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The original item was published from 4/16/2020 4:29:37 PM to 4/18/2020 9:05:01 PM.

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Creston News Room

Posted on: April 16, 2020

[ARCHIVED] April 16, 2020 - Update from Creston Valley Physicians and Medical Staff

The total number of COVID patients in BC has reached 1561. Interior Health has five new cases, bringing us to a total of 146 cases. The Province also has three further deaths, including a 60-year-old man in Interior Health (not Creston), who was recovering from COVID-19 at home. The other two deaths are in a long term care facility.

We have seen a general decline in our Emergency Department for non-emergent medical concerns. Less traffic in our Emergency Room is what we’ve strived for, as we can quickly treat the critical and urgent cases that present to the ER.

Please do not be afraid to use the Emergency Room if you are not feeling well and can’t reach your family doctor. People continue to get sick during a pandemic - please don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Are pregnant women at increased risk of contracting COVID-19?

Because COVID-19 is a new disease, we are still learning how it affects pregnant women. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are at a greater risk for more serious outcomes related to COVID-19 or that their developing child could be negatively affected by COVID-19.

You can protect yourself from becoming ill by taking the following precautions:

- stay home as much as possible, except for important medical appointments

- avoid unnecessary visitors to your home

- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

- practise physical distancing by keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from others

- avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes

- avoid crowded places and peak-hours

- make limited trips to the store for essentials

Please allow me to share the following message from Amber Riel, on behalf of Creston Fire Rescue’s Mental health and Wellness Program.

“During a time of pandemic, it is normal to feel anxious and have anxiety. It’s your body’s built-in alarm system to let you know that there’s a threat or perceived threat, and that’s normal.

Last week, the Province announced $5 million funding to expand existing mental health programs and services. These include enhanced virtual services, access to no cost, and low-cost community counselling and increasing access to online peer supports.”

Please reach out to the resources available on the Town of Creston’s website.

I continue to be humbled by the generosity of the people in Creston.

Thank you to the Creston Community Support group for all you do for our vulnerable citizens. Thank you to the seamstresses who are making face coverings, the truck drivers who are keeping our grocery stores, pharmacies, and essential services well stocked. On behalf of Swan Valley Lodge, thank you to the Art Barn and crew that have been supplying the staff with headbands for their face masks and to Bad Duck Caramel for the treats.

Doug and Anne Smith have kindly offered the use of their rental house as alternate accommodation for Creston Valley health care staff, who needs a place to stay that is separate from their usual residence due to COVID19. Doug says this was a combined effort from the Chamber of Commerce (Vern, for furniture donations), Gleaners (Kitchen necessities), Bob Vance (selling beds at cost price) and the Smith’s. Bringing COVID home to our families is a horrible thought. Thank you for making this available to the staff.

The College of Dental Surgeons of BC still requires dentists to manage dental emergencies for their patients. This includes uncontrolled bleeding, pain, swelling and trauma. If you are faced with a dental emergency, please call your local Dentist and leave a message. Messages are checked on a regular basis, and if deemed necessary, your Dentist will treat the emergency in their office as long as they enforce the infection control standards set by the Public Health Officer. If absolutely necessary, your dentist will refer you to a dental emergency clinic that has the required PPE to conduct aerosol-producing procedures (i.e. drilling, suction or creating a spray)

One of the most frequent questions I’m being asked is whether there is value in healthy people wearing cloth face coverings to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Well, the answer has and continues to change as we learn more. While there is no firm consensus yet on this controversial question, my instinct is to answer yes, but with a clear understanding that their function is different to surgical and N95 respirator masks and, with some important caveats on limitations and proper use.

At the beginning of this pandemic, provincial and BCCDC guidelines set out that face masks were only to be worn by symptomatic patients, caregivers for sick patients and health care professionals. This was based on the understanding that asymptomatic people were at low risk of transmitting the virus, that wearing a face covering offered a false sense of security and that people were more likely to touch their faces potentially increasing the spread of the virus.

Recent studies now suggest that we underestimated the significance of asymptomatic patients (patients with the virus but with no symptoms) and early infected patients (those that don’t yet have symptoms) and their ability to transmit the virus. A cloth face covering may help us in our fight to lower the spread of the virus.

It is not unreasonable for you to wear a cloth face covering made from cotton or a cotton polyester cloth that covers your face and nose when you must leave the house for an essential errand. Again, a cloth face covering is not a replacement for hand hygiene, quarantine, isolation and social or physical distancing.  Remember, the safest first line of defence is to stay home.

These are the guidelines on how to wear the cloth face covering:

-Make sure it fits snugly and comfortably against the side of the face

-Secure it with ties or ear loops

-Make sure it has multiple layers of fabric

-Allow for breathing without restriction

-Make it from a cotton or cotton polyester fabric that can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to its shape

-Practice good hygiene, hand washing, before, during and after wearing

-Don’t place it on any child under the age of 2

-Self-distancing recommendations in public still apply.

It is extremely important to emphasize that these cloth face coverings are not surgical face masks or N95 respirators. These critical supplies must continue to be reserved for critical first responders and frontline medical professionals.

Premier John Horgan has declared that the state of emergency in BC has been extended for another two weeks. Please maintain social distancing!

Dr. Nerine Kleinhans on behalf of the Creston Valley Physicians and Medical Staff

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