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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.

The SOUTH Update
COVID-19: November 2020

Be calm, be kind, be safe.

~Dr. Bonnie Henry

* New Content

  1. ****COVID-19 Updates - November 9, 2020
  2. *Public Health Flu Vaccine Clinics - Starting Nov 3*
  3. ****BREAKING NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccine is looking 90 per cent effective****
  4. *Anti-Racism committee update
  5. Waiting room and wearing masks
  6. South Hill - Most appointments STILL via phone/video
  7. Vaccine clinics: Infant and child routine vaccines
  8. ****New Zoom Groups Coming****
  9. Baby care basics: ***new dates
  10. Motherlode - Pathways forward for new mothers : ***new dates
  11. SCBP - Prenatal Care: ***new update
  12. SCBP - Connecting Pregnancy Zoom groups
  13. SCBP - Postpartum Care & Zoom Drop-in: ***new update
  14. Registered Clinical Counselor sessions - virtual, in clinic and outside
  15. *Return to school information

1. COVID-19 update - this order in effect until November 23, 2020 at 12pm

By order of the Provincial Health Officer, all individuals, places of work and businesses within the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions must significantly reduce social interactions and travel.

  • No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your immediate household.
  • Businesses, recreation centres or other organizations that organize or operate indoor group physical activities must suspend these activities. Indoor group physical activities can only resume when the business has updated their COVID-19 safety plan and received plan approval from their local Medical Health Officer.
  • All businesses and worksites must conduct active daily in-person screening of all onsite workers using the COVID-19 symptom check list that is part of every business restart safety plan.
  • Workplaces must ensure that all workers and customers maintain appropriate physical distance and wear masks when appropriate. Extra care should be taken in small office spaces, break rooms and kitchens
    At this time all providers, staff and patients are required to wear disposable paper masks in the clinic. If you arrive wearing a cloth mask we will supply you with a disposable mask free of charge. ***Please sanitize your hands after changing masks***

COVID-19: BC Dashboard

Click on the links below to access COVID-19 dashboards for the latest case counts and information:

Mobile and most browsers:

Internet Explorer users:

COVID-19: Canada Dashboard

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.

2. Public Health Flu Vaccine Clinics

South Hill Health Centre’s Rapid Access Flu Vaccine Clinic was set up in the underground parkade of our Health Center. You might have heard about it on the news:

On October 15th, the City of Vancouver received a complaint about the location where the clinic was being held. It is true, we did not have a permit. We did try to get one from the City of Vancouver for an outside mobile clinic but by the time we could meet their demands, the flu season would have been over. So we stayed inside and went “underground”, so to speak. After much back and forth with the City, we received notice to cease and desist - in 30 days. Which meant we could continue with our Flu Clinics for 3 weeks, as planned.

From Oct 13 to Oct 30 we vaccinated more than 2,000 people - half of these were children under 5 years old!

Unfortunately, we need to continue restricting patient in-person clinic visits and are unable to provide the flu vaccine by appointment. In addition, we have already used more than our allotted supply of flu vaccine and have been advised we will not be receiving more.

Please go to your local pharmacy for the flu vaccine or for more options click the button below for a list of community flu clinics within Vancouver.

We learned a lot about the efficiencies of running a Rapid Access Flu Clinic and are now better prepared to care for and vaccinate our patients when the COVID-19 Flu Vaccine rolls out. Update on the COVID-19 vaccine today:

Click for Vancouver Coastal Health Community Flu Clinics

3. BREAKING NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccine is looking 90 per cent effective

Pfizer Inc. said today that its COVID-19 vaccine may be a remarkable 90% effective, based on early and incomplete test results that nevertheless brought a big burst of optimism to a world desperate for the means to finally bring the catastrophic outbreak under control. Pfizer, which is developing the vaccine with its German partner BioNTech, now is on track to apply later this month for emergency-use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, once it has the necessary safety information in hand. Experts said they still wanted to see the full trail data, which have yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, but the preliminary results looked encouraging.

Pfizer appeared to take the lead in the all-out global race by pharmaceutical companies and various countries to develop a well-tested vaccine against the virus. They expect to roll out 50 million doses in 2020 and 1.3 billion in 2021.

Read the entire news release here:

4. Anti-Racism Committee Update

The South Clinic Anti-Racism Committee continues to meet to analyze our current practices and develop a plan for an actively anti-racist and anti-oppressive clinic.

We are currently in the process of organizing anti-racism trainings for all South care providers through the Health Equity and Anti-Racism Training (HEART) Collaborative.

In October, team members of South, along with members of the Hummingbird Project (a stillbirth prevention study group), attended a fantastic Diversity/Inclusion/Anti-Oppression workshop with Jada-Gabrielle Pape. She is Coast Salish from the Saanich and Snuneymuxw Nations and a specialist in cultural safety and training workshops. For more information about her and how to book one of her workshops please go here:

At the end of November, the South doula team will be participating in a virtual workshop hosted by the Nesting Doula Collective called ‘Anti-Racism Tools for Your Doula Bag’. This workshop will support doulas in recognizing and responding to racism in order to best support and affirm Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) families in birth and beyond. Nesting Doula Collective is a passionate group of doulas based in the greater Victoria, BC area with a special focus on providing prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum doula care to culturally diverse communities. For more information about their work, visit:

High-quality data and research are necessary to properly address health disparities and promote system-level change. Please consider participating in the Research Examining the Stories of Pregnancy and Childbearing in Canada Today (RESPCCT) study, which is addressing research gaps by examining people’s experiences of pregnancy and birth across diverse cultures, backgrounds, circumstances, and identities.

We’ll provide another update on our activities next month. In the meantime, please take a look at our updated South Clinic Anti-Racism Resource List . Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any additions - as always, we welcome feedback and suggestions about this work.

On behalf of the South Clinic Anti-Racism Committee

Heba Al-Nashef, RM; Preveena Dharmaraj, MD: Rebecca Dickinson, RM; Kiran Nayar, MD; Tobi Reid, RM

5. 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.

At this time all providers, staff and patients are required to wear

disposable paper masks in the clinic. If you arrive wearing a cloth mask

we will supply you with a disposable mask free of charge.

***Please sanitize your hands after changing masks***

Face Masks: How are they different?

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.

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


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.

If you have a long distance phone number, we kindly ask that you either book a video appointment or provide a local phone number. As a reminder, for the video appointments, please ensure you are logged on to the Doxy platform a few minutes ahead of your booked time. This will help us run as smoothly as possible and be on time for everyone’s appointments.

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 @ 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**

We will alert you immediately to when we will be widely opening our doors to see patients. For now, we are continuing with restricted in-person clinic appointments. We continue to follow the directions of the Public Health Officer. Next update will be on November 23.

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

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

7. Vaccine Clinics: Infant and Child routine vaccines

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

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.

To minimize your interaction with other families and staff at the clinic we have specific clinics for spaced out, vaccine only appointments. We will not be offering flu vaccines at these appointments.

Vaccine clinic dates: We are running vaccine clinics on specific days throughout November 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

8. ***New Zoom Groups Coming***

Our Baby Care Basics & Motherlode Zoom Groups have proven to be very popular with all of our patients. Attendance is much easier when you do not need to pack up your baby into a car seat and drive to the group. Here are some Zoom Groups we are planning in the New Year:

  • Breastfeeding Success Tips - hosted by our Lactation Consultants
  • Talking about Sleep Training for Infants -overview of the programs out there
  • Circle of Security: Early Intervention Programs for Parents & Children - several of our providers have completed this training and several more are planning to also do it. This is a very effective parenting program. Go here to read about it:

If you think you may be interested in any of our new Zooms Group, please email us at If there are any other group topics you would like to see offered, let us know!

9. 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:

The next session will be held on:
Friday, November 13th: 3:00 - 4:30 PM - FREE**
Friday, December 4th: 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:

The next session will be held on:

Thursday, November 19th: 2:00 - 3:30 PM - FREE**
Thursday, December 3rd: 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.

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

There is still room to sign up for this Motherload Group. The next one will be offered in the New Year.

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 November 18th to December 16th - 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 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.

11. 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).

Keeping face-to-face encounters less than 15 min helps to reduce transmission.

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 or video chat.

**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.

12. 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 pod time time. 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.

13. 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. Once you are 2 weeks postpartum, partners are asked to attend the visit by phone or video.

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 a minimum of 20 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. Visits will be alternating with virtual and in-person clinics visits. Your nurse will plan these appointments with you. The schedule, approximately is:

First baby:

>In hospital or clinic: day 1 and 3

>Video or phone call: day 5

> Video or phone call: day 8 or 9

>In clinic: 2wk

> Video or phone call: at 4wk

>In clinic: for discharge at 6 wks

Second or more baby:

>In hospital or clinic: day 1 and 3

>Video or phone call: day 5

> Video or phone call: day 8 or 9

> Video or phone call: day 14 or 15

>In clinic: at 3wk

>In clinic: for discharge at 6 wks

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


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!

November 11th No session today (STAT)

November 18th Getting Past Perfectionism as Parents (Clinical Counsellor Danielle Schroeder, MA, RCC)

November 25th Babywearing 101: Benefits, Safety and Options (Babywearing Educator Karla Castro)

December 2nd Easing Back into Fitness (Fit4Two’s Melanie Osmack)

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

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)

14. Registered Clinical Counselor

Danielle Schroeder MA, RCC

Danielle is continuing to provide virtual appointments and also meeting with patients 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:

13. Return to school information

Letter from South Hill re: Return to school
Listing the situations in which it is safe for a student to return to school or child care after being ill, or being exposed to someone with an illness. Physician notes are not required for any of these situations. In fact, they are advised against to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed. Download here:

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

These recommendations are in accordance with the most recent guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control:

Guidelines are expected to continue to evolve throughout the school year, and South Hill will update this letter accordingly. Please do not hesitate to contact South Hill Family Health Centre with concerns. We greatly appreciate the role of all educators and school employees in supporting a safe return to school for children.

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:

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

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

Covid Update archive