Victoria Division of Family Practice

COVID-19 information for physicians

updated on: November 20, 2020, 4pm

Please visit Island Health's Primary Care Package page and the BCCDC page regularly for updates.

The Pathways homepage banner has the latest COVID-19 updates every day. Pathways hosts key patient and physician resources including up-to-date information and referral forms in the specialty category "COVID care". COVID-19 patient resources can be sent directly to patients from a new no-reply email.

If you have questions or need any support, please email us at

We are sending out COVID-19 updates to all members as new information becomes available. View these updates here.

Click the links for more COVID-related information (selected from our COVID-19 updates):

Local clinical resources (includes COVID-19 & Flu Task Force)

Local news and opportunities (non-Island Health)

Physician support, health, wellness

Island Health information for family physicians

DoBC and other news and resources


Webinars and recordings

Local clinical resources

COVID-19 & Flu Task Force and PPE

  • The BCCDC has issued instructions for rinse and gargle tests.  (November 20)
  • You will have received a DoBC update that the centralized PPE distribution system for doctor offices will be launched end of November. (November13)
  • Please read the COVID-19 Task Force’s Q&A on providing masks to community practices and use the new requisition form. Medical masks are now mandatory for patients, visitors, healthcare workers and non-clinical staff in community physician offices. (November 12)
  • Please view the COVID-19 Task Force's updated COVID-19 patient flow map. The update 1) recognizes that clinics are now seeing low/no COVID risk patients, 2) incorporates updated COVID testing pathways, 3) links to the updated Assessment Clinic referral form for higher COVID risk patients needing a physical exam, and 4) adds the contact number of the James Bay UPCC for same-day low/no COVID risk urgent care. (November 6)

  • Masks are now required in all doctor offices and health facilities, and have to be provided to patients. Read more here (scroll down in the newsletter). If you need additional masks as a result of the new policy, please contact DoBC will send a Q&A and a sign for your offices asap. (November 6)
  • Resources for your patients experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic  can be found at (November 3)
  • Celebrate less socially and trick-or-treat locally this Halloween! Please view BCCDC’s Halloween COVID-19 guidelines for patients/the public here.
  • Please read the October 26 Task Force memo with updates on influenza vaccine availability and distribution, mass immunizations, and on COVID-19 testing for the public and for physicians and their families. Did you know that if you do an immunization for someone 18 years of age or younger you can bill a visit fee in addition to the injection—even if they’re there just for the immunization?
  • The MoH is seeking community family physicians who are interested in potential redeployment opportunities as part of the COVID-19 response this fall and winter. More information and health authority contact
  • The Ministry of Health shared an October 19 update on COVID PPE and planning support for community physicians. PCPs will be able obtain PPE at no charge through our provincial supply chain and distribution system(October 19).
  • Public Health Influenza vaccination clinics are looking for physician support in giving vaccinations. Please view the list Immunization clinics looking for staff. If you are interested please contact the public health office directly (number on spreadsheet).  Public Health will confirm your shifts via email and will copy Medical Affairs ( who will contact you regarding compensation.
  • Please read the October 16 Task Force update with important information on vaccine eligibility, mass immunization locations, vaccine order and delivery, the MyHealth portal for quick test results, FP work opportunities at the new COVID testing site, testing for community physicians and family members, and more. (October 16)
  • Please read the October 9 Task Force memo on immunization and testing, with two immunization patient hand-outs included. (October 9)
  • Please read today's Task Force update on  immunization, vaccine delivery by the Division, testing, back-to-school information and fee code changes.(October 1)
  • The COVID-19 Task Force materials on back-to-school guidance are now also available on the DoBC website for provincial use: What to do if your child becomes ill? A guide for parents and family doctors
  • The COVID-19 Task Force has created easy-to-use materials to help you guide parents and children through the return to school. Please read their September 8 memo and view Managing COVID-19 Symptoms at HomeSelf-Isolating at HomeManaging COVID-19 Symptoms at SchoolGuidance for returning to School. (Sep 8)
  • Please read today's Task Force memo on the flu immunization strategy, COVID back-to-school planning and local COVID testing.  (Sep 3)
  • Please read the memo from the Task Force Co-Chairs with a back-to-office poll and updates on resources and supports. (July 16)
  • The Victoria and South Island Divisions have a limited amount of PPE available for members on a first come, first served basis. Please email if you need to access it. More details on steps to source PPE from your Division, suppliers and Island Health can be found here. (June 24)
  • Please read the COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs’ memo on next steps with CAPE, High Risk and testing clinics. (June 18)
  • The Victoria and South Island Divisions of Family Practice have put together steps you can take to source PPE. More (June 15)
  • word document  is available to easily adapt the safety plan template from the “The Doctor is In” guide for your individual office. (June 5)
  • Your PSP coordinators can help you craft your safety plan. They will attend the Q&A at the May 28 The Doctor is In – Part 2 webinar. Please register here before Wednesday, May 27, at 9pm. (May 27)
  • Please read the COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs’ May 21 memo. This Friday, May 22 from 12-12:30pm, the Victoria and South Island Divisions of Family Practice will be hosting a zoom webinar "The Doctor is In"  to run you through the DoBC's new one-stop information resource "The Doctor is In: Recommendations for expanding in-person care in community-based physician practices". Please register here. A follow-up Q&A session is scheduled for next Thursday, May 28, from 5:30-7pm (registration link will follow early next week). (May 21)
  • Please read the memo from the COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs about expanding in-person care, on the Task Force's next steps, and on PPE. (May 15)
  • View the May 13  memo from the COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs. As per today's briefing by Dr. Henry, we are expected to continue to offer essential services.
    An updated patient flow chart with obstetrics included is available here.
  • View the May 11 memo from the Task Force co-chairs.
  • View the May 6 memo from the COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs. (May 6)
  • View the CAPE and Referral clinics page (with forms including MedAccess) on this website.
  • View today’s memo from the COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs with an updated patient flow diagram and information on the new forum. (May 4)
  • Read the member memo on process and future from our local COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs with graphical flow sheets “Patient Flow in the time of COVID-19” and “Obstetrical and Sexual Health care in the time of COVID-19” and a new online tool to start the dialogue what is needed to help you see patients in your office again and to support longer-term practice changes, if desired. (April 29)
  • View the Victoria and South Island Divisions co-chairs' memo on PPE, assessments and CAPE clinics. (April 17)
  • Ensuring your practice survives COVID-19: Read the community FP memo from Drs Aaron Childs (Victoria) and Jaron Easterbrook (South Island) on why your referrals for physical examinations to CAPE clinics absolutely matter for safety, and why and how to do proactive patient outreach now. (April 15)
  • A comprehensive COVID-19 primary care package: Preparing your family practice for COVID-19 is now available here. This is a working document that has been prepared by Drs Aaron Childs (VDFP) and Jaron Easterbrook (SIDFP). (March 19)

Clinics and referral forms

  • Pathways Virtual Care Directory is now named Pathways Medical Care Directory.  A refreshed landing page helps patients access local information on primary care, flu shots, COVID-19 testing centres and COVID-19 resources. You can add customized specifics, including your flu shot clinic, to your provider listing. Please contact for customization. View an example.  (November 6)
  • The COVID-19 Assessment Clinic Referral form has been updated with the new Westshore Clinic information. The fax form Requisition for COVID-19 Testing now includes a field for the date of onset of symptoms. Both updated forms are available on Pathways. (October 9)
  • Please view Island Health’s updated COVID-19 testing referral information. If a patient has symptoms, please have them call the call centre directly at 1-844-901-8442 to book their testing appointment. No referral form is needed and the preference is that we move away from sending one. It has been challenging for call centre staff to reach the patient after the fax referral has been received and it takes much longer to get the appointment booked that way. If for any reason it is felt that a form is needed, please use the new form in the COVID-19 testing referral information. (Aug 27)
  • Have you checked your office's listing on the Pathways Medical Care Directory? View the directory and see how your listing looks. Check out these options for additional information that can be included. If you do not already have a listing and would like one, please complete the Family Physician surveyRead more about the directory and the benefits for patients and providers. (July 16)
  • The South Island Obstetrics & Gynecology Division informs how they currently run offices and clinics.
    (June 15)
  • Log into Pathways to view BC Cancer Agency updates on screening mammography centres and the mobile service who are now re-booking appointments for June and beyond. (June 2)
  • Island Health's Child and Youth Psychiatry has a new Urgent Response Team program to provide rapid outpatient/virtual support during the pandemic to children and youth with acute deterioration in their mental health. More under Clinic Updates on the Pathways homepage. (May 7)
  • Foundry Victoria (Addiction Medicine, Family Practice, and Psychiatry: Child and Youth ages 12-24) offers virtual drop-in counselling sessions by voice, video and chat to young people and their caregivers. More under Clinic Updates on the Pathways homepage. (May 7)
  • The on call Pediatricians advise of current care options including the Urgent Pediatric Assessment Clinic (UPAC) in their letter here. The referral form for the VGH UPAC clinic can be found here and on Pathways. (April 24)
  • Island Health now uses new remote patient monitoring technology to support people with mild to moderate COVID-19, and to prioritize populations most at risk of deterioration and poor outcomes. (April 15)
  • Non-COVID patients with urgent MSK issues can be helped safely at RebalanceMD instead of going to the ER. View the referral criteria/types of cases the urgent access clinic can see. Patients can phone directly to arrange an urgent appointment. (April 6)

Labs and prescriptions

  • Island Health is making temporary changes to outpatient lab services to support the COVID-19 response. (October 29)
  • The tool (user search term: drugsearch) displays drug prices and if a medication requires Special Authority application first to enable Pharmacare coverage. (August 21)
  • All Life Labs Centres will be open as of May 26, 2020, but some may have reduced hours. Please remind your patients to check online for hours. Life Labs will continue to use their central fax requisition number 1-888-674-0370.
  • Tips for efficient and safe prescriptions: London Drugs advises of the best ways to ensure prescriptions are filled efficiently with social distancing being maintained, especially for the vulnerable and elderly:
    • FPs fax prescription to patient’s pharmacy of choice; most pharmacies offer free delivery to patients
    • Refills and chronic meds take about one day to fill (wholesalers are rationing stock, which causes delays)
    • Mark any acute prescriptions, such as pain or discharge orders  “RUSH” for immediate dispensing
    • Write down CWR (call when ready); pharmacy will notify patients to avoid unnecessary patient trips. (March 25) 
  • The latest local lab updates can be found here. The PHO also released a provincial list of operational lab changes. 
  • Exemptions for prescriptions: verbal prescription allowed. Health Canada has issued temporary exemptions for prescriptions of controlled substances: Prescribers can now verbally issue prescriptions of controlled substances; pharmacists can extend and renew these prescriptions and transfer them to other pharmacists; and pharmacy employees can deliver to patients. More here(March 30)
  • Are you seeking Plan G coverage for psychiatric medications for your patients during the COVID pandemic? A verbal declaration from the patient is currently sufficient as part of the Pharmacare application form, if the physician signs the form and indicates that they witnessed the patient's verbal declaration. (April 7)

Telemedicine (more: Telemedicine page)

  • A new discount code is now available for members who have not yet signed up and wish to make use of discounted access. Please contact for the code. (March 25). See also our telemedicine page.
  • Zoom for Healthcare licenses at no cost are now available to BC physicians. The provincial government is funding a total of 10,000 licenses for providers. If you would like to upgrade from the free zoom version to the more secure Healthcare version or are still looking for a videoconferencing tool, contact for a free license. (April 20)

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Local news and opportunities (non-Island Health)

  • RACE has a new specialty - 'Psychiatry - Sexual Medicine (Vancouver Island)'. Dr. Shauna Correia (Psychiatry) will be providing coverage effective May 4th. Gary Clarke has taken over local RACE support and can be reached at (May 6)
  • The Division is funding 30 seats for the San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training (College of Family Physicians of Canada certified for up to 20 CME credits). It’s more important than ever to ensure that Cultural Safety & Humility is at the fore front of care during these stressful times. Read more here and email Helen Welch at to register. (May 4)
  • VDFP member Dr. Bill Bullock was interviewed for the Times Colonist article Crisis in the shadows: Convergence of pandemic and opioid-overdose emergency on safe supply prescriptions and the great work of the VDFP-supported Victoria Inner City Covid Response working group led by Dr. Anne Nguyen. May 4)
  • We continue to spread the word that doctor offices are open. An opinion article Family doctors reassure Greater Victoria patients they’re not a bother by the Victoria and South Island Divisions' co-chairs got published today. Over the past weeks, Drs Aaron Childs and Kathy Dabrus gave eight interviews in conjunction with the DoBC awareness campaigns, which were covered by Times Colonist, CTV News, CHEK News, CBC, CFAX 1070 and other local media outlets, and we keep sharing the message on our facebook page.
  • Helping your clinic with patient outreach:

    New outreach tools for physicians are available to make patients aware that doctor offices are (virtually) open during COVID-19, and to let patients know that if they need care, they should call their doctor first. Click here to view an email template, a phone script for MOA follow-up calls, content and templates you can use on your social media, and a virtual care poster. The Division has been doing media outreach in alignment with the DoBC campaign to share the message. (April 7)
  • Is your clinic closed and you have extra Personal Protective Equipment? Please bring any available PPE you may have to our attention for redistribution: (March 23)

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Physician support, health, wellness

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Select Island Health information for family physicians

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DoBC and other news or resources

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