Please Note: *Our knowledge about best practices for COVID19 is changing all the time as new information becomes available. Please refer to our most recent update for the most up to date information*.
We wanted to take this opportunity to further update you regarding the Covid19 pandemic, and some key office announcements. This will begin with a summary of the most essential information, with details below that.
As some of you may have noted in the news, BC has been doing an excellent job of ‘flattening the curve’. We have avoided the surge in cases, and in particular critical cases, seen in many other parts of the world. Everyone in BC has done an amazing job to achieve this! No doubt it has not been easy. There has been a huge cost to society, and to many individuals. As our Public Health Officer has indicated, physical distancing rules will soon start to gradually relax. Please be aware that we are not quite there yet. It remains very important to still maintain physical distancing from others, as this is undoubtedly the most essential way to prevent the virus from surging back.
In the meantime, we want everyone to be aware that there is a significant change in testing strategy. BC had been focused on testing those we were most concerned with at first, and preserving both testing materials and protective gear needed to even conduct those tests. We are now changing our approach.
Simply put…we are no longer on ‘defence’. Now, we are on the hunt.
We want to find every last person who may still have coronavirus. We will still not be testing everyone (in particular people with no symptoms), as that remains unrealistic. But we *will* be arranging testing for every single person who has symptoms, even very mild ones. So if you have *any* of the following, please let us know, and if you are unsure if your symptoms warrant a test, *ask us *!!!
We are particularly likely to test people with (any of):
As you can see this is a long list. It’s probably easier to remember it this way:
If you are sick, then tell us! Today! Please!
Note also that some of the above symptoms are ones you should be telling us about anyways. Chest pain for example, should always be reported to us, pandemic or not. We continue to be very concerned about people who are scared to engage the medical system for fear of exposure. Our medical facilities are very safe right now. Other than nursing homes, we are not having repeated outbreaks. There are extensive measures in place to protect people. All discussions will begin with a remote assessment by video or phone. A number of studies are showing large numbers of ‘excess deaths’ – these are people dying at home, for unclear reasons. It could be cases of Covid19, but there is some suspicion these are other chronic health conditions, or new conditions that are not coming to medical attention fast enough. We are here for you. We absolutely CAN evaluate you. So please don’t hesitate to let us know if something seems wrong.
There has also been a growing recognition of some serious cases of COVID19 in children. These remain quite rare, but they do exist. Children are often manifesting with various rashes, and some with a rare condition called Kawasaki disease. All the above testing rules apply to children as well. Please let us know if anyone at home seems sick. This should always begin with a phone call/video appointment, so we can decide on the best way to get you tested.
Video consults are going very well and are here to stay. Be aware that eventually our ability to speak as readily on the phone as we are now may not though. We temporarily have a billing code we can use for this, but we expect the government will eventually halt that. We do also find that we get a lot more out of video consults than phone ones. It really helps us to be able to actually see you, and see how you are doing. It helps us make the right decisions for you. So if you have not tried a video consult yet, please seriously look at doing so. We know it’s a bit tricky at first, but we can help you get yourself set up.
We will be taking some additional steps to simplify that whole process as well. As part of this, we are in the midst of making a complete overhaul to our website (http://northshoremedicalgroup.ca). We made some basic changes for now, but a new one is under construction already. When it’s launched in the next 1-2 months, it will have a fresh, new look, updated information, step-by-step guides on doing video consults (and hopefully some videos of this as well). The site will be kept much more up to date. We will also be incorporating a ‘blog’, that will include all these email updates, and more, so you can find them easily.
For B.C. it is safe to say the pandemic has been contained. The trick now, will be keeping it that way. In the meantime, we have proven that we can get this under control!
North Shore Medical Group
As a collective of physicians NSMG has taken it upon themselves to help our patients and our community stay informed with the latest pressing information ranging from important office updates to the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic.