COVID-19 Interior Health Virtual Townhall, June 1

on behalf of all my legislative colleagues representing the Interior Health Authority region from trail to castle guard Cranbrook to spar would destroy us to Enderby and Williams lake demerit and all-points and communities throughout the interior joining me tonight is my co-host of close Tech MLA for Columbia River Revelstoke and also with us our special guest Susan brown the president and CEO of interior health and Sue dr. sue chief medical health officer for the interior health I’d also like to acknowledge that I’m here tonight on the traditional territory of the show weapon the Okanagan Lake the AHA and the night peoples and I also recognize that you may be joining us from other territories throughout the province and before we get started I also want to recognize the sacrifices we have all made together to help stop the spread of kovat 19 we have flattened the curve together which is amazing it was a collective effort and I want to thank everyone for doing their part I also want to thank the people on the front lines our health care workers those in the grocery stores those who make sure the supply trains keep strong throughout the interior because it’s a big area and you’ve all done such an amazing job I know some folks are still going outside at seven o’clock making lots of noise I hear them in my community as well and I’m now going to hand it over to my co-host Emily Kolchak to give us a quick overview of what this town hall will look like thank well thank you very much Minister Conroy and I too would like to recognize that I’m broadcasting tonight from the traditional territories of the Shuswap Indian Banda Tunica and also the matey communities in both Columbia Valley and golden and like Mel Emily Conrad share our thoughts on how proud we are of the people of British Columbia and and the interior health who worked so hard to flatten that Cove in nineteen curve and all of the sacrifices that you’ve made individually have collectively paid off dividends for all of us so we want to say thank you so much and personally thank you to the people in my writing you’ve done such a great job it’s been tough it’s still tough we’re not done yeah I don’t know we won’t quit so let’s just keep on they keep that going in I also want to acknowledge the Chiefs of Staff and the three hospitals that that service my writing dr.Chris McKenzie in in Revelstoke and dr. Megan guy in golden and dr. Gareth manheimer in envy murmur they have been just amazing leaders and I want to thank them and all of their staff everybody in the hospitals and as as Minister Conroy said the grocery stores the RCMP the pharmacists all those people who have worked so hard to make this what it is today and I also want to acknowledge the extraordinary community spirit that we found in British Columbia people like dog and grass and gold and who’s makin it continues to make masks for all of the communities and a big shout-out to to Gemma Ashcroft who’s a hundred and one years old he’s one of the last surviving Burma medal recipients from World War two he’s walking a block a day for 101 days he’s trying to raise 100 $1,000 so he is just an absolutely amazing man and what an inspiration so just the spirit of people that have come out during this thing is just unbelievable last month the BC government organized a series of regional health dawn holes so that your questions could be addressed by the people who are dealing with COBIT 19 on our behalf and in here in our province and being well informed and and following public health guidelines will help and have kept us really really safe and I’m pleased that we have another opportunity tonight to do that and there’s my absolute pleasure to introduce to you again Susan Brown who’s the CEO of Interior Health and dr.Sue who is the chief medical health officer for interior health and let’s start this off by letting you guys introduce yourselves to everybody and and start off with sue great thank you um so I’m happy to be here tonight with everybody and I’d like to acknowledge that I am on the traditional territory of the silk people tonight and I just like to express my extreme gratitude to all of my public health fellow public health practitioners in the interior region and certainly to the medical health officer colleagues I have but also to our numerous other staff who’ve been working day in and day out on this Cova to respond and as has already been mentioned we’re seeing some very positive results from all of the efforts not just from our healthcare staff but from our individuals and communities at large and our businesses and we certainly have work to do over the next few months but where I know we’re all up for it and I certainly am and I look forward to answering your questions tonight Susan I couldn t bring everybody and I’m just across the hallway from Sue here so I’m also in the traditional territory of the so it’s people and great to be back with you I think this is our third Town Hall so look forward to updating you all and what work has transpired and what we still to do over the coming few months but I do agree it takes a village and there’s been tremendous support from the public to get us to this point so we just extend our gratitude for your support well thank you both so much for joining us again tonight and we’re looking forward to getting started and into bats at this town hall we’ve asked British Columbians to submit their questions on coab in nineteen Emily Connery I would like to deter neveri buddies questions and hear everybody’s questions and and get those questions asked and either dr.Pollock or Susan will be doing that and if you’re watching on the government of BC Facebook you can submit your questions in the comment section down below and we’ll have a chance to address I mean go ahead and start asking your questions right now and with that said let’s begin and it’s back over to Emily Conroy thanks so much Duggan and let’s get things rolling here with our first question on a topic that many folks are looking for updates on people in this region are looking for an update on the number of kovat 19 cases within the Interior Health Authority region for example Kathy and blind Bay asks how many active cases of kovat 19 are there an interior health day and Theresa and camelids ads of the total number of kovat 19 cases in the Interior Health Region how many are recovered hmm great I’m happy to take that one so we have had as of this morning we’ve had a hundred ninety five cases of kovat 19 in the interior health region which has been mentioned of the large geographic area I’m happy to report that 191 of those individuals are now classified as recovered from kovat 19 so they’re recovered there off out of self-isolation and they’re doing well and we continue to have two active cases of Cova 19 awesome well thank you Teresa and Kathy for that great question here’s a question that been asked many times another Town Hall is here as well can you comment again on the reason why this is this is this question is from Jody can you comment on again on the reason why we don’t disclose the details of location instead of giving information only about the health authority region and Jody asks how many people have her had had koba 19 in the West Kootenai region so we’ve talked about this quite a few times and we are following the direction of our provincial medical health officer so we have some communities are actually quite small all and divulging the location of a person could maybe expose them when they don’t want to be exposed but we have definitely explained where there’s be nitrates for example in long-term care facilities or in some other areas so like for example we know we had an outbreak in a nursery so like the nursery and by lambs in West Kelowna was publicized so we’re really trying to make sure people’s privacy is maintained when they don’t want to be exposed and also it gives a false sense of security that you wouldn’t have coded 19 in your community when you might very well so really trying to focus on making sure people do the distancing and the good guidelines and not so focused on thinking maybe they don’t have it in their community and they can just ignore those guidelines so keeping focused on people need to keep diligent and everybody doesn’t say that stay in the same place throughout the province anyway so much we want people to stay close to home we know if people have to travel for work attendance that’s so true Susan thank you and thank you Jody from trail for that for that question and and it just reminds me I wanted to acknowledge all the great staff at Kootenai bounty Regional Hospital who are doing such an amazing job of keeping people safe in our region and you know making sure that that people stay healthy so they’re doing an amazing job had the occasion to visit not too long ago and and it’s it’s really it’s important what a great job everybody’s doing there so thank you we’re now moving into questions around long-term care during this pandemic and we know that restrictions were put in place to limit visitors and long-term care seniors assisted living in acute care facilities which were essential to protect patients and staff against the transmission of coded 19 I know government recognizes how these measures have personally impacted seniors and their families and they weren’t taken lightly having said all that Ashley and Merritt asked why are we not allowed to see our parents and long-term care facilities when they have a gated off patio area and we can be five-star we can be six feet away and actually talk to our parents without a phone and why are we not allowed to bring treat and drop off from for them that I’m talking store-bought things like chips and chocolate bars yeah these guidelines have been very hard on families we can understand that for prolonged periods not seeing loved ones and obviously people in long-term care much as we’re trying to keep them physically well that emotional piece has been difficult for people we’ve heard that many times we are starting to the health authorities work with the provincial medical health officer around what could be the next phase for long term care we know the weather’s getting better now in lots of areas and has been noted there are site patios so that is some pieces that we’re looking at so that families can be reunited and actually have time together but that will need to be done very carefully to make sure that obviously our seniors who are the most vulnerable are kept safe and the the actual piece around food and packaging we know that the virus can live on surfaces so we’re really just trying to straight to tearin’ Stu what goes in and out of the facility the time when it would be appropriate for a family member to go in and get an exemption as well obviously if there was any concerns around family members being palliative and times when it was essential that a family member could be present then people should speak to the administrator or the manager that that a long-term care facility if they have any concerns around that well thank you very much Aussie for that and I know it’s heartbreaking and so very difficult for families and Vicky and Armstrong adds a little bit to that and the question is is could one family member allowed into a long-term care facility in a ih area to help with the care of a resident and Sandy from Cranbrook and Kimberly would also like to know what plans are currently being worked on to allow safe visitations and long term care facilities so again sticking to those strict tears right now and so we work provincially together to make sure whatever the next steps are we all do them together and as we say there’s cause the weather’s getting better now there’s probably some opportunity to look at those things and open the guidelines a little bit with simple next steps but I don’t think it’s going to be a big step and multiple people seeing the same individual in long term care so it will be a very cautious next step to to make sure that people can be regulated but again in trying to limit the amount of contact that those leaders have this is a another question along the same lines but it’s about visitations and hospices Michelle and in Vernon asks will the protocol change soon to allow more than one designated person to visit hostage hospice patients for Michelle noted that her mother has terminal cancer and will likely need hospice care in the coming weeks so I do want to send there are thoughts out Michelle and her family and and many other families who are facing difficult times and and already having to deal with us not being able to see family members who are in Haas on hospice facility yeah that’s extremely difficult and obviously the one person designated family members or again limiting but I think it’s not the same as being in person but people are doing some very creative things around exactly what we’re doing tonight that sort of virtually being there and being able to express their feelings but it’s not the same as reaching out and touching somebody so I think as things progress for palliative patients that’s when there is an opportunity for family to speak to the facility and see if there’s something different they can do to have fun more family members present well thank you Michelle on their prayers and our hearts go to you and your family our next question around long-term care focuses on the single site director done to keep health care workers and patients safe and Dennis in Kelowna asks this question on May 27th our premier admitted that’s part-time staff working in two or three long-term care facilities are now only allowed to work in one to ensure that we were not having transmissions from one facility to another when it comes to kovat 19 since we know that health care staff can bring the virus into our nursing homes why aren’t we testing them all first the first thing I would say is anybody can take that virus into long-term care facility that is really just what we’ve been talking about around that strict adherence to the visitor policy so it’s it’s anybody and the single site staff being at one site and not splitting their time over working in two separate facilities was done as an extreme precaution to ensure that we were not taking any any virus between facilities but I would say in the interior we’ve done a great job between our public health officials and our local staff and also those facilities that we contract with of making sure that anything that did pop up was dealt with right away and there was no passing of the buyers to anybody else so I think our facilities have done a wonderful job those that we contract with and are owned and operated and I think they’ve done a great job with staff ensuring that they understand what personal protective equipment to use and making sure that all that we care all the people they care for or see so I understand why we went to this extreme for staff and throughout the process we were making sure that no status staff member loses any income or anything in that process thank you and those seniors are the course are so vulnerable so we just have to ensure that those procedures are put in place Karen and Kelowna has our next question which focuses on reopening her business and care facilities and she asks when will I be able to reopen into retirement residential care facilities to provide what I believe is essential foot care for seniors mobility is becoming increasingly difficult which many seniors still in lockdown mm-hmm yeah so I’ve had a few conversations with our long-term care team around foot care and my understanding that there is a variety of different interpretations of individuals who provide foot care so first and foremost as susan has mentioned we want to try and minimize the number of people going in and out of long-term care homes but also moving between long term care homes because of the vulnerability of that group however if this is a medically necessary service that cannot be provided by the existing staff and the long-term care home then there is a process available to to an individual such as this who can engage with the long-term care facility to seek an exemption to what is a single site order so that she could actually access the long-term care facility to provide those services thanks Karen for that question another topic that we’ve received a lot of questions about refers to our provinces surgical renewal plan it was very difficult decision for government to halt non-surgical surgeries our non-urgent I should say surgeries at the start of the pandemic in order to prepare our health care system however may some of the government announced surgeries that were were spawned are starting back up as part of a massive surgical renewal as such folks like Jessie from Kelowna would like to know when our elective surgery is going to start being done and what will be the priorities and how will it be decided which surgeries are started with great thanks um so yes we’re well on the way to getting elective surgeries recommends so we have contacted over 1,300 people to understand are they willing to proceed with surgery at this time and some people may choose not to but they will not lose their spot on the wait list if they choose not to proceed at this time and just over even the last week from May 19th to the 24th we’ve completed more than 700 surgeries so well on the way back to our as much of a normal circumstance as we can all 16 hospitals within the interior that do surgical procedures that are back up and running so right now we’re trying to understand who’s on our wait lists that are urgent but needing to have their surgery within four weeks and we’re doing that now and then the next group that were interested to understand is anybody whose their actual condition has deteriorated a little bit or Lebanon or they’ve even pain trying to get those people in as quickly as possible so that’s discussion with health care providers and the patient themselves and then also looking where we can maximize surgeries that people don’t have to stay overnight for so days surgeries and then procedures that can be done outside of an operating room situation for an example cataract so we’re trying to maximize those two others to take any strain off the horse themselves so lots on the goal and we will do everything we can to get as many people in safely for surgery we do know that with the procedures and safety measures that we’re putting in place but it does take a little bit longer there’s about 30% draw in the number of cases we can put through in a normal day that we’re looking to extend our days and go into weekends and the expanding surgery at sites we’re making plans to do that so well underway and hopefully we’ll get to people as quickly as possible together so jus completely great Susan and this is a question from a napped in Vernon that she’d like to know when will screening tests such as f8i T pap smears and mammograms start to be done again and I really want to hear the answer because I need a mammogram – good luck Thanks so the FI t is the test on people may know it is that a screening for colon cancer and so that’s done at a laboratory and then there’s mammograms and some other outpatient tests so any tests that were required for Diagnostics meaning you were symptomatic or had some problems we would have made sure that we’ve got you in for that test at some point so for Diagnostics if it was something that was urgent the your primary care practitioner would have advised and we would have had you come to your site they would you do that test for screening that is actually under provincial Health Services Authority for mammograms if it’s a routine one and I would assume that they’ll be getting their routine screening back up and running pretty quick here and or any other procedure that was done at the laboratory the laboratories haven’t actually been closed so if it was anything urgent a primary care practitioner would have said we need we need this done and it would have been completed as usual during even though over the last few months I hope that helps Annette and as we all know we’re we’re now moving into the BC government restart announcement we know this is a week-by-week process and we’re encouraged by what we’ve seen so far but we need to remember that code 19 has a two-week incubation period which means any new cases that are a result of easing the restrictions will start to appear over the coming week keeping in mind keeping that in mind Sharon from Vernon asks it’s very discouraging and stressful to see people shopping in stores with no regard for distancing what can be done to convince shoppers and store management to take : 19 seriously oh I can only speak to Kelowna because obviously I’m not traveling much these days to the wrong the office sometimes but where I have you know and about locally I actually think the businesses are taking this very seriously I have seen them go to extreme measures of making sure their stores are clean they’ve got people doing hand sanitizing when they come in they’re making sure that you haven’t got a lot of people in stores at one time where a business is not taking things seriously if people are worried that they’re you see overcrowding or things that are in blatant against the guidelines that are produced for us then you will follow up on any complaints that come forward into your health and obviously a WorkSafe BC is keenly involved in this and have produced a lot of the guidelines for the province and what is acceptable for different businesses so there is an avenue if people feel that there’s a blatant disregard for the guidelines Sharon it’s such a good question I know and people I see a lot of stores taking it very seriously and I run into Safeway the other day at lunchtime and had to grab a few things quickly before I got back home for another meeting and and I ran down grabbed a thing and this little guy looked up at me and he said excuse me ma’am you’re going the wrong way so can people take it very seriously and so it’s it’s great to see I’m really happy to see it but as I move forward with the restart plan we are slowly making steps towards increasing our bubbles and Judy and kallu sass in practicing outdoor social distance visits with friends can you offer your bathroom to guests to use also is it safe to have one couple over for dinner inside as long as the window is open near the table so that is a few different parts to it yeah so well first start talking about outdoor social distancing so it is kudos to to this individual so that’s a nice way of starting to slowly and cautiously expand your social bubble to have you know a few friends a small number of friends over where you can have be outside and enjoy except of nature and also at the same time physically distance from one another so it’s still really important even if you’re outside that you are distancing from each other and having that six-foot distance between between each other I would expect in in a gathering and of your gathering have a small group of people that somebody may have to use the bathroom so it could be that one bathroom is designated for the guests and and to provide the guests with some sanitary wipes Lysol wipes or something mm-hmm with some bleach in it so that they can just clean up the high touch surfaces after they leave the bathroom so they can clean up the taps and the toilet handle and yeah and maybe the countertops and maybe the doorknob says they’re going in and out of the house and that would keep things it’s much safer sorry that’s okay there is a second part I think to the question bathroom and oh if a couple comes for dinner and if you leave a window open mm-hmm will that help with the dinner right so yeah so this this again speaks to I think people wanting to increase their social bubble and we have heard from dr.Henry that here in Phase two that were in currently we can start to do that a little bit and again slowly and cautiously with small groups and so that social level may be increased because you’re going back to work and maybe it’s your work colleagues or in your new social level or maybe that your kids are back in school and so now those the kids are the kids have a new social bubbles or you may choose to identify one one couple or one family that you want to increase your social bubble with and so just to remember that their contacts now become your contacts and so we need to be very very careful if you’re having a couple in doors and they’re a part of your social bubble it probably doesn’t matter so much whether the window is open or closed what’s more important is the maintaining the distancing and the hand hygiene touch your face and of course we should be going into people’s homes or having people over if we are ill it’s a lot to remember it is a lot very very important we’ve got a question here tonight from Rosen Colonna who’s kind of along that same line who’s hoping for a little clarification on gathering sizes and her question is this how large can our gatherings be starting in June can it be more than six and we’re hearing a lot of this when when will churches be allowed open so there is a I’m sure as most people are aware that the provincial health officer order from dr.Bonnie Henry about gatherings mass gatherings and so mass gatherings of over 50 people are not allowed in the province so those really speak to those one time one event gatherings that may occur like a like a big wedding for example that doesn’t refer to people who are in Costco so Costco has other measures in place to ensure safety so Costco may have more than 50 people that’s not considered the gathering so gatherings of over 50 people are not allowed again speaking to just increasing our social bubble and phase to want to do it very slowly and very carefully so we do want to keep our gathering small at this point it’s not it’s not forever but certainly in this phase and again like I alluded to the last in the last question maybe just choosing using one other couple or one family that you want to increase and add to your social bubble and just keeping in mind that those you add to your social bubble may have underlying health conditions there may be at higher risk because of maybe they’re elderly so just to consider those factors in your social bubble as well and of course exercise and getting outdoors is really important and we have a couple of questions around swimming nefzi and Ashcroft and Linda in Kelowna have these questions when can outdoor pools open and why are swimming pools closed chlorine kills virus right and swimming is helpful for my physical therapy mm-hmm that’s why I love swimming and my 12 year old daughter has been asking me when she can go swimming again she thinks she’s going to forget how to swim and I said you don’t forget how to swim so there are new guidelines that will be released very shortly from me from the province it’ll be posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control website that’ll be guidelines for pools to reopen so here in that we’re in Phase two right now pools are going to be allowed to reopen and it’s true it’s not about the water there’s no evidence of transmission of Koba 19 through water and especially when it’s chlorinated water and as it would be in cools the higher risk with spoonfuls is the congregation of people in and around the pool and also when the change room is where those again high touch surfaces and so that’s what the guidelines will help help provide recommendations for in terms of you know enhance cleaning but also the spacing that will be needed between patrons but it’s coming well we’ve got a question here that we hear a lot where I’m Emily and a border riding and British Columbia and Alberta and inner border travel has become a big issue and it’s certainly something that’s a top of mine and with regards to out of province travel Dennison picked Penticton has got this question we are considering travel to Saskatchewan to visit family in mid-june are we okay to travel interprovincial e and if we do make the trip would we be required to self isolate upon our return so one one thing we’re promoting for this summer at least is to stay as close as home as possible and we’ve heard this for a minister Dixon from dr.Bonnie Henry a few times but it’s really it’s really the summer for us to explore BC and explore our the region that we live in and be a bit of a tourist in our own town and so really the recommendation right now is to stay close to home and as we move into phase 3 that may be you know travel within BC and so really would recommend that that individuals the into your region stay close to home the summer in BC and however there is no no requirement at this point in time for a 14-day self-isolation period if somebody does go to another province and we do recognize that there is the lot of travel back and forth certainly between BC and Alberta for and essential services and other other needs that need to be met by both provinces it’s a good time to see what a beautiful province you really do have we don’t need to go anywhere it’s great yeah so and we have some more general kovat questions for you tonight as well Ruth and Williams Lake asks can a blood test tell you if you have kovat hmm so great question and that we have a couple of tests I’ll just speak to both of them briefly so the test that we’re most familiar with right now is the nasopharyngeal swab so it’s the swab that goal is inserted into one nostril and it looks it’s trying to pick up some of the genetic material of the virus and that helps us determine whether somebody is infected or not so that’s what’s happen happening with all of our testing up until now to determine if we have cases or not or non cases the blood test is something different so that’s a test that looks for antibodies in our blood and there are a number of good candidates for an antibody test across the world and here in BC we’re looking at a couple of different tests and we’re trying to validate them right now so that they can be used more widely and once we’re ready to roll those those blood tests out but it will look for antibodies those will tell us what which people have been infected with : that may be a Miss on the weak probably didn’t know they were infected and may also help us to determine whether or not someone isn’t you took open 19 okay it looks like we’re pretty much done with the written questions and now we’re going to take in some of the ones out of people are sending in to us tonight so we’ve got one here a live question from kira tonight can you please tell me why a private outdoor pool and the strata complex cannot open however public pools are opening as well as public playgrounds hmm so I can’t speak to that particular situation of that strata not knowing where it is and what it is but there certainly should be it should be possible for a pool in a strata to open again using those precautions so they although there would be somebody supervising there may be ways to incur I was signage to encourage that there’d be limitations on the numbers that are in the pool itself I had turned and just encouraged good sanitation and good hygiene while in the pool of course people bringing their own towels and taking away their own towels they’re probably something to take out with the strata itself and if there’s any any concerns about that our teen here of environmental health options can also help provide some support and guidance around that issue okay and Beverly has another question about long-term care homes what about inter-facility transfers between long-term care homes when will we be able to move our parents to a different facility yeah that’s another extreme measure that we took to make sure that we were not of course traveling the virus between any facilities so we had done no inter-facility transfers and actually stopped admission to long-term care facilities for a period of time so we will be starting to Luke once the visitors policy is looked at and then what that will look like for people that are waiting to move to a different facility again it comes with some risk so it will be done with caution when we do start doing that again but we will make sure for people that have been waiting that they do not lose their spot on any weightless that they’ve been on to have their loved one either brought closer to them and their community or a community that they wanted to go to so again we’ll be looking for that provincial medical health office third guidance on when those types of situations can start and be occurring just waiting for our next question to come up here College [Laughter] well I’m just gonna go we have a question here from Silvia about something she heard and from interior health and helping the homeless interior Alfa asked me to open our feeding program for the homeless back when the outbreak began in earnest so we serve about 26 takeaway meals when will it be allowed to offer sit-down breakfasts and we previously staggered people over three hours so thanks Silvia for all you do that’s amazing doing that for homeless I’m sure that was really thanked by them because a lot of businesses have had to close during this time so when you move towards having people sit down it will be the same guidelines as if you had like an eatery or a restaurant like anybody else so you would want to space people out make sure that they’re not crowded and then of course if there’s people waiting to be to have pick up their meal but they’re not congregating together so just all the same guidelines that any restaurant would have and just those are easily seen on WorkSafe but you see there guidelines are posted and also you could call them if you needed advice hey this is a question from Darlene that’s near and dear to my heart as she asked our childcare centers in the interior health region being monitored so the answer short answer is yes so we have we do know that daycare centers were not required to close through phase one the Cova response and so some some daycare centers have remained open from the beginning and some have chosen to close so just given that there are a number of different guidelines that are available to child care centers and daycare centers to ensure that they can safely operate in both safety for the staff and also safety for the children and we know that can be really difficult for for kids especially young kids to physically miss them so there’s a number of got your tricks that are put in place to try and minimize the contact that kids have with each other and with the staff while still providing that quality care and so here in the interior region like the rest of the province we have I interior all has licensing officers and licensing health licensing officers work closely with our daycare facilities to ensure that the best best practices are used and that there’s safety and care for all children’s children there so yes they are monitored and fair-minded of our licensed sponsors Doug before you ask your question I just want to say a big shout out to all the early childhood educators in the province we call them the work force behind the work force because those essential service workers all those people that were out working couldn’t work if they didn’t have those and early childhood educators out there taking care of the kids every day so I just a big shout out to the great job that they’ve been doing I do not agree with you more they’re just awesome and thank you for all that and we’ve got a question from Karen who’s looking at listening live tonight and if we were to try to reopen who do we contact to ensure our protocols and risk management plan are acceptable with interior health hmm yeah so it depends what type of business that she’s trying to reopen but there are a number excellent guidelines that have been now developed by WorkSafe BC with input from public health and the guidelines are available on the WorkSafe BC and BC CDC websites for the different sectors so it would be important to go and look for her sector there and at the guidance document for that sector and then in terms of monitoring of compliance with that that will be done by WorkSafe BC but also with support from our interior health and environmental health officers depending on the type of business so for things like restaurants and personal service establishments that come under some of the other legislative bodies of legislation our environmental health offices will be helping there great and Lynette from Kootenai Bay’s asking our patients that have been classified as recovered going through follow-up general health exams or are they just classified as recovered with no follow-up hmm yeah so recovered would be definition we use based on either they have had negative tests or they’ve had a number of days without symptoms and of course we also would look to their primary care provider to do follow-up of those recovered patients and any necessary additional health care that’s needed once we once we’ve determined that they’re recovered from Ovid 19 this is a question from Lorraine and there seems the other there seems to be some miscommunication around this a little bit and the question is is there any update on the virus living on fabric plastics and metals and what’s the timeline on all about lots of lots of questions about that and about living on different surfaces and how do we prevent virus transmission from those surfaces to our hands so I guess generally I’ll say that the virus can live on surfaces from several hours to several days and it depends on the type of surface on the humidity level in the air and also on the temperature so again depending on the type of surface and one of the one of the questions that’s come up is around bringing our groceries home and so I’ve been asked you know should I be wiping down my gross shoes and I bring them home so I don’t wipe down my groceries when I bring them home but I do do a couple of things one as I’m sure when I come back from the grocery store that I wash my hands carefully like I do anytime I come home and then I put my groceries in the cupboard and then I wash my hands again and I think that if that is a something that we can all do and I know that there’s other other measures that businesses are taking like the libraries to try and quarantine items for a number of hours or days before they go back out to the public so I think that there are some innovative approaches out there so this question from Brenda’s interesting because she’s asking when will doctors office is open and from my perspective I know they didn’t really close because I know that doctors have been doing appointments by phone so I guess she’s wondering when will the doctor’s office open for actual in-person visits so there’s been a lot of primary care practitioners who have been able to see patients face-to-face they switched obviously to do a lot of work virtually because it could be and I think they’ve been very successful at doing that but where you have a virtual visit they may determine that what you’ve actually got it’s not something they can treat usually over over virtual and they ask you to come to their offices so when they’ve done that much like any other business they’ve got one way in one way out there they’re doing questions survey who of you when you come to the door to see if you’ve got symptoms related to colvett and obviously if you have they’re treating you quite differently for if you’re there for a different reason so I think the GPS have done and the NPS have done a really good job at keeping a vital service going throughout this and it’s actually something that we want to do in the Health Authority as long as mainly I with many of our providers is keeping that virtual piece going where it’s appropriate we’ve had a lot of feedback from people saying it’s been so great we didn’t have to travel a long distance to to go through the visit but then managed to get what they need is over virtual space and we would like to keep that going for those who want it this is a question from Natasha and certainly one I think that we all feel a little bit of my eye I’m sure missing my grandkids but her question is if families are wearing PPE would this not suffice to support family seeing their loved ones yeah and I’m thinking attached is asking about just in within the community versus another health care health care setting yeah right so again speaking to the social bubble if people are looking to expand that they may want to expand that with with some other there are other fixed ended family members if they don’t live with you know in those cases that’s really a judgment call whether they they want to use you know wear a mask or not and it depends on again whether any of the individuals are receiving the higher risk from coal bed and just a reminder that masks are for keeping our droplets in right they keep our own droplets in they don’t protect us from other people so just really important to think about who’s most vulnerable and what kind of you know contact should be being added to their social elbows and maybe for right now if you really want to minimize I’m adding adding additional people to their their bubbles it’s a hard one for grandparents is that yeah this is the Tony has the question that she’s can we have garage sales hmm I’m trying to think of I’ve seen any garage sales recently actually in my neighborhood I’ve seen some people cut out free stuff but no one there so I think you know I think it’s something that is a possibility but again we need to can think about distancing right anytime we’re opening up our driveway to other people there’s that risk of congregation and and I’m not sure that that individual households would be able to to manage that the way that businesses can where they put you know they put stickers on the floor or tape on the floor so they’d have to be very vigilant about having people line up and be six feet apart and I’m not sure that’s a commitment that anybody would want to take on if anytime we have you know a gathering of people without proper distance thing we have that risk of of transmission of virus yeah the next question is certainly is top of mind seeing the school started today and this is a question from Courtney what will it look like for kids that have chronic illnesses to enter back into the school system so we know that there are a number of kids and their parents you’ve decided not to go back to school in June I don’t know what the exact numbers are but but schools are of course are progressing very cautiously and are down to about 50% capacity on a given day and along with the Ministry of Education and public health have a number of safety measures in place that are designed to protect both the staff and the students and kids are really interesting in when we what we’ve learned from kovat 19 is that they’re very they’re less likely to be infected by Coppa 19 and that’s likely transmitted the virus and we see transmission of Kovan 19 when children are involved it’s often within a household and from an adult to a child so we had very very few cases of Koba 19 in in children in the interior region and in the province so they seem to be spared largely by by Koba 19 however given that this individual child may have underlying health conditions a risk is probably best to speak with their primary care provider before making a decision I know my grandkids are pretty happy to be one of them got up at 6:30 this morning they’d have to ask it every five minutes when could he leave one could be very happy to go back to kindergarten here’s a question when when will the blood test for antibodies be available so we’re waiting for that it’s I’m hoping it’ll be within the next couple of weeks but I don’t want to give an exact date but we will hear I’m confident that dr.Bonnie Henry will announce that once the antibody test is through its validation phase that it then right now the BBC CBC is a PP question from TAS and this question is can you address the fact that paper or fabric masks do not filter the particle size of the virus so we rely in healthcare on medically medical grade PPE so and we know that in the majority of instances in healthcare a surgical or procedural mask is adequate for protection the exceptions are when there are procedures that involve aerosolization such as intubation we’re at 95 arrest the respirator mask is used so that the confident masks were using in in our health care setting do you protect us do you protect us and others from the virus from transmission and then there are also the opportunity for cloth masks or homemade masks to be used by the public and in those instances where physical distancing is not possible and those masks can made from all different types of types of fabrics and including things you find around your house like t-shirts and socks and there’s lots of do-it-yourself videos that can be found online so masks do you have a place and we would encourage their use and we’re physical distance thing is not possible such as in crowded areas that got transit or even in grocery stores a physical distance thing is not possible although hopefully it’s set up to be possible there I’m Diana’s asking is there any indication that the Kovach 19 is a vascular disease hmm well we’re learning we’re still learning about Koba 19 and we’ve it’s amazing how much we’ve learned in just a short period of time here and you know primarily it affects the respiratory system both the upper it could be upper respiratory system and/or the lower respiratory system and people with more severe disease we see pneumonia and sometimes more severe forms acute respiratory distress and dimmer people end up in the intensive care meeting even needing ventilation there are now some some reports and I’ve seen a few of them about blend clotting and an increase in blood clots with with with individuals of Koba 19 so I think that’s a very early early Davian it’s likely associated with some of the information seen with this disease so I think we just reduced me to continue learning and looking at the research that’s coming out as we understand this disease more clearly Mario’s got a question that’s it’s a personal question and probably around personal safety and he says here I work in a cleaning and work and work place but a new policy that we must clean everything with bleach before kovat we use less harmful products should I be concerned about exposure to chemicals and is there a maximum amount of time someone should be breathing in chlorine products yeah so somebody working with with cleaning products should be following the product guidance guidelines around what person if any personal protective equipment is needed and how long they should be exposed to those products so the first thing I’d say to look at what the products the monographs tells you and then of course there’s other avenues to follow through with of course with the actual employer if they have concerns about exposure to harmful chemicals and and then WorkSafeBC as well can help answer any questions about that and Laurie is asking what has to happen for health officials to say the pandemic is now over how will we know when it is no longer one hmm yes that is a question I can’t answer exactly but I will give it a little bit of context around that so the pandemic is a it’s a global phenomenon it’s the clear it was declared by the World Health Organization and for a number of reasons but certainly we were seeing the Health Organization was seeing this impact in in multiple countries around the world and in order for a pandemic to be cleared over we would need for koban 19 to a couple of things either have a very good vac effective vaccine available that can be administered across the world so that people could become immune or to develop community immunity or herd immunity where enough people have been exposed to the virus and actually become infected but they now have immunity and we still don’t have a really good understanding of whether of how long immunity might last once somebody’s been infected with covin 19 and so we’ll just keep watching carefully we know that although we’re doing so well here and you see right now there are other parts of the world that are not doing well and and the World Health Organization’s role is to is to watch that website carefully and then communicate with all of the other countries as part of the including Canada this is a another PPE question from Randi and he says with it being widely accepted that using non-medical masks will slow the spread of kovat 19 why is BC not making it mandatory to wear masks in more places such as all grocery stores where distances cannot be guaranteed so it’s actually it’s actually incumbent on the business to ensure that those protocols can be followed on including things like distancing so if a grocery store for example feel that’s unable to have people maintain physical distancing maybe because that would require following every individual around for their entire visit to the store then they may decide that they’re going to and masks I know that some of the large genes are doing that now so it’s really upon it’s really up to them the business to make sure that the their health and safety plans that they’ve done through WorkSafe BC are being adhered to and the most important things that can be done to prevent the spread are of course the distancing but also other things like other barriers that can be put in place like the Plexiglas barriers are really important and work really well and we see those of the cashiers as well and and if people are concerned about going out and about again they can they can get a do-it-yourself mask following some of those videos online by just remembering that that that keeps their droplets in and doesn’t protect them from other people so trying to keep your distance when you’re out so Sarah’s asking what are your thoughts on businesses doing temperature checks on their employees or using a thermal camera to screen employees so temperature checks aren’t always the most reliable and they have been used in other parts of the world and other countries for koban 19 and for screening of health care workers but not everybody that has coalbed 19 is going to have a temperature and some people as we know we’ve learned I’ve had extremely mild symptoms to the point of not even knowing that they’ve had Kobo 19 it could still potentially be spreading it so again I think there’s other ways that we can protect protect each other and certainly people who are can do a bit of a daily health check and say am i feeling well today or am i feeling not well today if they’re feeling sick or not well that includes for their children and they should probably stay at home well folks we’re at the five-minute warning right now and so we’ve got another question here but I know the time goes very quickly there is and I’ll read this kind of a Kuni question that we’re hearing a lot we know that there are likely very few COBIT cases in our region and there’s been very few cases in a region period as a very rural nature of our region makes us safer than urban centers simply because of the wide open spaces and fewer faces we know today why are we not taking a regional approach to opening up and restarting the economy so maybe I’ll start that one so not none of our communities are immune from covert 90 you can’t assume that there’s not people in the community because you actually wouldn’t know I think what is being done well is the great guidelines that have been put in place and the good advice that our medical staff are giving communities that we’re actually keeping in in keeping with those guidelines that it’s not transmitting in it but and people as you started this whole call with is like people are actually doing the right thing they are self isolating if they’re not well they’re not going out so that is all slowing the spread so I do not think you can think that there’s nobody in your community that’s not coated so the provincial medical health officers are saying slow and easy as we go we know that exactly as you said earlier but if we increase our social contact so much so quickly that it will produce potentially the opportunity for the virus to research which we absolutely do not want because that actually would be more damaging to the to the economic situation well thank you very much that’s a great answer and it clears some things up for sure so we’re almost to the end and I’m gonna pass it over to Emily Conroy no oh thank you Dagon and I want to thank Susan and dr.For your time tonight this is a third time that you’ve done a town hall and I’ve been on two of them and I’m just so impressed by your answers and your know your ability to just come up with really really great answers and and the knowledge that you have about this because it’s not easy for for anybody and you both have been exemplary in your in your work that you’ve been doing for the interior health of 30 so I want to thank you and I want to thank everybody that got on line tonight and and sent your questions in I know we couldn’t answer them all there was a lot of them but I really appreciate the fact that people from right across the region I want to know the answers to really good questions and one you know want to understand what’s happening in our province because it is so critical and and everybody has done such a good job of lowering that curve when dr.Bonnie Henry first started talking about it people thought what is she talking about and slowly we all learned what the curve was and even kids know what the curve is and and it says it’s been it’s done such a great service for the people of the province because everybody’s been really quite good and I do want to thank dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix for the work they’ve done in getting that message out to us and and I think dr. Henry’s done it just about every day and was very shoe breaks in between and the minister Dix has gotten over to Victoria to do it as well and it’s just it’s been so comforting we hear that a lot when we go out in the boat in the streets we hear people saying we feel good and dr.Henry’s calmness and and her just her ability to give some really tough information to everybody in the province has been so well received and people are responding to it really well so a huge thank you to the people in the province and I also want to thank my co-host Doug both check from Columbia River Revelstoke it’s I think this is a really great what this is done is showing people across the province that even though we’re on opposite sides of the house we can work together we you know we recognize the importance of working together and that’s been done right across the province I think this is the tenth town-hall meeting that’s been had something like that across the province and it’s just so critically important that we can work together and and share this information because it’s so so important information and to that and we we actually have some information we’d like to share about resources that are really important to all of you and I’m gonna throw it back to MLA close check to start us off on that yeah you bet thank you very much Katrina and I too want to thank both of you for your efforts and all the people like you and in the health regions throughout the province of British Columbia and credit to the people of British Columbia we listened and and dr.Bonnie Henry I mean they she’s got her own shoes come on it can’t be that bad right so she’s she’s just been amazing with mr. Dixon I also want to recognize norm latnok those are our health critic who’s worked very closely with minister Dixon and these town halls were we’re really his idea and he’s done really really well so so proud of the people of British Columbia and we’ve done so well comparative to other people and we’re not out of the woods yet and that’s I think a key message that we have to tell people we’re far from being over with this thing so let’s let Scott took they take the foot off the pedal but there’s a lot of resources out there for you so for provincial support and Cova 19 information you can visit gov dot bcc8 backslash kovat 19 this includes non health related information such as finance child care and educational support travel and essential services and this information is also available by phone and I can tell you this phone number works very very well you can call 188 koban 19 or 188 to six eight four three one nine seven days a week between 7:30 a.m.And 8:00 p.m. Pacific time and of course that’s 8:30 a.m. 9:00 p.m. mountain time for those of us who live over here and for the latest medical updates including case counts prevention risks the testing visit BC Center for Disease Control website at WWDC CDC CA and if you or a family member need additional medical advice please call eight one one and for seniors looking for additional support at this time please call 2-1-1 or visit bc 2 1 1 . CA you can also go to bc 2 1 1 . CA to sign up as a volunteer to support our seniors staying safe you can find information links to these and more additional resources in the description of this town hall below and if you haven’t already done so please fill out the province wide public health service bc koba 19 speak your story our future really important that you take some time to do that local data and essential for communities to support public health planning and your input it equips medical health officers across BC to support our health and well-being as well as learn live with the sick over 19 the survey takes about 10 or 15 minutes so I’ve done it it’s easy to do and so I encourage you to that you can do it online at BC these pc cdc see a back slash cope at nineteen survey or by phone 183 three 707 1907 days a week between 8:30 a.m.and 4:30 p.m. Pacific thanks for that reminder Doug I need to do my survey too and as we move into phase 2 of BC’s restart plans let’s give this every chance of success in this phase by continuing to do what we’ve been doing all this time staying a hundred percent all in let’s continue to follow the public health guidelines to protect ourselves and our loved ones and stop the spread of covin 19 and bc for more information on our bc restart planned visit gov DCC a backslash restart bc and thank you again to everyone for joining endless journey Nessa seasoning and keep well be safe and most importantly be kind thank you take care thank you thanks very much.

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