South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice

COVID-19 Daily Memos

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The following memos provided important local information from our physicians and Nurse Practitioners to residents of the South Okanagan Similkameen from March - June 2020.

We have currently paused our COVID-19 Memos updates, and will resume when we have new information to share.

Our message continues to be: Patients are urged to continue to call their family medicine or walk-in clinic to book an appointment for care, whether COVID-19 related or for other regular or ongoing health issues. A by-phone, by-video or in-person appointment will be booked based on patient needs.

November 2020 update:

Pathways Virtual Care Directory has changed its name to, Pathways Medical Care Directory. For more information, please click here.


COVID-19 Memo: June 8- 14 2020

As our province eases restrictions, patients are urged to continue to call their family medicine or walk-in clinic to book an appointment for care, whether COVID-19 related or for other regular or ongoing health issues. A by-phone, by-video or in-person appointment will be booked based on patient needs. For more info on how local family medicine clinics and walk-in clinics are currently providing care, visit: Pathways virtual care directory


COVID-19 Memo: June 1 - 7 2020

As our province eases restrictions, patients are urged to continue to call their family medicine or walk-in clinic to book an appointment for care, whether COVID-19 related or for other regular or ongoing health issues. A by-phone, by-video or in-person appointment will be booked based on patient needs. For more info on how local family medicine clinics and walk-in clinics are currently providing care, visit: Pathways virtual care directory


COVID-19 Memo: May 25 - May 31  2020

Family physicians and nurse practitioners urge patients to continue to call their family medicine or walk-in clinic to book an appointment for care, whether COVID-19 related or for other regular or ongoing health issues. Pathways virtual care directory has been launched for the public to find out how their local clinic or walk-in clinic is providing care. Story link


COVID-19 Memo: May 19 - May 24  2020

Family physicians and nurse practitioners urge patients to continue to call their family medicine or walk-in clinic to book an appointment for care, whether COVID-19 related or for other regular or ongoing health issues. Pathways virtual care directory has been launched for the public to find out how their local clinic or walk-in clinic is providing care. Story link

COVID-19 Memo: May long weekend

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This long weekend, local care providers remind residents to stay local and keep our communities safe. Make smart choices, so we can explore BC soon. #HoldTheLine #DoYourPartBC

COVID-19 Memo: May 11 - May 15 2020

The SOS Division and our primary care provider community would like to thank individuals and organizations for their kind donations of PPE. We continue to welcome donations at ppedonations@sosdivision.ca. Please see these stories about mask donations: Penticton Western: From China with love: highschool ships masks to the Okanagan and Global TV: Okanagan connection leads to mask donations. Family doctors and nurse practitioners are available, and have created a variety of safe environments for patients to continue to receive care. If you have a health concern, please call your clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic.

COVID-19 Memo: May 4 - May 8 2020

Family doctors and nurse practitioners are available, and have created a variety of safe environments for patients to continue to receive care. If you have a health concern, please call your clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic. Patients will be cared for via phone, video, or if required, will have an in-person appointment booked. To learn more about accessing care in our rural communities, please visit these articles: Accessing Care in Oliver/Osoyoos, Accessing Care in Keremeos, Accessing Care in Princeton.

COVID-19 Memo: April 27-May 1 2020

Family doctors and nurse practitioners are available, and have created a variety of safe environments for patients to continue to receive care. If you have a health concern, please call your clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic. Patients will be cared for via phone, video, or if required, will have an in-person appointment booked. This appointment may be in-clinic, or at the outdoor assessment centre at McLaren Park Arena. We would like to thank the community for their continued support, and for donations. Please see story about a coordinated effort to make gowns for the outdoor assessment centre: Castanet Camo gowns for frontliners

Daily Memos: Thurs/Fri, April 22nd/23rd:

Family doctors and nurse practitioners are available, and have created a variety of safe environments for patients to continue to receive care. If you have a health concern, please call your clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic. Patients will be cared for via phone, video, or if required, will have an in-person appointment booked. This appointment may be in-clinic, or at the outdoor assessment centre at McLaren Park Arena.

Daily Memo: Wednesday, April 22nd:

Family doctors and nurse practitioners are available, and have created a variety of safe environments for patients to continue to receive care. If you have a health concern, please call your clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic. Patients will be cared for via phone, video, or if required, will have an in-person appointment booked. This appointment may be in-clinic, or at the outdoor assessment centre at McLaren Park Arena.

Daily Memo: Tuesday, April 21st:

Family doctors and nurse practitioners are available, and have created a variety of safe environments for patients to continue to receive care. If you have a health concern, please call your clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic. Patients will be cared for via phone, video, or if required, will have an in-person appointment booked. This appointment may be in-clinic, or at the outdoor assessment centre at McLaren Park Arena.

Daily Memo: Monday, April 20th:

Family doctors and nurse practitioners across the region continue to see patients over the phone, by video, and in-person, if required. We have been featuring how to access care in various communities. This week features Keremeos. Please click to visit Keremeos Review story. Also, we'd like to remind the public to keep up their social distancing measures, and as the weather warms, to continue to choose individual activities or those that allow for proper distancing.

Daily Memo: Friday, April 17th:

Local family physicians and nurse practitioners continue to assist with BC's "flattening the curve". This is being done by seeing more patients by virtual care, over the phone or by video conference. In-person appointments are still available when required -- with some patients being referred to the Outdoor Assessment Centre at McLaren Park Arena. Please continue to call your family medicine clinic, walk-in clinic or afterhours care centre to book an appointment. At that time, providers will help determine which care option is best for you. Thank you to the community for you continued support.

Daily Memo: Thursday, April 16th:

To reiterate: The SOS Division of Family Practice would like to recognize that this a challenging time for families with residents in long-term care facilities. At the same time, we want to assure the public that family physicians and nurse practitioners are dedicated, and are adapting and staying connected to patients, often by phone, and more and more via video. Homes have been implementing the BC CDC guidelines, and staff, management and care providers are communicating well and are working hard to continue to protect residents. Many homes are able to connect residents to families via ipad or cell phone, whil some are getting creative about trying to create a schedule to allow families to visit from outside the gates, or at the windows with a phone.

Daily Memo: Wednesday, April 15th:

The SOS Division of Family Practice would like to recognize that this a challenging time for families with residents in long-term care facilities. At the same time, we want to assure the public that family physicians and nurse practitioners are dedicated, and are adapting and staying connected to patients, often by phone, and more and more via video. Homes have been implementing the BC CDC guidelines, and staff, management and care providers are communicating well and are working hard to continue to protect residents. Many homes are able to connect residents to families via ipad or cell phone, whil some are getting creative about trying to create a schedule to allow families to visit from outside the gates, or at the windows with a phone.

Daily Memo: Tuesday, April 14th:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our community members who, together, are helping to 'flatten the curve' in BC. Throughout our region, family physicians and nurse practitioners continue to provide care. Please call ahead to your family medicine clinic, walk-in or afterhours clinic for an appointment. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment.

Daily Memo: Thursday, April 9:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our community members who, together, are helping to 'flatten the curve' in BC. We ask that you please keep up these practices, which are working to prevent an overburdened local healthcare system, over the Easter weekend. And, remember, throughout our region, family physicians and nurse practitioners continue to provide care. Please call ahead to your family medicine clinic, walk-in or afterhours clinic for an appointment. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment.

Daily Memo: Wednesday, April 8:

Throughout our region, family physicians and nurse practitioners continue to ask patients to please call ahead to their family medicine clinics or walk-in clinics for an appointment. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment.

For SOS Division of Family Practice information on finding care in Princeton, please visit a comprehensive article in the Similkameen Spotlight

Daily Memo: Tuesday, April 7:

Your family doctors and nurse practitioners continue to be available to provide primary care. In Summerland, physicians would like the public to know that afterhours care is still available in the community. During this time, appointments will be by phone or video, with in-person appointments reserved only for those who require a physical examination.

To access afterhours care, patients must call 250 404 4242, Monday to Thursday starting at 4:45pm, and starting at 12:45pm on weekends. Physicians will then return calls (M-Th: 5pm – 7:30pm, and Sat/Sun: 1pm – 4pm) in the order that the appointments were booked. If an in-person appointment is required, this will be scheduled at Rosedale Medical Clinic or at another location. The Summerland Afterhours Clinic does not offer COVID assessments, but would be happy to discuss COVID-related concerns over the phone or via video appointment.

Daily Memo: Monday, April 6:

Family physicians and nurse practitioners continue to ask patients to please call ahead to their family medicine clinics or walk-in clinics for an appointment. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment. If an in-person appointment is required, depending on the nature of the concern, the patient may be referred to the new Outdoor By-Appointment Assessment Centre at McLaren Park Arena.

Please view the recent article in the Penticton Herald about how physicians are responding to the crisis, and what you can do: Health care workers adapt in crisis

Daily Memo: Friday, April 3:

All patients: Please remember that during this time, your family physicians and nurse practitioners are here for you. You will continue to receive primary care, whether that's for maternity care or for other health concerns. To access primary care,we ask that patients continue to call their family medicine clinic or a walk-in clinic to book an appointment for care. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment. If an in-person appointment is required, depending on the nature of the concern, the patient may be referred to the new Outdoor By-Appointment Assessment Centre at McLaren Park Arena. We ask that all patients call ahead, and do not 'show up' at any family medicine clinics, or at the Assessment Centre. 

Daily Memo: Thursday, April 2:

The SOS Division of Family Practice would like to thank the public for doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, and encourage you to keep up your efforts.

Please remember that during this time, your family physicians and nurse practitioners are here for you. For non-emergency health concerns, patients are reminded to call their family medicine clinic or a walk-in clinic for care. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment. If an in-person appointment is required, the patient may be referred to the new Outdoor By-Appointment Assessment Centre at McLaren Park Arena.

Daily Memo: Wednesday, April 1:

By-Appointment Only, Outdoor Assessment Centre at McLaren Park Arena: For non-emergency health concerns, patients are reminded to call their family medicine clinic or a walk-in clinic for care. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment. If an in-person appointment is required, the patient may be referred to the new Outdoor By-Appointment Assessment Centre at McLaren Park Arena.

Watch two stories on Global Okanagan that explain how the Assessment Centre Works:

News Story: How to receive care at the Outdoor Assessment Centre

Extended interview with Outdoor Assessment physician, Dr. Greg Selinger

Daily Memo: Tuesday, March 31:

Family physicians and nurse practitioners are working together to find ways to safely provide care for patients at long-term care facilities. Please click for more information for family members of long-term care residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For non-emergency health concerns, patients are reminded to call their family medicine clinic or a walk-in clinic for care. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment. If an in-person appointment is required, the patient may be referred to the new Outdoor By-Appointment Assessment Centre at McLaren Park Arena.

Daily Memo: Monday, March 30:

For non-emergency health concerns, patients are reminded to call their family medicine clinic or a walk-in clinic for care. Patients will either be scheduled for an appointment by phone, by video or, if necessary, for a face-to-face appointment. Face-to-face appointments are being limited at some clinics in order to limit potential spread of COVID-19.  

If an in-person appointment is required, the patient may be referred to the new Outdoor By-Appointment Assessment Centre opening today at McLaren Park Arena. This Centre is an option for patients who need to be seen in person by a doctor or nurse practitioner. This is not a testing site for COVID-19. When an appointment is booked, instructions will be given to guide the patient through the appointment process.

Daily Memo: Friday, March 27:

New option for in-person appointments: Starting Monday, March 30th, local family physicians and nurse practitioners are adding a new option for patients who need in-person appointments with a care provider. These patients can be seen, by appointment only, at a new outdoor assessment centre in Penticton. This Centre at McLaren Park Arena parking lot is not a COVID-19 testing site. Rather, it is an opportunity for a physician or nurse practitioner to determine a patient’s immediate care needs, while ensuring that as a community we work to reduce potential spread of COVID-19.

How it works: A patient calls their family medicine clinic or walk-in clinic. If their needs can be met with a video or phone appointment with their regular provider, that will be booked. If a face-to-face appointment is required, the clinic will then schedule an appointment for the patient to see a nurse practitioner or family doctor at the Assessment Centre. Instructions from the clinic and signage at the site will easily guide the patient through the experience. *Remember to call your family medicine clinic, and do not show up at the door for an appointment!

Related Press Release

Daily Memo: Thursday, March 26:

Accessing nonemergency care: please call your family medicine clinic to inquire about setting up a virtual appointment. If you do not have a GP/NP, call a local walk-in clinic. GPs and NPs in the South Okanagan Similkameen are here for you, but it remains very important that no patients ‘show up’ at any medical clinics without first calling ahead.

Call out for Protective Equipment: Local GPs and NPs are graciously accepting public donations of Personal Protective Equipment to assist in their frontline battle against COVID-19. If your organization or business is willing to donate any unused equipment listed below, please do not drop off equipment at hospital or clinics. Pease email ppedonations@sosdivision.ca

  • Surgical or procedural masks or n95 masks
  • Industrial dust masks
  • Latex and non-latex gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety goggles
  • Face shields (with or without masks)
  • Procedural gowns

Related Press Release

Daily Memo: Wednesday, March 25:  

Your family doctors, nurse practitioners and midwives in the South Okanagan Similkameen are graciously accepting public donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to assist in their frontline battle against COVID-19. If your organization or business is willing to donate any unused equipment listed below, please email ppedonations@sosdivision.ca

  • Surgical or procedural masks
  • Industrial dust masks
  • Latex and non-latex gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety goggles
  • Face shields (with or without masks)
  • Procedural gowns 

Family doctors, NPs and midwives are very grateful for the support of their community during this challenging time.

Related Press Release

Daily Memo: Tuesday, March 24:

GPs and NPs in the South Okanagan Similkameen are here for you. If you are in need of non-emergency medical care, call your    family medicine clinic to inquire about setting up a virtual appointment. If you do not have a GP/NP, call a local walk-in clinic. We all have a responsibility to comply with social distancing measures; It is very important that no patients ‘show up’ at any medical clinics without first calling ahead. Our actions today will greatly impact how COVID-19 will impact our communities in the coming weeks and months. Please do your part and #stayhome


Your GPs and NPs are here for you

Most clinics in the South Okanagan Similkameen are continuing to book appointments through telephone and video conference.
Call your GP or Nurse Practitioner to set up a virtual (non-emergency) appointment. If you do not have a primary care provider, call a local walk-in clinic for care.
 

Do your part to protect our communities

Dr. Bonnie Henry has reiterated that social distancing measures are not optional. All BC residents have been ordered to keep at least one metre apart, cover coughs, and wash their hands frequently. Containing the spread of COVID-19 is not possible without full participation from all community members.
 

Call ahead before you visit your family clinic or walk-in clinic

South Okanagan Similkameen family physicians and nurse practitioners are asking all patients to call ahead before visiting a family medicine clinic.   It is essential to inform clinic staff of any with any flu-like or respiratory symptoms you are experiencing over the phone prior to your arrival. The clinic will provide you with instructions on how to proceed.   
 
By calling ahead, you help the medical staff prepare for your visit and reduce the spread of the virus in our communities.  
 

To keep well:

  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds each time 
  • Do not touch your face
  • Stay at least one metre apart
  • Sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow, not into your hands.
  • Use a tissue or wash hankies after each use.
  • Your phone and virtual platforms are a great way to continue to stay connected with friends & family. 
  • Listen to the experts, keep calm and make wise & kind choices.
 
 For more information and recommendations on what to do if you feel symptomatic, visit:
 

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