 Contents

  1. COVID-19: Self assessment - remember to look here first for all COVID related questions - updated regularly
  2. Routine Screening (Don’t worry about your pap test!)
  3. My family doctor cares!
  4. The Doctor is in! … Tips for better virtual appointments, and how to book
  5. COVID-19 testing guidelines
  6. Vaccine clinics: 2 months to 18 months - appointments still available
  7. Messages of support for South Hill patients!
  8. SCBP - Prenatal Visits
  9. SCBP - Postpartum Visits
  10. SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  11. Prenatal support - Zoom group - new dates!
  12. Pregnancy and COVID-19 - Evolving recommendations
  13. Messages of support for SCBP patients!
  14. COVID-19 - In the news
  15. Government Support
  16. Mental Health Support
Thank you for bearing with us through these stressful and unprecedented times. The phone lines into the clinic are so busy - but not because you are calling us! It is because we are all sitting in our offices calling you! We will be getting more phone lines - hopefully soon!
1: COVID-19: Self assessment - updated regularly

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with Covid-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment and App
2: Routine Screening - e.g. Pap tests, mammograms and FIT testing

The bottomline: do not worry about routine screening until we start seeing patients regularly at the clinic (but if you have any concerns or symptoms, book a phone appointment to get personalized advice.)

Rationale and details
Many cancer screening services are being temporarily suspended at this time to assist in efforts to minimize COVID-19 transmission in healthy people and to allow the health system to focus resources on urgent and emergent care.

Visiting your health care provider for the sole purpose of getting a pap is not recommended at this time because a pap test is a non-urgent, non-emergent screening test. By not visiting your health care provider you are supporting social distancing which will assist in efforts to minimize COVID-19 transmission in healthy people.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding (such as bleeding in between periods, bleeding during/after sex or after menopause), abnormal vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse, please speak with your health care provider.

Review information on breast cancer screening
Review information on colon cancer screening
3: My Family Doctor Cares!

This campaign by the BC College of Family Physicians features South Hill’s own, Dr Justine Spencer. Click the link below to see her message:

Your family doctor is here, by phone, by video or in-person appointment to help you remain healthy and safe. We know that taking care of your health has never been more important.
4: Phone/Video Appointments - we would love to virtually “see” you - Tips for a successful appointment.
  1. LEAVE ENOUGH TIME - Please be available for your appointment 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the scheduled appointment time! (We do our best to be on time, but this is new stuff for everyone, please be patient)
  2. VIDEO APPOINTMENTS, enter the “virtual waiting room” at least 5 minutes before your appointment time.
  3. KNOW YOUR PREFERRED PHARMACY: this includes FAX NUMBER (!! really !!), mailing address and exact name of pharmacy. Have this information written down and in front of you at the time of the appointment.
  4. Allow your phone to accept calls from “unknown” or “blocked” phone numbers.
  5. Find a quiet, private place to have your appointment.
  6. If the appointment is cut off unexpectedly, prepare to receive a telephone follow up.
In-clinic visits remain extremely restricted, if you feel you need to be seen in person, you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will arrange for you to come in.
Click here for details on booking virtual appointments
Our video appointment software is very simple, and secure. You just need a smartphone OR tablet/laptop with camera and microphone AND an internet connection. No other special equipment or software is needed, but we will ask you for your consent and then allow you to sign in.
5: COVID-19 testing Guidelines
  • We use the testing guidelines posted on the BCCDC’s website. The guidelines for testing health care workers have NOT changed.
  • For some individuals and populations, the results of a COVID-19 test will change clinical or public health management. COVID-19 testing recommendations are focused on highlighting these individuals and populations.
  • Patients who DO NOT have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19.
To determine if you need a test, use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment above and/or book a phone appointment to speak to South Hill’s “Doctor of the Day”
6: Vaccine Clinics: 2 months - 18 months ONLY

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we will be opening the clinic on Saturdays for spaced out, booked, vaccine only appointments. We are prioritizing vaccines for babies/toddlers ages 2-18 months. (e.g. children 4 to 6 years old) continue to be delayed for now.
We have vaccine clinics every Saturday AND Monday.

They fill up fast so book right away.

New dates are highlighted:

  • April 20
  • April 18
  • April 25
  • April 27
  • May 2
  • May 4
  • May 9
  • May 11
  • May 16
  • May 23
  • May 25
  • May 30
Click for details about booking a Vaccine Appointment


Messages of support from the South Hill team to all our patients!

My take home from all the things we’ve seen and been through in the last few months is that health should not be taken for granted. Your health has never been more important. I’m still working my full hours and am here for you, whether it be a concern about COVID, or your routine follow up appointments or perhaps you have some other health goals you’d like to start working on. Thank you all for your patience as we all find new ways to work towards improving health, whatever that means for you! I’m so happy we’re still able to meet over phone or video or, as needed, in person.
Dr. Danielle Chard


I am thinking about all of you and your families during these difficult times. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your mental or physical wellbeing, or check in about your preventative health. I am happy to have a phone or virtual visit with you to review how you can work towards your personal health goals. Most importantly, let’s all be kind to one another and help each other through this period of uncertainty. Kindness is good medicine!
Dr. Justine Spencer


I am thinking of you during this unprecedented, challenging time, and am happy to be able to connect with you via phone and video. The team at South Hill (and SCBP) is so inspiring and I am proud of all the ways we have found to stay connected and provide service to you, our patients. Please continue to let us know what you need!
Dr. Rita McCracken


Watch this space for messages from more South Hill providers in future updates.

8: SCBP - Prenatal Visits

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at approximately: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive at your appointment time and stay in your car. Your care provider will call you and conduct the majority of your appointment on the phone/video and then ask you to come in for the physical exam portion of your visit. This is being done to minimize the amount of time you are in the clinic. When you arrive in the clinic we are practicing Physical Distancing.

We will continue to do most of our information sharing on the phone/video. While we are in this critical phase of Physical Distancing, we will be doing quick medical check-ups in the clinic but all necessary lab requisitions and relevant educational materials will be emailed. Your care provider will be booking your follow-up details after every appointment. Some pregnant people may need fewer in-person visits, while others with complications will need more.

9: SCBP - Postpartum Visits
For Postpartum Care, our hospital or in-clinic visits will be held on approximately days 1 and 2. Clinic visits will be booked in 2 parts- a 15 minute clinic visit for the exam and then a follow up phone or video appointment to review the baby’s feeding plan, etc. We will see you once in the first week; then at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. There will be as many phone/video appointments as needed, in between these postpartum visits.
10: SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom Groups

Connecting Pregnancy: We are launching our virtual zoom CP Groups and are hosting our first one today. You will receive an email with the meeting invite within 24-48 hours of your group date. Please read through the email and pdf documents and bring your signed consent forms with you to your belly check. These groups will be held earlier in the afternoon and you will still be coming in for your regular belly check in the evening with your specified time which we will confirm with you the day before. Zoom meetings will not be recorded due to confidentiality.

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

11: Prenatal support Zoom group - see new dates!
This is a pre-registered group and will be limited to 8 people (or couples) per session and the sessions run over 3 weeks.

Prenatal Virtual Support Group

Danielle Schroeder (Registered Clinical Counsellor, MA, RCC)


Dates: Friday, April 24th, Friday May 1st and Friday, May 8
From 4:30pm to 6:00pm


Cost : $75 for the all three groups
Full subsidies are available - Just ask!

We are all dealing with a tremendous amount of uncertainty, confusion and changes to our daily lives, which can cause increased anxiety, depression and fear. If you are feeling unsettled or worse, please know that we are here to help. We are offering a Virtual Prenatal Support Group for expecting parents. Social and emotional support is an important part of self-care during this time of physical distancing.

This Virtual Prenatal Support Group is a safe space to talk openly about how you have been feeling and coping through your pregnancy with the support of others going through something similar.

For more information or to register please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com
12: Pregnancy and COVID-19 - Evolving Recommendations
  • Pregnant people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the first and second trimesters, health care providers can order a COVID-19 test based on their clinical judgement.
  • Pregnant people in the third trimester with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are a PRIORITY group for testing. These symptoms include: fever; cough; shortness of breath; runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, pain when swallowing, headache, muscle ache, fatigue, loss of sense of smell, loss of appetite, chills, vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • Screen newborn after delivery - (still no evidence of vertical transmission)
  • Pregnant people who are not working in essential services or health care should socially isolate like all members of the community.
  • Pregnant people who are in essential services including healthcare workers can continue to work if asymptomatic and not a recent COVID-19 contact. They should use PPE precautions as appropriate for their work environment.
BC Women’s Hospital continues to practice patient-centered care. One support partner and a doula are permitted during labour. The partner must stay in the room with the labouring person. If the partner or the doula develop any sign/symptoms of illness they will be asked to put on a face mask and leave.

Breast/chest feeding & COVID-19 Infographic

Messages of support from the SCBP team to all our patients!

It might be interesting to review the changes to our clinic since Covid-19. You will see the plexiglass in front of our admin team, people wearing hospital scrubs, gloves and masks for patient care. We are wiping down equipment and furniture all day. We are also spacing out appointments and doing all or part of each appointment over the phone. CP groups and Motherlode groups have moved online to Zoom. One of our most difficult changes, however, has been asking the partners and their children to not attend appointments in the clinic. We’d like to say a special thank you for your understanding on this. Please know we miss your participation in the clinic appointments, but we hope to see you on FaceTime or Zoom for the belly checks!
Lori, SCBP Nurse Practitioner

Although this is a challenging time for everyone right now, the sense of community and the desire to help people is so strong! Your SCBP postpartum continues to care for you and your baby, just as we did before COVID-19. Your worries and questions, no matter how big or small, are still a priority for us and we will strive to make your transition to parenthood as smooth as possible. Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!
Caroline Phillipson, Postpartum Leader, RN, Lactation Consultant


Thank you all for bearing with us while we figure out how to work in a whole different way - to keep you safe and connected. This week, we did our first Connecting Pregnancy groups via Zoom. I was surprised how connected and open people were and how well it worked to talk and share. We heard 4 birth stories and everyone got to “meet” the new babies! Worrying about COVID-19 is not how any of you thought you would spend your pregnancies and I want to emphasize that we are here to support you, help you stay connected and celebrate with you as you become parents!
Kiran Nayar, Family Doctor


Watch this space for messages from more SCBP provider messages in future updates.

14: COVID-19 - In the news

BC extends provincial state of emergency

The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on April 28, 2020, allowing the government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe. The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration for further periods of time for up to 14 days at a time. Premier John Horgan says: “British Columbians should be proud of the way we have responded to this crisis. But the work is not over. We must hold our ground and take all the steps needed to make sure our communities remain safe and our essential service workers are supported in our ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

B.C. preparing to ease some COVID-19 restrictions in May

But only if cases keep falling.”We are going to develop an evidence-based and thoughtful plan for our way forward,” Henry said. “It is essential for everyone in B.C. to maintain what we have been doing … [but] it is perhaps, maybe, the end of the beginning.”

COVID-19 cases in B.C. by the numbers


Modeling informs next steps for B.C.

On April 17, Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix held a technical briefing and subsequent news conference during which they shared detailed epidemiological modelling informed by PHSA’s Data Analytics Research and Evaluation (DARE) team and the BC Centre for Disease Control. The modelling captures trends to date and explores different scenarios going forward related to the number of COVID-19 cases B.C. might see and what impact that might have on critical care capacity depending on the rate and extent of relaxation of physical distancing and other societal restrictions currently in place.

  • Overall, Dr. Henry stated that physical distancing measures are succeeding at flattening the curve in B.C., but we need to continue to hold the course or we risk seeing another surge.
  • It was suggested that provincially, we may look at gradually restarting some scheduled surgeries in mid-May.
  • Going forward, the province will move away from looking at models based on scenarios in other countries, such as China or Italy, as we now have more data available from B.C.
  • The PHO stressed that we need to find a balance between allowing the economy and health care system continue to function and preventing further transmission, and that we won’t be returning to the “old normal” any time soon, rather B.C. will be looking at a more gradual reintroduction that allows for physical distancing, potentially over the next 12-18 months.


B.C. launches Covid-19 dashboard

A new, interactive dashboard featuring the latest numbers about COVID-19 launched this week. The dashboard provides an overview of testing and case information throughout the province including total case counts, case counts by health authority, numbers of people who are in hospital, in the ICU, who have died and recovered. It is a collaboration between PHSA, BCCDC and the Ministry of Health.

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/a6f23959a8b14bfa989e3cda29297ded

15: Government Support

Emergency Response Benefit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government is adding further support for those who don’t qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), and Canadians working in essential jobs who make less than they would if they received the benefit.

To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government will be changing the eligibility rules to:

  1. Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  2. Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  3. Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.

In recognition that some essential workers’ salaries may be less or similar than what they would receive from the CERB, the government will work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of workers deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19, who make less than $2,500 a month.

More details as to the application and delivery of this measure will be released following further work with the federal government, provinces and territories.
https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/15/prime-minister-announces-expanded-access-canada-emergency-responsel


Online options for students to support social, emotional well-being

The BC government announced new, free virtual educational programs for students, parents and educators are supporting social and emotional well-being as part of navigating the new world of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The free, virtual WE Well-being program was recently launched as part of the new WE Schools @home program. Accessible for grades K-12 in both English and French, the program is aimed at youth who are experiencing anxiety and social isolation. It places a special emphasis on WE Well-being online learning, including social-emotional learning and resiliency.
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0029-000709


Indigenous Resources

Well Living House is committed to providing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples with accurate and Indigenous-specific information about COVID-19. Our focus is on gathering, using, sharing, and protecting indigenous health and well-being knowledge and practices. We take care of each other, wherever we are.
http://www.welllivinghouse.com/resources/covid-19-information

16: Mental Health Support

New virtual mental health supports for COVID-19 on the way
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MMHA0009-000655

UBCO collaborates with BC Psychological Association to offer free psychological first-aid
Apply online or call this number: 604-827-0847
https://www.psychologists.bc.ca/

Meditation for happier, healthier you: Free app
https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide

Mindfulness - Comprehensive list of resources
http://www.phsa.ca/health-promotion-site/Documents/Mindfulness-Resources-at-PHSA.pdf

Wellness together Canada: Mental health and substance use support
https://ca.portal.gs/

WHO guide to mental health and psychological considerations during COVID-19
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf

New counselling service for post-secondary students
The B.C. government, through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, today announced Here2Talk, a new mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Apply online or call this number: 1-877-857-3397
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AEST0024-000698

Stay healthy and safe,



Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA
(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team



Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD
(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team



We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.


If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.
If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO MAINTAIN A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC

COVID-19: Update #8

April 10, 2020

Yesterday’s update was sent a little too early.
Please read this one for the latest updated information.

Update #8 Contents

  1. COVID-19: Self assessment - updated regularly
  2. COVID-19 testing changes - New testing guidelines
  3. The Doctor is in! … Virtual appointments and how to book
  4. Vaccine clinics: 2 months to 18 months - new dates now open
  5. Messages of support for South Hill patients!
  6. SCBP - Prenatal Visits
  7. SCBP - Postpartum Visits
  8. SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  9. Update on pregnancy and COVID-19
  10. Prenatal support group - Zoom group dates
  11. Fear and uncertainty during a pandemic - Zoom group dates
  12. Messages of support for SCBP patients!
  13. COVID-19 - In the news
  14. Government financial support programs - Emergency Response Benefit
  15. Helpful links for grownups
  16. Helpful links for kids
Thank you for bearing with us through these stressful and unprecedented times. The phone lines into the clinic are so busy - but not because you are calling us! It is because we are all sitting in our offices calling you! We will be getting more phone lines - hopefully soon!
1: COVID-19: Self assessment - updated regularly

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with Covid-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment and App
2: COVID-19 testing - New testing guidelines
  • New testing guidelines have been posted on the BCCDC’s website. The guidelines for testing health care workers have not changed.
  • For some individuals and populations, the results of a COVID-19 test will change clinical or public health management. COVID-19 testing recommendations are focused on highlighting these individuals and populations.
  • Patients who DO NOT have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19.
To determine if you need a test, use the THRIVE COVID-19 Self-Assessment and/or book a phone appointment to speak to South Hill’s “Doctor of the Day”
Learn more about the new guidelines
3: The Doctor (and Nurse Practitioner) is in! Virtual Appointments - we would love to “see” you
In-clinic visits remain extremely restricted, if you feel you need to be seen in person, you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will arrange for you to come in.
Click here for details on booking virtual appointments
Click the button above for the details on how to get started with Doxy.me video appointments.

It is very simple, and secure, for you to use. No special equipment or software is needed, but we will ask you for your consent and then allow you to sign in. We have made some changes to our South Hill website online booking page at: https://southhillhealth.com. Now at the time of booking you can choose between a phone or video appointment online.

For all phone/video appointments and prescription renewals: please have your preferred pharmacy information available at the time of your phone or virtual visit including; Name of your pharmacy, address, phone and fax number.

4: Vaccine Clinics for children, 2 - 18 months ONLY - new dates now open

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we will be opening the clinic on Saturdays for spaced out, booked, vaccine only appointments. We are prioritizing vaccines for babies/toddlers ages 2-18 months. (e.g. children 4 to 6 years old) continue to be delayed for now.
We have vaccine clinics every Saturday AND Monday.

They fill up fast so book right away.

New dates are highlighted:

  • April 11
  • April 20
  • April 18
  • April 25
  • April 27
  • May 4
Click for details about booking a Vaccine Appointment

Messages of support for South Hill patients!


I want you to know that I am striving to continue to provide you with the care you need. Some of you have been telling me you feel your issues are too small to deal with at this time, but please know that I take all of your medical needs seriously. I am more than happy to help you with anything, big or small! I encourage you to book an appointment for whatever you need over phone/video and we can decide together if we need to meet face to face.
Dr. Adriana Mejia-French for Dr. Sharma

While we’ve all struggled with how to adjust our days and obligations during the last few weeks, this shared experience is showing us all the importance of our families and friends. Thank you to everybody who understands the challenges the medical community has faced, and I hope you are feeling supported by our team. South Hill has undergone some amazing, albeit drastic, changes to make sure that we can continue to be here for you. Please know that I’m still working my regular hours, from home and from the clinic, so am available just as before and look forward to hearing from you. Let’s all continue to work to flatten the curve and follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice; stay home & stay safe.
Dr Jim Grant

Although this has been such a difficult time, please know that you are definitely not alone. Please reach out if you need support for any of your health issues and I will help you in any way that I can. This too shall pass! I’m here if you need me. Stay safe!
Meggie Guinan NP

Thanks to everyone who is doing their best to stay home, stay safe, and help us in our efforts to control the pandemic. This is a challenging time for all of us, but we are all in it together! I encourage you to get in touch and make an appointment if you need support or have any concerns that arise during this time. I hope you are all well!
Dr. Stephanie Stacey

As the pediatrician at South Hill, I am so grateful for this community that is trying to make the best of this situation for children and youth. We are here for your families. I am seeing children who have been disconnected from their usual routines and worry about the changing world around them. I encourage us all to be kind to our children, model positive coping skills for anxiety, keep routines going, and show them the same unconditional love we always have. I am hopeful that when we look back at this time, we can show young people the resilience to get through any difficult time.
Dr. Gilbert Lam

Watch this space for messages from more South Hill providers in future updates.

6: SCBP - Prenatal Visits

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at approximately: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive at your appointment time and stay in your car (unless you are having your CP belly check or a post-partum visit, come up to the office). Your care provider will call you and conduct the majority of your appointment on the phone/video and then ask you to come in for the physical exam portion of your visit. This is being done to minimize the amount of time you are in the clinic. When you arrive in the clinic we are practicing Physical Distancing.

We will continue to do most of our information sharing on the phone/video. While we are in this critical phase of Physical Distancing, we will be doing quick medical check-ups in the clinic but all necessary lab requisitions and relevant educational materials will be emailed. Your care provider will be booking your follow-up details after every appointment. Some pregnant people may need fewer in-person visits, while others with complications will need more.

7: SCBP - Postpartum Visits
For Postpartum Care, our hospital or in-clinic visits will be held on approximately days 1 and 2. Clinic visits will be booked in 2 parts- a 15 minute clinic visit for the exam and then a follow up phone or video appointment to review the baby’s feeding plan, etc. We will see you once in the first week; then at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. There will be as many phone/video appointments as needed, in between these postpartum visits. If you are having a postpartum visit, you do not need to wait in your car, please come up to the clinic.
8: SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom Groups

Connecting Pregnancy: We are launching our virtual zoom CP Groups and are hosting our first one today. You will receive an email with the meeting invite within 24-48 hours of your group date. Please read through the email and pdf documents and bring your signed consent forms with you to your belly check. These groups will be held earlier on in the afternoon and you will still be coming in for your regular belly check in the evening with your specified time which we will confirm with you the day before. Zoom meetings will not be recorded due to confidentiality.

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

9: Update on Pregnancy and COVID-19
  • Case series of 43 COVID-19 positive mothers in New York City hospitals between March 13 to March 27, 2020
  • Fourteen (32.6%) presented on admission without any COVID-19 symptoms and then were identified after developing symptoms or testing positive by swab for COVID-19.
  • Of these, 10/14 (71.4%) developed symptoms or signs of COVID-19 infection over the course of their delivery admission or early after postpartum discharge
  • Of the other 29 (67.4%) patients who presented with symptomatic COVID-19 infection, three women ultimately required antenatal admission for viral symptoms, and an additional patient represented six days postpartum after a successful labor induction with worsening respiratory status that required oxygen supplementation.
  • There were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 detected in neonates upon initial testing on the first day of life. Applying COVID-19 disease severity characteristics as described by Wu et al, 37 (86%) women possessed mild disease, four (9.3%) exhibited severe disease, and two (4.7%) developed critical disease
  • These percentages are similar to those described for non-pregnant adults with COVID-19 infections (about 80% mild, 15% severe, and 5% critical disease).
Read the entire case study

10: Prenatal support - Zoom group

There is still room left in this three-week (5 sessions) support group for expecting parents. This is a pre-registered group and will be limited to 8 people (or couples) per session.

Prenatal Virtual Support Group

Danielle Schroeder (Registered Clinical Counsellor, MA, RCC)

Session 1: Thursdays April 16th, 23rd, & 30th from 2-330pm
Session 2: Thursdays May 7th, 14th, & 21st 2-330pm

Cost : $75 for the session (includes all three groups in that session). Same price if you are one person or a couple attending.

Subsidies are available!

We are all dealing with a tremendous amount of uncertainty, confusion and changes to our daily lives, which can cause increased anxiety, depression and fear. If you are feeling unsettled or worse, please know that we are here to help. We are offering a Virtual Prenatal Support Group for expecting parents. Social support is an important part of self-care during this time of physical distancing.

This Virtual Prenatal Support Group is a safe space to discuss anxiety, fear, your relationship, pregnancy, and care of self, during this time of social distancing and uncertainty.

The group will take place using the Zoom Health Care Provider platform which is safe and easy to use.

For more information or to register please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com

11: Fear and uncertainty during a pandemic - Zoom group dates

Our first Virtual Support Groups via Zoom with Danielle Schroeder was a great success; 15 people attended. She is offering it again this week:

This one is specifically for dealing with anxiety, fear and uncertainty during COVID-19:


Living with fear and uncertainty during a pandemic -

With Danielle Schroeder, Clinical Councelor
Friday April 17th, 2020
2-3pm
Cost: Free

Nothing could have prepared you for navigating the joys and fears of pregnancy and/or caring for a new baby during a pandemic. It is proving to be a jarring experience for most and brings with it overwhelming feelings of fear, panic, and stress.

In this free one-hour workshop we will explore what it means to live with fear and uncertainty in your life right now, offer strategies to feel more safe and in control, and ultimately trust in your capacity to get through this.

If you’re interested to attend please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com

Messages of support from the SCBP team to all our patients!


While life is very different now as we collectively face this challenging time, babies continue to be born! We are still here for you and your family during your transition into parenthood, with all of the joy and love we always bring. Despite the fact that we’re wearing masks and goggles during your birth, your doula and I remain excited to guide your journey and meet your new baby. 24/7 we’re on the pager for you and ready when you are. After your baby is born our postpartum team is providing an amazing standard of care, by phone, and in clinic as needed. Don’t feel shy to reach out to us if you’re struggling, and let’s make a plan together. Looking forward to meeting you.

Martha Roberts, RM


I am so looking forward to seeing my CP group members for their belly checks even though they need to be done quickly due to isolating to keep everyone safe. Having the opportunity to connect with each of you briefly is so great. It has taken us some time to figure out how to do virtual health care and also how to work Zoom but I’m looking forward to reconnecting the group through Zoom in the coming weeks. We know how challenging this time is for you and want you all to stay connected as much as possible in the safest way. Be well!

Linda Knox, RM

On behalf of all of us at the Birth Program and South Hill, we want to give the LOUDEST AND BIGGEST shout out to all our Medical Office Assistants. They have remained so committed to providing superior services to all of you, our patients. And they have been so dedicated to all of us: your nurses, doctors, midwives, nurse practitioners, doulas, our pediatrician and obstetricians, our physio and clinical counselor. They have had days where they have been afraid to come to work, or their families were afraid of their exposure risk. We quickly made modifications to their work space and schedules, which made them feel safe to stay the course with us. We were lucky to get in front of plexiglass screen ordering for their desks - we had our screens up in less than one week. Shortly after, the wait time was 3 months (unless of course, you’re VGH…). Our staff feels like they are in a fishbowl - anyone know where to buy fish decals?

We truly could not have made it through this without our dedicated and professional support staff. An extra special shout out to our MOA team leaders: Celia at South Hill and Gerilou at the Birth Program. Thank you for keeping us open to care for our patients.

Lee Saxell, RM

Watch this space for messages from more SCBP provider messages in future updates.

13: COVID-19 - In the news

Why is B.C. flattening the COVID-19 curve while numbers in central Canada surge?
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-ontario-quebec-covid-19-1.5524056

Luck and early preparation flattening B.C.’s COVID-19 curve, but officials urge residents to ‘not let up’.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/covid-19-bc-update-april-6-1.5523554

Dr Seema Yasmin debunks coronavirus myths
https://www.wired.com/video/watch/dr-seema-yasmin-debunks-coronavirus-myths

14: Government financial support programs - Emergency Response Benefit

Emergency Response Benefit
This is a detailed list of all the government financial support. Most benefits are now open for application. Support for students, seniors; mortgage assistance, increasing the child tax benefit, small business, EI, etc.
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html

Work Absence/ “Sick Notes”
If your employer has requested a sick note in order for you to be off work related to COVID19 illness, or risk of illness, please provide them with the following letter. You do not need a medical certificate from your doctor, NP or midwife. Send them this:
https://bcfamilydocs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Employer-Sick-Note-BC-Family-Doctors-25032020.pdf

New virtual mental health supports for COVID-19 on the way
The province has announced $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and services.
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MMHA0009-000655

15: Helpful links for grownups
Best free cultural & educational media on the web - audio books, movies & online courses!

The difference between social distancing and self isolation

Stressbusting during COVID-19

Face COVID- how to respond effectively to the corona crisis
16: Helpful links for kids
Things to do indoors with your kids

250+ Creative Ways to Keep Your Family Sane During the COVID-19 Crisis

40+ free virtual field trips your kids can take from the couch

National Geographic for Kids - quizzes, educational videos and science experiments
Stay healthy and safe,



Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA
(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team



Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD
(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team



We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.


If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.
If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO MAINTAIN A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC

COVID-19: Update #7 - April 3, 2020

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO MAINTAIN A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC

Update #7 Contents

  1. Covid-19 self assessment - updated regularly
  2. The Doctor is in! … virtual appointments and how to book
  3. Vaccine clinic
  4. SCBP - prenatal, postpartum visits and Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  5. Update on pregnancy and COVID-19
  6. Virtual support group - for pregnant people and their partners
  7. Virtual support group - fear and uncertainty during a pandemic
  8. Updates from the Provincial Government and Dr Bonnie Henry , Provincial Health Officer
  9. Government financial support programs - Emergency Response Benefit
  10. Messages of support to our patients!l
  11. Helpful links for grownups
  12. Helpful links for kids

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with Covid-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment

https://www.thrive.health/covid19

South Hill Health Centre

The Doctor is in! Virtual Appointments - we would love to “see” you

The doctors and nurse practitioners are available to see you. In fact they would love to check- in and provide prescription renewals, mental health support, chronic disease review or any other issue you would like to discuss. They can see you with the new video platform or an old-fashioned phone or iphone.

Click here (SH virtual appts pdf here) for the details on how to get started with Doxy.me video appointments.

It is very simple, and secure, for you to use and only requires your consent to use and then sign in. We have made some changes to our South Hill website online booking page at: https://southhillhealth.com. Now at the time of booking you can choose between a phone or video appointment online.

For all phone/video appointments and prescription renewals: please have your preferred pharmacy information available at the time of your phone or virtual visit including; Name of your pharmacy, address, phone and fax number.

In-clinic visits remain extremely restricted, if you feel you need to be seen in person, you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will call you to come in.

3. Vaccine Clinics for children age 2 months to 18 months

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we will be opening the clinic on Saturdays for spaced out, booked, vaccine only appointments. For children 4 to 6 years old requiring vaccines, these will be delayed for now. We have clinics open every Saturday in April. They fill up fast so book right away.

April 4, April 11, April 18, April 25

Click here for details about booking a Vaccine Clinic Appointment (vax link here)

South Community Birth Program - Starting Monday March 30

We are continuing to follow this approximate schedule for prenatal and postpartum visits and will keep you updated with changes:

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive at your appointment time and stay in your car. Your care provider will call you and conduct the majority of your appointment on the phone/video and then ask you to come in for the physical exam portion of your visit. This is being done to minimize the amount of time you are in the clinic. When you arrive in the clinic we are practicing Physical Distancing.

We will continue to do most of our information sharing on the phone/video. While we are in this critical phase of Physical Distancing, we will be doing quick medical check-ups in the clinic but all necessary lab requisitions and relevant educational materials will be emailed. Your care provider will be booking your follow-up details after every appointment. Some pregnant people may need fewer in-person visits, while others with complications will need more.

For Postpartum Care, our hospital or in-clinic visits will be held on approximately days 1 and 2. Clinic visits will be booked in 2 parts- a 15 minute clinic visit for the exam and then a follow up phone or video appointment to review the baby’s feeding plan, etc. We will see you once in the first week; then at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. There will be as many phone/video appointments as needed, in between these postpartum visits.

Connecting Pregnancy: We will update you 24-48 hours prior to your CP group with a phone call or email providing you with an individualized arrival time for your 1:1 belly check and send your educational materials via email. If no belly check is needed, we will notify you that CP is cancelled and send your educational materials via email (on the day of your normal CP group).

By mid-April, CP will soon be back-up and running, on video, using Zoom. Stay tuned for more details. You will continue to have your 1:1 belly check in a 15 min slot at your normal CP time and you will have a 1hr zoom meeting scheduled earlier in the day- times and details TBD.

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)



Update on Pregnancy and COVID-19

On Thursday Apr 2, BC Women’s Hospital, Obstetricians/Infectious Disease specialists (Dr Deb Money, De Chelsea Elwood and Dr. Julie Van Schalkwyk) carefully reviewed the currently available studies and presented the following information at web-based Rounds. We are only including updated information since our last Update #6:.

  • There have been 8 pregnant people diagnosed with COVID-19. One has delivered and all have done well and recovered. <Pregnant people are not at more risk>
  • The COVID-19 virus is spread by droplets. There is no evidence to support it is airborne spread *( eg; chicken pox is airborne).
  • There is no evidence COVID-19 the baby is affected during childbirth by COVID-19 *(eg; HIV & Hepatitis B can be passed to the baby during childbirth ).
  • If a pregnant person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and is in the third trimester (after 28 weeks) they should be tested and the result will be rapidly processed .

Our first Virtual Support Groups via Zoom with Danielle Schroeder was a great success; 15 people attended. She is offering it again this week:

This one is specifically for dealing with anxiety, fear and uncertainty during COVID-19:

Living with fear and uncertainty during a pandemic

Friday April 10th, 2020

2-3pm

with Danielle Schroeder (Registered Clinical Counsellor, MA, RCC)

Nothing could have prepared you for navigating the joys and fears of pregnancy and/or caring for a new baby during a pandemic. It is proving to be a jarring experience for most and brings with it overwhelming feelings of fear, panic, and stress.

In this free one-hour workshop we will explore what it means to live with fear and uncertainty in your life right now, offer strategies to feel more safe and in control, and ultimately trust in your capacity to get through this.

If you’re interested to attend please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com

There is still room left in this three-week (5 sessions) support group for expecting parents.

Prenatal Virtual Support Group

This is a pre-registered group and will be limited to 8 people (or couples) per session.

Danielle Schroeder (Registered Clinical Counsellor, MA, RCC)

Session 1: Thursdays April 16th, 23rd, & 30th from 2-330pm

Session 2: Thursdays May 7th, 14th, & 21st 2-330pm

Cost : $75 for the session (includes all three groups in that session). Same price if you are one person or a couple attending.

Subsidies are available!

We are all dealing with a tremendous amount of uncertainty, confusion and changes to our daily lives, which can cause increased anxiety, depression and fear. If you are feeling unsettled or worse, please know that we are here to help. We are offering a Virtual Prenatal Support Group for expecting parents. Social support is an important part of self-care during this time of physical distancing.

This Virtual Prenatal Support Group is a safe space to discuss anxiety, fear, your relationship, pregnancy, and care of self, during this time of social distancing and uncertainty.

The group will take place using the Zoom Health Care Provider platform which is safe and easy to use.

For more information or to register please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com

Provincial state of emergency extended

The BC government announced it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the end of the day on April 14, 2020. The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration for further periods of time for up to 14 days at a time.

Premier John Horgan was quoted: “The next 14 days are critically important in our province’s unprecedented fight against COVID-19. What we do today will affect what our doctors, nurses and first responders face in the days and weeks ahead. We’re asking all British Columbians to re-commit to doing their part. There are early signs that our actions are making a difference, and we can’t stop now.”

Dr Bonnie Henry , BC Provincial Health Officer

https://www.citynews1130.com/2020/03/31/fans-paint-murals-dr-bonnie-henry-theresa-tam-gastown/

All of us at South Hill Health Centre want to acknowledge and give a big shout-out to Dr Bonnie Henry, BC’s Provincial Medical Health Officer. She has been working tirelessly to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We tune in to her press conference every day at 3:00 p.m. PT - part of her efforts to establish “a routine for providing the information that people need.”

We like this song written by BC locals: We love and support our BC Provincial Health Officer - Dear Dr Henry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=GpTDtxEQvyk&feature=emb_logo

Dr Bonnie Henry Fan Club: see her twitter fan page:

https://twitter.com/bonniehenryfans?lang=en

Posted in the Emergency Department

Has BC got it right on COVID-19 testing? Bonnie Henry says the province’s approach is effective.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/04/03/Has-BC-Got-It-Right-On-COVID-19-Testing/

We also want to acknowledge all of our colleagues working in Public Health and the Ministry of Health, who are all working tirelessly to support the people of British Columbia and us - your health care workers.

How many COVID-19 cases are there in Canada, by province & worldwide? The latest maps and charts

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-coronavirus-cases-canada-world-map-explainer/#national-data

9. Government Financial Support

BC Hydro relief

The Government of British Columbia and BC Hydro are offering new, targeted bill relief to provide immediate help to those most in need. Residential customers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 will receive a credit to help cover the cost of their electricity bills. The credit will be three times their average monthly bill over the past year at their home and does not have to be repaid.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0018-000611

Emergency Response Benefit: This is a detailed list of financial support including; the Emergency Response Benefit (available in April); Support for students and seniors; mortgage assistance; increasing the child tax benefit

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html

Work Absence/ “Sick Notes”

If your employer has requested a sick note in order for you to be off work related to COVID19 illness, or risk of illness, please provide them with the following letter. You do not need a medical certificate from your doctor, NP or midwife. Send them this:

https://bcfamilydocs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Employer-Sick-Note-BC-Family-Doctors-25032020.pdf

10. Messages of support to our patients!

I know this has been an especially difficult time for all of you and your families. I would like to genuinely thank you all for your efforts in fighting this pandemic. Please do not hesitate to contact me to book an appointment for any health concerns you may have. I am here to support you in any way I can. I will be working my regular office hours from Monday to Thursday. Take care of yourselves and of each other, please! Dr. Ian Arbuckle

To my patients; I want you to know that I am here for you during this challenging time. Please reach out if you need anything at all. We are in this together. Remember, “The only thing you really control…is how you react to things out of your control.” Dr. Maralyn Hope

We are all missing the hustle and bustle of life right now. I am taking this time to slow down the pace of my family, and going back to the basics. Thank you to all of our South community for playing your parts. It is challenging for all of us, and yet I am so humbled by everyone’s kindness, resiliency, and spirit. We are here for you virtually and in the clinic - please reach out if we can be of help to you during this time! Dr. Fiona Petigara

Thanks to each and every one of you for doing your part to help flatten the curve - every action counts! I am here to support you and am available if you have any questions or concerns. Stay safe, stay home and look after yourselves. Dr. Nicole Thong

We are currently living through a time of intense uncertainty and fear about what is going on in the world around us. To get through this, we need to come together as a community, all of us, and be in this together. That means thinking about who the people are that are the most vulnerable and alone and scared, such as those who are unhoused, reliant on drugs or sex work as a means of survival, living with disabilities, living in poverty, part of Black/Indigenous/POC communities, part of trans and gender diverse communities, or part of many other communities. Let’s all make sure that we are all taken care of, all of us. For my part, I am going to continue to work my hardest to care and support every one of you. I encourage all of you to also do your part, no matter how small a part that may be, to take care of our community. That might mean donating to an organization serving marginalized groups, writing to or calling the government to push for more protection or financial support to those most in need, or joining online groups like the COVID-19 coming together facebook page to see how you can help. Let’s come out of this better and stronger and proud of ourselves for how we took care of everyone in our community. - Dr. Karina Zeidler



Watch this space for messages from more providers in future updates.



HELPFUL LINKS FOR GROWNUPS

COVID-19 Myth Busters

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

Taking steps to keep kids learning during school suspension

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0026-000580

Brain-Pop: Resources for home schooling

https://educators.brainpop.com/school-home-connection-resources/

Be there - How to recognize someone might be struggling with their mental health

https://bethere.org/Be-There-Basics

Mind App - Free Anxiety Relief

https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/new-mindshift-cbt-app-gives-canadians-free-anxiety-relief/

2

20 virtual field trips to take with your kids

https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/20-virtual-field-trips-to-take-with-your-kids.html?

HELPFUL LINKS FOR KIDS

Helping children cope with changes resulting from COVID-19

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/helping-children-cope-with-changes-resulting-from-covid-19

Online toolkit for supporting individuals with autism during COVID-19

https://ed.unc.edu/2020/03/19/unc-team-creates-online-toolkit-for-those-supporting-individuals-with-autism-during-covid-19-epidemic

Storyline Online - books read to children

https://www.storylineonline.net/

Virtual rides at Disneyland https://www.romper.com/p/while-disney-world-disneyland-are-closed-take-your-kids-on-virtual-rides-22622893?



Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA

(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team

Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD

(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team

We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.

If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.

If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.


Your one-stop-shop for all our patient updates: https://southhillhealth.com


COVID-19: Update #6 - March 28, 2020

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF ALL OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO ACHIEVE A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC

To keep us all safe we continue to update how we are booking our appointments - by phone, video or in-person clinic visits.

Update #6 Contents page

  1. Covid-19 self assessment 1
  2. Vaccine clinics
  3. Virtual appointments - how to book
  4. All visits - have pharmacy information ready
  5. SCBP - prenatal and postpartum visits
  6. Update on pregnancy and COVID-19
  7. Virtual support group - for pregnancy people and their partners
  8. Virtual support group - Fear and uncertainty during a pandemic
  9. Government financial support programs - Emergency Response Benefit
  10. Helpful links for grownups
  11. Helpful links for kids

Our phone lines are very busy, all day. Before you call us with Covid-19 questions, please do this self assessment. This is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment

https://www.thrive.health/covid19

South Hill Health Centre

Vaccine Clinics for children age 2 months to 18 months

Thank you for your patience while we took the time to find a way to give your child their routine immunizations in the safest way. To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we will be opening the clinic on Saturdays for spaced out, booked, vaccine only appointments. Starting Saturday April 4th, 2020. These appointments will be for babies aged 2 months to ~ 18 months only. For children 4-6 years old requiring vaccines, these will be delayed for now. After reviewing with the BC Children’s Hospital Immunization program, our in-house Pediatrician and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommendations, this is how we can help you get your vaccines during this challenging time.

Click here for details about booking a Vaccine Clinic Appointment (vax link here)

Reminder: The vaccine visit will be limited to vaccines only

Virtual Appointments - how to book

Click to get started with Doxy.me video appointments. It is very simple for you to use and only requires your consent to use and then sign in. We encourage you to book a video appointment, face-to-face with your care provider.

For all phone/video appointments and prescription renewals: please have your preferred pharmacy information available at the time of your phone or virtual visit including; Name of your pharmacy, address, phone and fax numbers.

You will still NOT be able to book an in-person/clinic appointment online - you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will call you to come in.

As per our last update, ALL EXISTING / PREVIOUSLY BOOKED APPOINTMENTS ARE HELD EITHER BY PHONE OR VIDEO APPOINTMENT. This includes appointments you have previously booked, either online or by phone with our medical office assistants. You will be called by your care provider (doc or NP) close to the time you have booked for your existing appointment. Please stay close to your phone at this time and accept a call even if it is from a blocked number. If your care provider feels an in-clinic visit is needed, we will let you know and call you to come in.

BOOKING NEW APPOINTMENTS. We have made some changes to our South Hill website online booking page at: https://southhillhealth.com. Now at the time of booking you can choose between a phone or video appointment online.

South Community Birth Program - Starting Monday March 30

We are continuing to follow BC Women’s Hospital (and the World Health Organization’s) suggested schedule of visits for check-ups, for low-risk pregnant people. If your South Hill doctor works at the Family Practice Maternity Service at BC Women’s, please be advised that they will also be following this schedule:

For Prenatal Care, First visit - up to 12 wks -this will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered. We will see you for in person visits at: 16 wks; 22 wks; 28 wks; 32 wks; 35 wks; 37 wks; 39 wks; and 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed).

For visits in person, in the clinic, please arrive at your appointment time and stay in your car. Your care provider will call you and conduct the majority of your appointment on the phone/video and then ask you to come in for the physical exam portion of your visit. This is being done to minimize the amount of time you are in the clinic. When you arrive in the clinic we are practicing Physical Distancing.

We will continue to do most of our information sharing on the phone/video. While we are in this critical phase of Physical Distancing, we will be doing quick medical check-ups in the clinic but all necessary lab requisitions and relevant educational materials will be emailed. Your care provider will be booking your follow-up details after every appointment. Some pregnant people may need fewer in-person visits, while others with complications will need more.

For Postpartum Care, our hospital or in-clinic visits will be held on approximately days 1 and 2. Clinic visits will be booked in 2 parts- a 15 minute clinic visit for the exam and then a follow up phone or video appointment to review the baby’s feeding plan, etc. We will see you again in the first week; then at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. There will be as many phone/video appointments as needed, in between these postpartum visits.

Connecting Pregnancy

By mid-April, CP will soon be back-up and running, on video, using Zoom. Stay tuned for more details.

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)


Update on Pregnancy and COVID-19

On Thursday Mar 26, BC Women’s Hospital, Obstetricians/Infectious Disease specialists (Dr Deb Money and Dr. Julie Van Schalkwyk) carefully reviewed the currently available studies and presented the following information at web-based Rounds:

  • Pregnant people are not at more risk of acquiring SARS CoV2, nor at more risk of getting severe disease than comparable aged adults.
  • Pregnant people who are not working in essential services or health care should socially isolate like all members of the community.
  • Those who are in essential services including health care workers can continue to work if asymptomatic and not a recent COVID-19 contact.
  • Any pregnant person who develops an influenza like illness should be evaluated, by phone consult if needed, and consideration of oseltamivir treatment if symptoms consistent with influenza and less than 72 hours since symptom onset as influenza in pregnancy can be complicated and influenza is still circulating in BC.
  • If a pregnant person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and is in the third trimester (after 28 weeks) they should be tested and then managed according to the severity of the illness.

The SOGC highlights the fact that each person’s circumstances may involve a different level of risk: pregnancy risk, health status and risk of exposure. They recommend consulting the occupational health and safety department in your workplace to determine how best to protect yourself. PPE and good hygiene practice are recommended, along with additional measures on a case-by-case basis. [March 13th 2020]

We are offering the two virtual support groups via Zoom with our fantastic Counselor, Danielle Schroeder. This one is specifically for pregnant people/couples:

Prenatal virtual support group (facilitated by Registered Clinical Counsellor, Danielle Schroeder, MA, RCC):

We are all dealing with a tremendous amount of uncertainty, confusion and changes to our daily lives, which can cause increased anxiety, depression and fear. If you are feeling unsettled or worse, please know that we are here to help. We are offering a Virtual Prenatal Support Group for expecting parents. Social support is an important part of self-care during this time of physical distancing.

This Virtual Prenatal Support Group is a safe space to discuss anxiety, fear, your relationship, pregnancy, and care of self, during this time of social distancing and uncertainty.

The group will take place using the Zoom platform which is safe and easy to use.

This is a pre-registered group and will be limited to 8 people (or couples) per session which will run over 3 weeks.

Group session dates:

Session 1: Thursdays April 16th, 23rd, & 30th from 2-330pm

Session 2: Thursdays May 7th, 14th, & 21st 2-330pm

Cost : $75 for the session (includes all three groups in that session). Same price if you are one person or a couple attending.

Subsidies are available!

For more information or to register please email Danielle at: yellaschroeder@gmail.com

This one is specifically for dealing with anxiety, fear and uncertainty during COVID-19:

Living with fear and uncertainty during a pandemic

Thursday April 2nd, 2020,

2-3pm

with Danielle Schroeder (registered clinical counsellor)

Nothing could have prepared you for navigating the joys and fears of pregnancy and/or caring for a new baby during a pandemic. It is proving to be a jarring experience for most and brings with it overwhelming feelings of fear, panic, and stress. In this free one-hour workshop we will explore what it means to live with fear and uncertainty in your life right now, offer strategies to feel more safe and in control, and ultimately trust in your capacity to get through this.

If you’re interested to attend please email Danielle at:

yellaschroeder@gmail.com






Government Financial Support

This is a detailed list of financial support including; the Emergency Response Benefit (available in April); Support for students and seniors; mortgage assistance; increasing the child tax benefit

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html

COVID-19 Provincial Emergency Support

BC is implementing a number of emergency measures:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support

Supporting Renters, Landlords during COVID-19

Additional measures to keep people housed and protect their health:

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0048-000561

Support for Canadians and Businesses during COVID-19

These measures were delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Work-sharing Program

Your company may qualify for the work-sharing program. Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing.html

Here is specific information on Ei benefits and new policies for COVID-19 related cases.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Work Absence

If your employer has requested a sick note in order for you to be off work related to COVID19 illness, or risk of illness, please provide them with the following letter. You do not need a medical certificate from your doctor, NP or midwife:

https://bcfamilydocs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Employer-Sick-Note-BC-Family-Doctors-25032020.pdf

Taking steps to keep kids learning during school suspension

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0026-000580



HELPFUL LINKS FOR GROWNUPS

Insight Timer App for sleep, anxiety and stress:

https://insighttimer.com/

That discomfort your feeling is grief

https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief?

Readers’ Ideas for finding community at home

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/travel/coronavirus-quarantine-what-to-do.html?

How to work from home

https://qz.com/se/work-from-home

National emergency library - download over 1.5 millions titles for free until June 30:

https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary



HELPFUL LINKS FOR KIDS

Pluto the Dog’s latest message to kids

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5ATJTtIkPQ

A kids guide to cornonavirus - podcast

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/podcasts/the-daily/kids-coronavirus.html

A big list of podcasts for kids:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/parenting/podcasts-for-kids.html

National emergency library - download over 1.5 millions titles for free until June 30:

https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary



Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA

(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team

Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD

(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team

We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.

If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.

If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

Your one-stop-shop for all our patient updates: https://southhillhealth.com

COVID-19: Update #5 - March 20, 2020

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF ALL OUR PATIENTS -

PLEASE HELP US TO ACHIEVE A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC

Covid-19 information is still changing hour to hour. We are trying to keep our patients updated on what is happening at our clinic, plus provide a synopsis of trustworthy information.

UPDATES ABOUT BOOKING APPOINTMENTS

South Hill Health Centre - Starting Monday March 23

As per our last update, ALL EXISTING / PREVIOUSLY BOOKED APPOINTMENTS ARE HELD EITHER BY PHONE OR VIDEO APPOINTMENT. This includes appointments you have previously booked, either online or by phone with our medical office assistants. You will be called by your care provider (doc or NP) close to the time you have booked for your existing appointment. Please stay close to your phone at this time and accept a call even if it is from a blocked number. If your care provider feels an in-clinic visit is needed, we will let you know and call you to come in.

***IMPORTANT: WE NEED YOUR CURRENT CONTACT INFORMATION***

PLEASE LET US KNOW THE PREFERRED PHONE NUMBER FOR REACHING YOU. PLEASE TYPE THIS NUMBER INTO YOUR APPOINTMENT REQUEST WHEN BOOKING ONLINE.

BOOKING NEW APPOINTMENTS. We have made some changes to our South Hill website online booking page at: https://southhillhealth.com. Now at the time of booking you can choose between a phone or video appointment online.

Our new online video network provider is called Doxy.me. You will receive an email with details - it is very simple for you to use and only requires you to sign a consent and then sign in. Stay tuned for more information about Doxy.me.

You will NOT be able to book an in-person/clinic appointment online - you must call the clinic at 604-428-8878, to REQUEST a face-to-face appointment. Your request will be reviewed by a care provider and if they feel a clinic visit is needed, we will call you to come in.

Our phone lines are very busy all day. Before you call us with Covid-19, please do this self assessment and check the recent Covid-19 updates, which may answer your questions:

https://www.thrive.health/covid19

South Community Birth Program - Starting Monday March 23

We will also be doing more phone visits (either Skype/Zoom) starting Monday. However, pregnant people and newborn babies will still need to be seen for physical check-ups. We will follow BC Women’s Hospital (and the World Health Organization’s) suggested schedule of visits for check-ups, for low-risk pregnant people. If your South Hill doctor works at the Family Practice Maternity Service at BC Women’s, please be advised that they will also be following this schedule:

Visit #1 - up to 12 wks. This will be done by phone or video. All relevant testing will be ordered.

Visit #2 - 16 wks

Visit #3 - 22 wks

Visit #4 - 28 wks

Visit #5 - 32 wks

Visit #6 - 35 wks

Visit #7 - 37 wks

Visit #8 - 39 wks

Visit #9 - 40 wks (then weekly or more frequent as needed)

While we are in this critical phase of Social or “Physical” Distancing, we will be doing quick medical check-ups in the clinic but information sharing will be on the phone/video. All necessary lab requisitions and relevant educational materials will be emailed in advance. Your care provider will be booking your follow-up details after every appointment. Some pregnant people may need fewer in-person visits, while others with complications will need more.

If there are any concerns about you or your baby’s well-being, at any time, you will be instructed to call the urgent on-call line at 604-875-2161 (ask for SCBP provider on-call)

For postpartum care, our hospital or clinic visits will be held at approximately:

Visit #1 & #2 - in Week 1

Visit #3 - in Week 2

Visit #4 - Week 4

Visit #5 - Week 6

This will be adjusted if more are needed. There will be as many phone/video appointments as needed, inbetween these postpartum visits. However, we will be minimizing visits to the clinic in order to protect everyone. As always, for any concerns you have 24 hours access to our careproviders at 604-875-2161 (ask for the SCBP provider on call).

Covid-19 - Symptoms

  • Incubation of Covid-19 is 1-14 days but mostly 3-7 days (average 5 days)
  • Most will get a mild respiratory illness: 89% fever; 68% cough; 38% fatigue; 34% sputum production (thick mucous when coughing); 19% shortness of breath; 14% sore throat; 14% headache
  • Uncommonly, there will be diarrhea and vomiting
  • Sore throat, runny nose, and muscle aches are uncommon, so it is not typical of the flu or a cold

If you have been asked to self-isolate due to contact with someone with COVID-19, or have the illness, contact your care provider immediately.

New Provincial Covid-19 Symptoms Self-Assessment Website Launched

This site is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve.

https://www.thrive.health/covid19

UPDATE ON PREGNANCY AND AFTER THE BABY COMES

The increased risk for older people and those with chronic health issues has received a lot of coverage, but there has been less information for people who are pregnant or just had a baby. On Thursday Mar 19, BC Women’s Hospital experts updated care providers at a web-based rounds. That same day the BC Centre for Disease Control also released guidelines for pregnancy. Below are some highlights:

Pregnancy

  • Pregnant patients are NOT more susceptible to contracting Covid-19
  • It is expected the large majority of pregnant people will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.
  • Less than 20% will develop severe symptoms
  • Pregnant patients with mild COVID 19+ symptoms should be kept at home in self-isolation when possible. Most will only experience mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. Visitors should be kept to a minimum
  • Care should be done by phone or other Virtual health options
  • Pregnant people should be advised NOT to come to hospital unless they are in need of urgent obstetric or medical care
  • While pregnant people with symptoms should self-isolate at home, if these symptoms are in the 3rd trimester, swab for Covid-19 and influenza.

Labour

  • At BC Women’s, Anesthetists (expert doctors who place epidurals, etc) are encouraging early epidural for labour pain relief in order to reduce the risk of giving a general anesthetic (GA) for an emergency cesarean section. GA allows for the highest risk of transmission of the virus. Of course, the decision to have an epidural, or not, rests with the labouring person.
  • Only one support person may accompany you in labour (a doula may also attend).

Postpartum

  • There are no visitors allowed in the hospital during your stay
  • If the new parent is Covid-19 positive, keeping parent and baby together is recommended
  • New parent is to wear mask and utilize strict hand washing protocol for breastfeeding and skin to skin
  • Breastfeeding is encouraged because the protective effect of breastfeeding is particularly strong against infectious diseases through directly transferring antibodies and other important immune factors to the baby
  • Test infant for COVID-19 No isolation of infant from parent unless clinically indicated by disease severity
  • Where appropriate, early discharge of the baby with a parent or caregiver, should be facilitated

WORK ABSENCE & EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Thanks to Dr Jennifer‌ ‌Robson, at ‌Carleton‌ ‌University for putting together this comprehensive document regarding Employment Insurance.

As per instructions from the Minister of Health and the Provincial Medical Officer of Health, you will not need a note to miss work if you have symptoms: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0077-000484

People in quarantine (including those who are not sick and those whose workplace is closed to enforce social distancing), can apply for Employment Insurance Medical Leave. You do not need a medical certificate from your doctor, NP or midwife:

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

COVID-19 - HELPFUL LINKS FOR GROWNUPS

Anxiety Canada

https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/what-to-do-if-you-are-anxious-or-worried-about-coronavirus-covid-19/

Calm - Take a deep breath. Train your mind to sleep more, stress less and live better https://www.instagram.com/calm/?hl=en

Talking to your kids about coronavirus and social distancing

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2020/03/18/talking-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus-and-social-distancing/#45a594d32c15

I visited 18 countries today - how about you?

https://www.messynessychic.com/2020/03/19/i-visited-18-countries-today-how-about-you/?

20 things to do at home instead of banging your head against a wall

https://www.messynessychic.com/2020/03/12/hobbies-at-home/

COVID-19 - HELPFUL LINKS FOR KIDS

Pluto the Dog’s Message to Kids - we are following Pluto!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiBYw3bDFro

Cats teach kids how the virus spreads https://twitter.com/ziyatong/status/1240303392188248070

Children Stuck at Home Can Still Explore the Zoo or Aquarium. Some Penguins Could, Too.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/us/coronavirus-zoos-webcams.html



Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA

(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team

Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD

(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team

We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.

If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.

If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

Your one-stop-shop for all our patient updates: https://southhillhealth.com




COVID-19: Update #4 - March 17, 2020

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS - PLEASE HELP US TO ACHIEVE A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC! STAY HOME UNLESS YOU ARE SPECIFICALLY INSTRUCTED TO COME IN


South Hill Health Centre - starting tomorrow, Wednesday March 18

ALL EXISTING APPOINTMENTS ARE NOW BOOKED AS PHONE APPOINTMENTS. This includes appointments you previously booked online or on the phone. You will be called by your care provider at approximately the time you are booked for your existing appointment. Please stay close to your phone at your appointment time. If your care provider feels you MUST be seen in person, they will call or email you personally.

STAY SAFE AND DO NOT COME INTO THE CLINIC UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

FOR NEW APPOINTMENTS: As of tomorrow, March 18, all appointments will be by phone. If you believe you must see a care provider for acute medical illness or an emergency, YOU MUST PHONE THE CLINIC to book an in-person appointment (604-428-8878). (NOTE: You will be asked some health questions so we can determine whether you should speak to a care provider and/or where we should see you: either in the clinic or in our back parking lot in our mobile clinic (pictured below).


Monday, March 23 - We Will Launch our New Telehealth Video Platform - Doxy.me

This will enhance your virtual visits as your care provider will be able to see your health problem using a simple smartphone or computer-based video conferencing tool. Ten minutes before your scheduled appointment time you will “click on the link” that has already been texted or emailed to you and sign in to Doxy.me. You will be placed in a “virtual waiting room”, where you will be asked to complete a consent form to participate. Your care provider will “pick you up” in the virtual waiting room and your video chat will begin. Please make sure you are in a location with strong wifi and where you can speak confidentially and freely.

You will receive an email about our Doxy.me Telehealth platform.


South Community Birth Program - starting tomorrow, Wednesday March 18

We will continue to conduct many of our appointments by phone this week. You have or will receive a call from an administrator or a care provider to arrange this. Pregnancy questions and answers will be conducted on the phone, while quick belly checks and baby weights will be done in the clinic.

We will soon have information about Telehealth/video conferencing for SCBP as well.

Rest assured: we will be attending you during labour and birth - in person! We already have plans in place in case any of us should get sick. We will not miss your special day!


Changes at BC Women’s Hospital to birth attendants during labour and birth: We were concerned (and we understand) why BC Women’s Hospital (BCWH) limited and allowed only one person to support patients in labour. However, after lots of discussion,in addition to your chosen birth partner, BCWH is also allowing the attendance of professional doulas, recognizing how much value they bring to the labour and birth. Our hats are off to BCWH for acknowledging the importance of the doula for not only labour support but also for being cultural brokers and providing valuable language translation during labour.

Registered Clinical Counselor: Has Covid-19 caused you to feel more anxious? Our registered counselor, Danielle Schroeder, is now booking on-line appointments. Contact her to inquire about her sliding scale fees. Extended health covers her services.

https://oab.owlpractice.ca/danielleschroeder/booking

Remember: You do not need a Doctor/NP/Midwife note for sick leave if you are ill or required to self-isolate.

New Provincial Covid-19 Website Launched Mar 16

Wondering if you need to be swabbed for COVID19? Use this link:

https://www.thrive.health/covid19

We have been working with a fantastic company called Thrive Health (www.thrive.health). They have been developing our soon-to-be-launched South Community Birth Program APP (now in patient testing mode). They very quickly developed and launched a Covid-19 website for the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre of Disease Control. Currently, this is THE site for up-to-the-minute information on Covid-19, in BC. Save this link in your bookmarks and pass it on.


Travel Advisory Notice

Nothing has changed about travelling out of Canada: no non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Anyone choosing to travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

The big change is who can come into Canada: Our borders are now closed, except for those from the United States. We are staying up-to-date on whether this controversial exception will stay in place. This has been a big disappointment for many of our pregnant patients, who were planning for the arrival of their family, South of the US border or from overseas, to celebrate the birth of their new family member (and help out!).

https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/16/prime-minister-announces-new-actions-under-canadas-covid-19-response

Schools Closing in BC

The big news today is that all BC K - 12 Schools Suspended Indefinitely. Our last update had a question mark at the end of the above heading. The question mark is gone. But we suspect all you parents out there already know this:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/coronavirus-covid-19-bc-schools-1.5500453

On the last update we sent you a link on : How to prepare for extended school closings – and not lose your mind. https://www.upworthy.com/tips-for-parents-coronavirus

Here are a few more ideas to keep your kids occupied and preserve your sanity:

Stuck at home? These 12 famous museums offer virtual tours you can take on your couch:

https://vt.co/lifestyle/if-youre-stuck-at-home-these-12-museums-offer-virtual-tours-you-can-take-from-your-couch

Budding music producers in your progeny? Here is a kitchen at-home training video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk5sVLgAsVw

Show your kids how Social Distancing Works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hi9-5F2zW4



Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell (she/her), RM, MA

(Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team

Rita McCracken (she/her), MD, PhD

(Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team


If you are experiencing an emergency, such as problems breathing, please call 911.

If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

Your one-stop-shop for all our patient updates. https://southhillhealth.com

We acknowledge that our clinics operate on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.

Take the COVID-19 Self-Assessment






COVID-19: Information for Pregnancy & Birth – Update #3 - March 15, 2020

At South Community Birth Program and South Hill Health Centre, we are collapsing our news updates into one because we have so much overlap of our patients & as care providers – we are one family! We are working hard to keep you well informed with the latest updates and breaking news. This update is specifically directed at our pregnant patients who will be giving birth at BC Women’s Hospital.

The 3 leading organizations for Obstetrics and Gynecology published Covid-19 practice advisories this week. You can read them here:

These are the key highlights from all 3 of these key organizations:

PREGNANCY

  • Pregnant people should be considered an at-risk population due to physiologic and immunologic changes in pregnancy
  • Covid-19 transmission to the baby in pregnancy seems unlikely. There has been a single case report of possible transmission in pregnancy. Again, there is very limited data.
  • As there is no evidence your baby can get infected while in the uterus it is currently considered unlikely that there will be congenital effects of the virus on your baby’s development.
  • To date, there is currently no conclusive data suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage or early pregnancy loss in relation to COVID-19. Case reports from early pregnancy studies with SARS and MERS reported pregnancy losses but did not demonstrate a convincing relationship between infection and increased risk of miscarriage or second trimester loss.
  • As with SARS and MERS and drawing upon our knowledge of other respiratory illnesses in pregnancy, adverse outcomes are likely to be strongly correlated with degree of illness – most pregnant people who contract Covid-19 will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.
  • If you are immunocompromised, have asthma or lung disease, diabetes, renal disease, or chronic illness, be extra vigilant in pregnancy with hand hygiene and Social Distancing.
  • If you do have the Covid-19 virus in pregnancy it is recommended you have an ultrasound 14 days following the resolution of acute illness.

There might be a greater risk of the baby’s growth being restricted in the uterus and being born smaller than usual - based on data from other coronaviruses (e.g. two-thirds of pregnancies with SARS were affected by small intrauterine growth). Therefore, pregnant people with Covid-19 should be have an ultrasound to monitor for growth restriction in the baby.

LABOUR

  • In two case series in China, including a total of 18 pregnant persons infected with COVID-19 and 19 babies (one set of twins), there were 8 reported cases of fetal compromise. Given this relatively high rate of fetal compromise, continuous electronic fetal monitoring in labour is currently recommended for all persons with COVID-19.
  • Beyond this we don’t have enough data to make further recommendations. For labour.

POSTPARTUM

  • There is no evidence that the virus has been found in the breast milk of people infected with Covid-19. The primary concern is whether an infected mother can transmit the virus through infective airborne droplets during the period of breastfeeding. A mother with confirmed Covid-19 or who is symptomatic with flu like symptoms should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to the infant, including washing hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask, if possible, while breastfeeding. In the light of the current evidence, it is advised that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk.
  • All babies born to COVID-19 positive mothers should have appropriate close monitoring and early involvement of neonatal care, where necessary. Babies born to people testing positive for COVID-19 will need follow-up and ongoing check-ups after discharge from the hospital.

This guidance may change as knowledge evolves

AT SCBP: PRENATAL AND POSTPARTUM VISITS IN THE CLINIC

  1. As of Monday, March 16, we will be seeing most of our patients in the clinic for their scheduled appointment. However:
    1. Please do not come to the clinic if you are sick with a cold, cough or flu-like symptoms. Unfortunately, you will be asked to leave. We need to be able to adequately prepare to assess you and keep everyone else safe.
    2. If you are feeling sick, or are worried about COVID19 exposure, we will make a new **PHONE APPOINTMENT** for you and decide what next steps are best. If you meet the criteria we will meet you in the back parking lot (I know, sounds weird) where we will swab you at our new onsite mobile clinic.
    3. If you are sick but need a physical check-up for you or your baby, we will isolate you in a room at the clinic and we will wear protective gear for your check up.
    Our goal is nothing short of ZERO Covid-19 virus infections passed through our clinic! NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF ALL OUR PATIENTS - PLEASE HELP US TO ACHIEVE A ZERO CONTACT INFECTION RATE AT OUR CLINIC
  2. YOU DO NOT NEED A SICK NOTE FOR WORK ABSENCE As per instructions from the Minister of Health and the Provincial Medical Officer of Health, you will not need a note to miss work if you have symptoms:
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0077-000484
  3. Connecting Pregnancy (CP) Group Care, Wednesday Postpartum Drop-in and the Motherlode Groups at South Community Birth Program As of Monday, March 16, we will be cancelling all Groups until further notice. You will have been notified by Monday to reschedule your care.
  4. Travel Advisory Notice The B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer is still advising no non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Anyone choosing to travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
    https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices
  5. Schools Closing in BC? This is a great piece for all the parents out there who may be home with their kids and Social Distancing: How to prepare for extended school closings – and not lose your mind.
    https://www.upworthy.com/tips-for-parents-coronavirus

All our patient updates can be found on our home page for easy access. This can now be your one stop shop for all our updates.
https://southhillhealth.com/

To end on a positive note, CBC reports that BC is NOT showing large daily spikes in % of Covid-19 cases. Look at the world report here:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/covid-19-coronavirus-march-7-1.5489784

Stay healthy and safe,
Lee Saxell, RM, MA (Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team
Rita McCracken, MD (Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Health Centre Team



COVID-19 Update #2 – March 14, 2020

Welcome to our second Covid-19 update. The news is shifting not only daily but indeed hourly. We are closely tracking news and health implications of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Due to the provincial calls for social distancing and exceptionally high volume levels, we are making immediate changes to how patients are seen at South Hill. These changes are to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission at the clinic and to reduce volume of non-essential calls and visits to allow our staff and clinicians to spend time assessing the most urgent cases.

AVOIDING IN PERSON VISITS TO CLINIC and USE OF “TELEHEALTH” PHONE AND VIDEO APPOINTMENTS

1. As of Monday, March 16, we will be switching all currently booked appointments to PHONE appointments.

  • Your MD/NP will call you at the same time your appointment is booked.
  • You do not need to do anything except make sure you are by your phone at that time (please change your phone settings to accept “unidentified callers” as the call may come from a “blocked caller ID”).
  • BUT - If your doctor or NP believes you must be seen in person, you will receive a message from the clinic and you will come in to the clinic at your already booked appointment time. Each currently booked appointment is being reviewed by your doctor/NP this weekend.
  • We will start using a free, easy-to-use video platform for visits this coming week. News about how this will work will be sent you by email and posted on our website and facebook page. Please check these often!!

2. NEW APPOINTMENTS IF YOU ARE FEELING SICK OR HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT COVID-19 EXPOSURE:

  • PLEASE do not come to the clinic sick – you will be asked to leave. We need to be able to adequately prepare to treat you and keep everyone else safe.
  • If you are feeling sick, or are worried about COVID19 exposure, please make a new **PHONE APPOINTMENT**, you will be able to speak to a doctor, NP or a midwife about your symptoms. They will help you decide what next steps are needed.

****If you are having trouble breathing or are extremely unwell, and cannot wait for a phone appointment, you should seek emergency health services at a hospital or urgent care centre****

3. CANCELLING NON-ESSENTIAL APPOINTMENTS:

  • Please consider self-cancelling (on Veribook, our online booking system) any non-essential appointments for at least the next two weeks. Non-essential visits include: well baby checks and vaccines, chronic disease check-ups or non-urgent prescription refills.
  • There will be no charges for cancelled appointments, related to these changes.
  • If you are not sure if your appointment is essential or not, keep your existing appointment as a phone appointment and you can review with your careprovider without making any extra calls to our office.

4. WE CANNOT PROVIDE NOTES REGARDING WORK ABSENCE OR PERFORM UNNECESSARY OR INAPPROPRIATE TESTING:

  • As per instructions from the Minister of Health and the provincial Medical Officer of Health, we will not be providing notes for work absence, nor will we do COVID19 swabs unnecessarily. (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0077-00048… ) If necessary, consider showing your employer this letter.
  • We will be adhering to the screening guidelines provided by the BC CDC and Vancouver Coastal Health.

5. Connecting Pregnancy (CP) Group Care & Wednesday Postpartum Drop-in at South Community Birth Program

As of Monday, March 16, we will be cancelling all CP Groups until further notice.
You will be called to book a short appointment with a care provider, with the goal to be quickly in and out of the clinic. These appointments will be arranged in blocks to coincide with your CP group time.

6. Travel Advisory Notice

As of yesterday afternoon, the B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer is advising no non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Anyone choosing to travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return. This is disappointing news for families planning spring break vacations. You can find the Vancouver Coastal Health current update by clicking on Latest Statement – March 12 here:
http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-…

In British Columbia, there have been 53 positive COVID-19 cases to date. Of these cases, four in the Vancouver Coastal Health region have now fully recovered. Today, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced seven new cases in the province.
https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/trav…

7. Schools Closing in Ontario

Ontario is closing all public schools for two weeks after March break. We are sharing this information with you so you can prepare in case the same thing happens in BC.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ont…

8. Social Distancing

The most effective way to contain this virus is by limiting our public interactions. See this article from the Globe and Mail yesterday:

Shut it down: It’s time for Canada to get serious about social distancing.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-cor…

Around the world conferences and large gatherings are being cancelled - even Disneyland and Broadway plays in NYC have been shut down. Italy is now banning public gatherings and imposing travel restrictions for 60 million citizens, the first for a modern democracy.

We found this interesting graphic illustrating the power of Social Distancing. In 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, Philadelphia threw a parade that killed thousands. In St. Louis, just 900 miles away, within two days of detecting its first flu cases, the city closed schools, playgrounds, libraries, courtrooms, and even churches. Public gatherings of more than 20 people were banned. This is what deaths due to the outbreak looked like in both cities:

This doesn’t mean mass quarantine or shutting down our borders. But once a virus can no longer be contained, the goal is to slow its spread. Social Distancing has proven to be the most effective method of slowing down the spread and is the best prevention advice we can offer our patients and their families. But don’t forget to also practice good hand hygiene, avoid going to school/work if you feel unwell and stay hydrated and get extra rest as needed.

Remember – in order to continue keeping the clinic safe for all patients, we have implemented the following policies:

  • Bring Your Own Toys (BYOT) and Reading Material – there are none in the clinic.
  • Notify our Administration Staff by Phone – if you are experiencing cough/fever/respiratory symptoms before coming into the clinic. A care provider will call you back.
  • Safety in the Waiting Room – If you are sick, you may be asked to wait in your car, outside or go home. If you are there because a care provider told you to be seen, you will be directed to the sick waiting area. If you have a cough, our front staff will supply you with a face mask if you did not bring one.
  • Use Hand Sanitizer – As you enter the clinic and as you move around the clinic.
  • Pen or Pencil – bring your own pen to record your weight and blood pressure.Again, we know this is a stressful time and if you were planning a trip to Disneyland and have to tell your kids it is cancelled read this great article from The Guardian on talking to your kids about Covid-19:

Stop a worry becoming catastrophic: how to talk to your kids about the coronavirus

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar…

We will be sending out regular emails to keep you up to date and well informed. Also, please watch our websites and Facebook pages for updates and advice:

https://southhillhealth.com
https://www.facebook.com/southhillhealth
https://www.facebook.com/SouthCommunityBirthProgra…

The symptoms of COVID-19, are similar to other respiratory illnesses and include a dry cough, fever, tiredness and may involve difficulty breathing.

As always, if you are experiencing an emergency, for example, problems breathing, etc, please call 911. If you have health concerns, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

Stay healthy and safe,

Lee Saxell, RM, MA (Co-Director) on behalf of the South Community Birth Program Team
Rita McCracken, MD, PhD (Interim Medical Director) on behalf of the South Hill Team