COVID-19 forces changes to Sooke medical clinic

Virtual assessments and weekend closures implemented

Rick Stiebel

Sooke News Mirror

Effective immediately, West Coast Family Medical Clinic will no longer see patients who have a family physician at another clinic as part of changes arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have long encouraged patients to see their own doctors, in order to allow us to serve more unattached patients, but this is now clinic policy,” said Robin Stewart, lead medical assistant at West Coast Family Medical Clinic.

“We are now making virtual appointments available online, so that our patients can videoconference with their physicians from home.”

That will enable the doctors at the clinic to assess patients with communicable illnesses without putting other community members at risk, and will allow patients who are well to avoid exposure, Stewart said.

Virtual appointments require an internet connection and a computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Screening for COVID-19 is not available at the clinic. Patients who require screening after a virtual assessment will be directed to the local screening facility.

Only one case of COVID-19 has been reported on the South Island so far, Stewart said. “By taking precautions and avoiding infection, we hope to avoid widespread illness in our communities.” That includes washing hands properly, avoiding large gatherings and staying home if you are ill.

Symptoms of viral infection include cough, fever, chills, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, muscle pain, sinus pain and pressure, shortness of breath, and vomiting and diarrhea. It’s important to note that these symptoms occur with many common viral infections, and not to panic if they occur, she said. Patients exhibiting symptoms of any type of viral infection will be assessed by virtual appointment or by phone before being seen in person.

Stewart stressed the importance of staying home if you are sick, even with a cold, as an important part of keeping family, friends and colleagues safe.

“If you are unable to manage at home and feel that you must be seen in the emergency department, please call ahead. Let them know your concerns and that you need to be assessed,” she said.

That will help keep other patients safe and will protect the doctors, nurses and support staff who are working hard to respond to this outbreak, Stewart added.

West Coast Family Medical Clinic will not be open on weekends until further notice. Unattached patients will still be seen through the urgent access clinic on weekdays, but can expect to be assessed virtually as well when appropriate.

Visit islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/diseases-conditions/novel-coronavirus-information and

healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19 for more information.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Judge rejects pandemic as reason to grant bail to immunocompromised prisoner

Esquimalt man told there are more health risks for addicts on the street than there are in jail

VicPD asks for help finding owner of recovered camera

Camera contained images of a family celebrating a wedding

More than 600 items donated to the homeless occupants of Topaz Park

Newly established Neighbourhood Response Team helps coordinate collection

Investigators seek witnesses in death of Langford woman Angela Dalman

Police seek out dash cam footage, home security videos and neighbourhood witnesses

New #yyjegghunt2020 joins the ranks of fun, social distancing activities in Greater Victoria

With hearts and lights illuminating windows and doorways across Greater Victoria as… Continue reading

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

COVID-19 self-isolation plan or quarantine, returning B.C. residents told

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

Most Read