COVID-19 information for physicians
updated on: January 13, 2022
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We are sending out COVID-19 updates to all members via Newsflash as needed. View the Newsflash (you need to be logged in).
Click the links for more COVID-related information (selected from our COVID-19 updates):
Provider-Specific Information (including Health & Wellness)
Local News and Opportunities (non-Island Health)
Island Health COVID Primary Care Updates:
- January 12th, COVID Primary Care Update
- January 5th COVID Primary Care Update
- December 15 COVID Primary Care Update
- December 1st COVID Primary Care Update
Island Health regularly posts their COVID Primary Care updates in the News section of their Medical Staff web page.
Island Health MHO Newsletters:
- Please read the MHO Newsletter - COVID-19 Update #20
- Please read the MHO Newsletter - COVID-19 Update #19
- All businesses, including doctors’ offices, must ensure their COVID safety plans are in place, given the high number of people (and staff) contracting the Omicron variant and taking sick time. The estimate is that businesses could see up to 30% of their employees off sick with the variant.
- All providers are asked to follow the BCCDC Point of Care Risk Assessment process for all patient/client/resident interactions. An updated BCCDC/MoH/Island Health document outlines the most appropriate PPE for healthcare workers by clinical activity and setting (N95 in elevated risk scenarios only).
- A new COVID-19 testing line for symptomatic providers is now in place at 1-833-737-9377. (Sep 3)
- The BCCFP has created resources to support FP resiliency and wellness during COVID-19: ABC123 Psychological First Aid Tool, Staying Well While Working from Home, Recognizing and Preventing Burnout During a Pandemic
- Self-care resources for health care professionals from the Canadian Mental Health Association & Safe Care BC can be found here.
- The BC Physician Health Program (PHP) is offering free drop-in COVID-19 Physician Peer Support Sessions every Wednesday from 12-1 pm via Zoom. You can join by phone or video. (updated Dec. 17)
- The Physician Health Program (PHP) has a 24/7 intake line and counselling staff who are standing by for your call in times of stress and burn-out. Call (1-800-663-6729) to speak to a trained Clinical Counsellor, or visit their website.
Testing for COVID:
- BCCDC's latest updates on COVID testing can be found here.
- Island Health is increasing access to COVID-19 booster doses for medical staff with site-based clinics over the next few weeks. Community Primary Care physicians may also attend and self-identify as community physicians (Island Health ID not required). This week, clinic locations are confirmed for VGH, RJH, NRGH, CDH, and CRGH, with other clinic locations being finalized.
- Community healthcare workers are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine boosters now but must self-identify on the Get Vaccinated website. Please see the letter from Immunize BC and Ministry of Health for instructions.
- In early January, all community health care workers, including physicians in private or community practice, will be invited to receive their COVID booster based on the interval (between 6 - 8 months) from their second dose. To receive the invitation, you must be registered on the Get Vaccinated site and self-identify as a health care worker. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
- BCCDC's latest vaccine recommendations can be found here.
- Information on who is eligible for a 3rd dose, how to get a 3rd dose and the difference between a 3rd dose and booster shot is available here.
- Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical Guidance with clarification on Question # 4: booster dose eligibility, prioritization and timing is available here.
- BCCDC issued a new statement on the extension of intervals between first and second doses.
- HealthLink BC has created separate informational webpages for the public on mRNA vaccines and on viral vector vaccines.
- Doctors, other providers and MOAs - important information for your second shot: You are required to sign up on the provincial vaccine registry website to be notified for the second vaccine dose. Read more (May 6)
- Patient FAQ by Thrombosis Canada on vaccines and blood clots. (April 29)
- Pregnant Patients and Vaccine recommendations: SOGC - Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy and The Society of Obstetrics & Gynaecologists - Pregnancy info
- Patient counselling: “What to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine” (PDF) – has been added to the Doctors of BC vaccine information toolkit, and a new DocTalks podcast: Vaccine hesitancy – Talking to patients about the COVID-19 vaccine is available.
- BCCDC guidance on assessing and managing long-term COVID-19 symptoms in primary care can be found here.
- The presentation on post COVID-19 care in BC from a recent Primary Care Grand Round can be viewed here. (April 1)
Specific Patient Populations:
- There are concerns regarding opportunistic and disseminated infections in COVID patients receiving steroids and immunomodulatory agents. View the BC COVID Therapeutics Committee’s interim guideline.
- BCCDC guidance on COVID vaccines for patients with hematological malignancy.
- BCCDC clinical guidance, re- vaccine efficacy and safety and the contraindications or exceptions for clinically extremely vulnerable patients can be found here.
- FAQs from BC Perinatal Services on pregnant patients and their newborns are available here.
- New maternity patient tool: SmartMom is an evidence-based text messaging program that sends information timed to stage of pregnancy to help achieve healthy pregnancy and birth. SmartMom is
- Vulnerable and marginalized populations New one-page resources available for GPs caring for vulnerable populations during COVID 19 (Aug 14)
- Geriatrics: Caring for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto can be found here. (April 15)
- Pediatric respiratory resources from BC Children’s Hospital can be found here.
- BCCDC issued a document on 5 things to know about vaccine safety for Youth (12-17 years old). + guidelines on vaccination for children 12 to 17 years old.
- The BCCDC issued guidance for the management of newborn care and COVID-19.
- A BCCDC compilation of COVID-19 pediaetric and family resources is available here.
- 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, Managing COVID-19 Symptoms at Home, Self-Isolating at Home, Managing COVID-19 Symptoms at School, Guidance for returning to School.
- MIS-C information (reminder for notice of duty to report in BC)
Local Clinical Resources:
- COVID task force updates: A new COVID-positive referral process has replaced the South Island High Risk Assessment clinics. Please read the COVID Task Group memo +see updated referral form here.
- Addictions/ Substance Use: BC launched a new helpline at 778 945-7619 for health care providers that provides rapid 24/7 response for time-sensitive clinical substance-use inquiries. See Perinatal Substance Use Care Pathway Please contact the on-call perinatal addiction physician from 8am – 8pm 7 days a week at 778-584-7887. You can also directly refer to a perinatal addiction consult and/or maternity care via their referral form on Pathways under Perinatal Addictions Outreach Team. (January 20, 2021)
- Victoria allergists' Guideline for referral of patients at risk of anaphylaxis from COVID-19 vaccination.
- Island Health reminds of the MOST and eMOST documentation completion and submission processes. Community MOST is available in the electronic health record and you can fax the form for entry. (June 3)
- 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. See Clinic Updates on the Pathways.
- 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.
- Victoria 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)
- Ortho via RebalanceMD can see patients with urgent MSK issues instead of going to ER. View the referral criteria/types of cases the urgent access clinic can see.
- Intensive Home Health Monitoring is available for COVID patients. Primary care providers will receive initial notification of a patient’s enrolment as identification of these patients can come from Public Health and emergency departments. Referrals are also welcome from Primary Care Providers.
- BC Osteoporosis (BCCOP): one-pager to assist family physicians in managing osteoporosis and bone health in patients during COVID-19. (December 21)
- BC Renal has launched a new COVID-19 clinical materials website with resources for patients and health professionals on hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, home hemodialysis and kidney care (non-dialysis). (Sept 15)
- BCCA COVID-19 and Cancer Treatments: Visit www.bccancer.bc.ca for up-to-date information for patients and www.bccancer.bc.ca/covid19guidelines for provider COVID-19 information in Cancer Care. Also view their Family Practice Oncology Network.
Labs and Prescriptions:
- Life Labs temporarily closes the sites at 650 Fort St. in Victoria and 1641 Hillside Ave. in Saanich until January 23. At 1590 Cedar Hill Crossroad in Saanich, hours will be reduced during the same two week period from 6:30 a.m to 5 p.m., to 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In Colwood, at 582 Goldstream Ave, hours will move from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read more
- Pre-COVID protocol has resumed for urgent, same-day CT scans.
- Some patients are asking doctors to sign requisitions for COVID antibody tests offered by LifeLabs, thinking it is needed for travel or work. Note that this test is not required for travel or work and a doctor visit to request it is not covered by MSP; patients will be charged. (November 25)
- The lab requisition process has been updated. Read the full memo on Island Health Outpatient Laboratory Requisitions here.
- Island Health is making temporary changes to outpatient lab services to support the COVID-19 response. (October 29)
- The tool drugsearch.ca (user search term: drugsearch) displays drug prices and if a medication requires Special Authority application first to enable Pharmacare coverage. (August 21)
Local news and opportunities (non-Island Health):
- Are you able to join Island Health’s time-limited COVID-19 immunization team? Please click on this link to express interest. More information
DoBC, GPSC, and Other Provincial Resources:
- Latest vaccine developments (including attestation form for 3rd doses in CEV + Q&A regarding 3rd doses) can be found here.
- Vaccine FAQs (great resource to direct patients to for commonly asked questions regarding COVID vaccines).
- COVID-19 Office Toolkit: Fact sheets (eg/ Parent fact sheet immunizing kids 5-11, Myths + Facts), useful links for patients and doctors regarding COVID-19.
- PHO briefings.