good evening everyone I'm Katrina Conroy MLA for Kootenai West and I'm here live on behalf of my legislative colleagues representing the Interior Health Authority from the Alberta border through the Kootenays the Okanagan and the Thompson region right up to Williams Lake and all those many communities throughout the Southern Interior joining me as well as my colleague Norman ik the MLA for Kootenay Lake Country and I just want to thank norm for inspiring us all to do this this is our fifth joint town-hall meeting that we've had within all of the health authorities throughout the province where the last one and I think we saved the best for last right norm and I just want to thank him for inspiring us all to do this also with us tonight are our special guests Susan brown the president and CEO of the Interior Health and dr.
sue Pollack the medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority and I'd like to begin by acknowledging all the indigenous peoples on whose traditional territories that we are all gathered tonight right across the interior health authority region just a few minutes ago I think some of you might actually been outside cheering on all of our workers who are getting us through this difficult time and I want to thank all of those who are doing such an amazing job the Health Care heroes the truckers the grocery store workers the utility workers the early childhood educators all of you who are making sure that we are safe and getting the essential services that we need we understand how difficult this has been but what we are doing is working and I want to thank you those of you at home tonight for the sacrifices that you've made so far so we can get through this together and flatten that curve I know as I see it when I'm out there getting our supplies for at home here that so many of you are respecting the social distancing whether you're at the grocery stores that the post office out for a walk and we understand that there are a lot of questions in fact it's why we're here tonight to get answers from our experts that are with us I'm proud of how our government has been able to get people the facts and I know our promise was the first in Canada to provide daily updates and I know many of us tuned in to see what's up with dr.
Henry and Minister dick this virtual Town Hall is another way to help British bring questions to the people who have been leading the Cova 19 efforts right across the province in each of our regions I'm now gonna hand this over to my co-host Emily norm let Nick to give us a quick overview of what this Town Hall will look like well thank you Emily Catrin Conroy and I'm gonna call you Catrin for the rest of the night but that's okay and thank you everyone for joining I want to echo Katrina thoughts and how proud we are and everyone in British Columbia to help flatten a curve and BC we wouldn't be right now looking at options to reopen the economy if we would not have pulled together to make sure that do we have flatten occur so congratulations to everyone in Terry Hall for doing a great job you know personally of course need to thank our frontline health workers other essential workers those impacted in any way whether through lost loved ones condolences to all of you to people who have been infected by Kovac those under restrictions and everybody who has been impacted by the delaying of surgeries or cancellation of surgeries obviously that impacts you and your families quite extensively and want to say thank you for for taking that on further for the rest of us and the businesses we have a lot of businesses private sector is hurting really badly right now because of this and my heart our hearts go out to to all the businesses out there and employees owners entrepreneurs that are struggling right now because of this pandemic we were we are all thinking of you and looking for ways that we can open up the economy again I'm proud of all my colleagues and all parties our Health Authority leadership have collaborated to ensure that British Columbians get important opportunities to have their questions answered and as Katrina said we've had several health authorities do this and this is the second one with IH with Susan Pollack and and Susan Brown so thank you to both of them and maybe we can take a moment for both of you to introduce yourselves to to our viewing audience okay thank you very much and it's a pleasure to be here tonight hopefully bring people even further up-to-date with what's happening in our system so I'm Susan I'm the president and CEO of interior health and I'd been with interior health about nine years now thanks great and good evening everyone it's also a pleasure to be here with you some of you the second time and I am the chief medical health officer with into your health authority and I've been here for just over eight years and I'm a public health and preventive medicine specialist thank you to both of you so this is the way it's going to work Emily Conway and I will introduce the questions we'll take turns reading people's questions that were submitted in advance don't worry if you didn't get a chance to submit a question in advance if you're watching right now on the government of BC Facebook site you can submit your questions in the comment section down below and we'll have a chance to address those after we address the questions that were submitted in advance so let's get going okay well let's start with the question that's been on a lot of people's minds and I understand that this topic was discussed in the previous Town Hall's but I think folks would like us to talk about it further tonight so with that here's our first question from Brenda in West Kelowna interior health covers a huge portion of our province I understand the need for patient privacy but it wouldn't violate the freedom of information and privacy act to give us an estimate of how many cases are in each community why can't this information be provided so this has been asked a lot in a lot of different settings and we are following the direction of our provincial medical health officer that when there's an outbreak somewhere like a long-term care facility or in a group cluster where we need to see people's behavior change that is something that we declare and make public however when it's an individual some of our communities are small and that privacy is really important we've seen in other jurisdictions of in other countries where that has become a problem and part of the strategy is that we want people to feel really free and open to come forward and be tested and British Columbia have actually tested more people than many jurisdictions in Canada and I think that's because people feel comfortable coming forward having their tests and unknowing they're going to be a good follow up and they won't be there's been no stigma stigma for them coming forward so I think that's peed off for us and we've tested over 60, 000 people in the province today thank you the second question is another topic of interest in our provinces testing strategy Nancy from Grand Forks asks can you describe how the ability to test for Coppa 19 and contract tracing is being developed what are the goals for testing and tracing great thanks for that question so the provincial testing strategy is something we follow here in interior health and it has it has evolved as we've learned more about this virus and and as a pandemic has progressed so initially when we started our testing strategy in the province we were focusing on travelers who are returning from outside of Canada that was a high-risk group we wanted to find those cases identify them quickly isolate them and find their contacts and following that we were focusing additionally on some other high-priority and high risk and vulnerable groups those included healthcare workers residents staff of long-term care individuals who are likely to be hospitalized as well as those who are parts about part of outbreaks or clusters and since that time we've also included individuals living in digitus communities as well as those in congregate settings such as correctional facilities or living in shelters and just this just over the last couple of days the provincial testing strategy has evolved again and now we were recommending testing for anybody who's got coalbed like symptoms influenza-like symptoms or cold symptoms so that's a whole range of symptoms from more severe cough or shortness of breath but also including other symptoms like headache muscle aches sore throat runny nose and we've we've done that so that we can prevent disease transmission and make sure we're not missing any cases in the community and we'll be speaking later this evening I'm sure in terms of the contact tracing so when we identify a case of covet 19 in the community we we follow our usual public health principles which is to we interviewed that case our public health team interviewed that case we learn about where they've been and who they've been in close contact with and and then we speak to their contacts as well and often these are close telltale contexts but they could be context in other settings that they've had and we may I too late those contexts and we certainly would ask them to stop monitor for symptoms so this is similarly this question is from Ron and crambo Cranbrook and he'd like to know our people exposed to Kovac actually being tested or just put into quarantine mm-hmm right so we'll made when we identify the case and then we subsequently identify their contacts or those who have been exposed to the case we do we do ensure that they don't have symptoms if they have symptoms those contexts and we would recommend that they would get testing at this point in time otherwise we'd ask them to isolate or to self monitor for symptoms and we have another one from Phil from Fruitvale and I know we are still in the thick of the crisis people have concerns about what this might look like as months go by and Phil says are we preparing for the fall and Kari from Simon arm would like to know is there a chance that there could be more cases of the illness than there is now when the next winter comes around very very timely and important questions right now and we are all very carefully watching our epidemic curve we talk lots about flattening and bending the curve which really helps to protect the healthcare system but also minimize the disease transmission and so we're watching that curve right now we are seeing a flattening and offending and that is really due to all of the efforts of everybody in in society in our communities who is following the advice and the recommendations or the guidance of our folks our doctor Arnie Henry so we know that with some respiratory viruses we do see a decrease in in cases over the summer months and I'll use influences example often see a peak of influence in the winters and winter months and then a decline over the summer we don't yet know if we're gonna see that same trend with copic 19 it's probably a little bit early to know and I don't think we can count on that however we do know that in the fall we're going to have the reappearance of other respiratory viruses that we're familiar with as well as likely a resurgence or reappearance of kovat and so yes we are preparing for what is likely to be the second we recorded thank you as we mentioned we are in the thick of this pandemic and and I recognize the immense sacrifices that British Columbians have made and in order to flatten that curve and help stop the spread of koban 19 and we have questions coming in about what's next and if there's a possibility of easing some of the restrictions in place for example Jean from golden she asks now that we are several weeks into the Cova pandemic and have learned a lot about the virus and who it affects most adversely why are we not directing our attention to protecting the most vulnerable rather than shutting down everything I keep reading that over 95% of the population will show mile or no symptoms why must we all stay home so it's been really important that we have followed the directions of public health officials which has included physical distancing which is staying 2 meters or 60 from people staying home especially for ill and washing our hands and those are the three things we've heard multiple times from doctor Barney Henry and we are protecting the most vulnerable by doing those things and that's one reason when we do those things and we do know as well but in some cases we do see more severe illness in in younger individuals but you're correct that in about 80% of individuals we see quite mild disease and so all of these efforts are really paying off and we're seeing that but we need to continue with these efforts there has been discussion about what it might look like to lift or ease some of the some of the restrictive measures and I think we're all watching and waiting for that but we know when that time comes it's going to be slow and measured and our very thoughtful approach to do that on the other hand there are folks who would like to know what more can be done to ensure that we all hold the line Judy from Kentucky asks it seems as our numbers continue to improve many people are becoming very casual about the situation what action is prepared to ensure that we all stay the course well I think for my observation over the past couple of months that the majority people are following the direction and guidance and advice of public health officials and there are a number of orders in place such as banning of mass gatherings over 50 people and the closure as we know of nightclubs and food establishments and personal service establishments but there's also a lot of guidance and recommendations in terms of things like physical distance Inc so we need to continue to do those things we recognize that that is very very difficult for people it's very difficult for all of us to do that in terms of compliance I think we're going to continue to rely on the goodwill of our public and of society to continue to do the right thing and to listen to the advice okay so ensuring social and physical distancing is something that we're all have been incredibly mindful of and in this fight against kovaydin and this is an interesting question from jonathan from West Kelowna he says why social distancing logically two metres makes little difference in the spread of small particles Irish particles do not respect the two meter distance nor do they disappear as people walk through the same airspace kovat 19 can stay airborne for hours would it be more logical and effective to encourage society to frequently wash their hands and clothes every day and allow people to resume life we know we have good evidence coalbed 19 biros is transmitted and that is through respiratory droplets from the mouth the nose so transmitted through coughing or sneezing or sometimes talking and we also know those droplets are quite heavy and so they actually don't they don't hang around in the air when they are expelled from a person they actually can travel and we know this again from other into other respiratory they can travel as far as 68 or 2 meters the maximum and then they fall and they may fall on a surface they may follow they may land on somebody else and in those situations not only can they be transmitted through or inhaling the droplets but also through touching contaminated surfaces so we are very confident and how the Kobo 19 virus is spread it's very similar to other viruses such as influenza and it's it's so it is that measure is I think really fair as well in terms of our ability to flatten and bend the curves but along with that because of that risk of touching contaminated surfaces and contaminating our hands and then touching your face that measure of hand-washing of course is something we emphasize and proper hand washing that we need to teach ourselves and our kids to do which is a minimum of 20 seconds that can be with soap and water which works perfectly well to kill the virus but also in some cases people use hand sanitizer you can sing happy birthday twice I think that's about 20 seconds elegans Jordan and Montrose would like to know I have seen a lot of people continuing to gather with friends and family and driveways yards etc six feet apart is this considered proper social distancing or should people avoid socializing even if it's six feet apart yeah so it's an interesting one because we are really trying to keep that physical distancing boundary and I see lots of people sort of doing day-to-day conversations as they pass other people's driveways and some people in nice days just sitting apart but as sue said when somebody coughs or sneezes that those droplets can be on hard surfaces and other surfaces so if you are going to do that it's best to take your own chair with you and not be touching other things that those people have so not sharing food or drinks or anything like that so if you're going it's like you go as your own little compact unit and do your social distance your physical distancing and make sure that you don't have you taking your kids they're not running about between people and touching everything that's where you end up with that cross-contamination so it's possible you just have to be really aware of your surroundings and what you're doing if you don't do that thank you especially good to know now as the weather is getting better for everybody to remember that we had a number of questions that came in asking about how we can protect the youngest members of our society of babies and which is near and dear to my heart I know it as Norma to as he just showed us a picture of his his new grandchild his new grandson people would like to know what is the best way to protect a baby in a pandemic there's a new grandma from Barb and Kamloops congratulations barb who asked I'm over 65 and my son and daughter-in-law just had a baby is it safe for me and for the baby for me to hold him so when you've got a newborn obviously they're vulnerable at the best of times so everybody's really clean with their hand hygiene and making sure that when you're doing with the baby that you're you've got things as clean as possible you know that you're going to sterilize bottles etc so for grandparents not only for if you live with your grandparents obviously that's fine you're part of the household and they would be part of your group that you're with every day so that would be okay if you live together in the same household but unfortunately if you don't the answer is no it's a really hard one I mean people are sacrificing so much you know the birth of grandchildren weddings funerals it is very difficult but the advice would be not to especially if you are a senior that's gone underlying chronic disease and other things it's just putting everybody at risk on the topic of births and from Colona has another question she says is it acceptable to travel to other provinces to visit our family members as there are births happening well we've heard quite clearly through public health officials that we should at this time still should be avoiding non-essential travel of course we know that this pandemic is progressing differently in different parts of the world but certainly in different parts of Canada as well we see quite a different academic curve and Ontario and Quebec than we see here in BC and different from Alberta again so that recommendation still stands that people should be of waiting on essential travel of course it's very difficult with when there's a new baby or family that you want to visit another province but we are encouraging people to just wait a little bit longer and to find other ways to connect and make those social connections with those family members on the same topic of caring for our loved ones Terry from Kimberly asks my husband works away how can I safely take care of my husband if he brings covin 19 home is it possible to care for him and not get the virus that's a very very good question and we certainly in public health that's something that we do provide guidance and advice around so if there is a an individual in a household who is a Kovach positive individual we recognize there other council members likely living with them and so we once we've spoken with the family we provide advice as to how to safely sell isolate or isolate that individual with Cova in the household that would include things like staying in their own room with their own bathroom you know really having limited or no interaction with other family members so you might need to bring food to them at the door of their room and it's certainly having having them wear a mask as well and in some situations it can be really hard to do that it might be a very small dwelling with maybe a large family so you know certainly there might be other other options in terms of maybe the family members who who aren't affected especially if they're vulnerable for example elderly looking at maybe there's another another place they can they can stay until their member gets better thank you the next question is from Joan and Summerlin who asks about homemade masks and I know my wife took out the sewing machine and I have to and ready to go whenever the we get the green light why is the use of homemade masks to put help prevent transmission of c19 not more aggressively promoted along with infomercials on how to use and take them off properly so I'll speak to masks first and we recognize that masks and I'm talking about surgical masks and procedural masks and 95 respirators are a precious commodity for a healthcare system so we need to first off ensure we're reserving those masks for our health care workers the topic of homemade masks or cloth masks has has been a very hot topic both federally and here provincially and we've heard a little bit of a change in language in terms of the use of homemade in class masks and we are also seeing people who are still open their business is having their employees wearing them and we know there's interest from the public I think it maybe helps the public to think they can do something right it's something that they can control so if individuals are are choosing to wear a mask a homemade or cloth mask there is a more sort of permissive permissive approach to that now in the province and it's important to remember that if you're wearing a mask it's really about protecting other people from you it really there's no evidence to say it provides protection for you as you're wearing the mask and we know that when people wear masks especially those who are you story masks are more likely to fiddle with it and touch their face and adjustment straps which can lead to them you know contaminating themselves potentially as well as we know the masks dirty so people if people are wearing them and maybe they're very and very early symptomatic stage of copán 19 it can keep it can help to keep their droplets and those respiratory droplets I talked about and we say it's a little bit equivalent to our recommendation that you sneeze or cough into your elbow so it can help to contain your droplets and protect other people from you thank you it's so hard not to touch your face that's the hardest yeah so here's a question from Marian in Kamloops regarding access to primary care for non-covered nineteen related issues the Health Minister is assuring us we can get medical help for non-covered nineteen related issues as there is a chronic doctor shortage in Kamloops how do these how do those of us on a waiting list seek medical advice without risking a lineup at a clinic how do people in the high-risk category who are told it will be eight months to a year until they can get a doctor get ongoing medical care yeah so in Kamloops they have the urgent primary care center now and then next to it they have a learning center that's got a number of residents and supervised by medical director so if you need to go to the urgent and primary care center you can call up and get an appointment and a lot of these are actually doing appointments virtually now as well so certainly they will schedule an appointment and make sure you're not sitting congregated with other people and if it is something that could be done virtually they may be able to do that for you and then of course if it's something urgent people should go to the emergency department if they need some assistance on something merge and and there's other ways depending what the illness is certainly we don't want anybody sitting at home in a state where they really need assistance with mental health if that if that's what the concern is there is a crisis length for people one eight eight eight three five three to 273 it's always good for people to have that reminder just in case you know things get desperate for people if they're not getting access to their normal care providers so certainly and then there's walk-in clinics that people could call up they see if there's if they're offering a virtual care as well thank you we know that the province is taking strong actions to prepare for the pandemic Brian from Nelson asks which hospitals are set up to receive Cova 19 patients in the South Kootenai region and what is their acute care and ICU capacity he goes on to say we hear that 19 hospitals are dedicated for intake in BC but iha puts no info on their website and releases no local press releases it's important in smaller centers since both patients and family may have to be transported yeah so out of those 19 hospitals six of them are within interior health so our teacher shri care sites that's a Kona General Hospital royal inland hospital in Kamloops and then there's four other hubs which are East cooking Regional Hospital and Cranbrook Hui bindery regional hospital and trail Penticton Regional Hospital and Verna and Jubilee but however if you're closer if somebody did deteriorate quickly if there were a home and positive and needed to get quick access to care they if they have a local hospital they are able to stabilize patients and provide immediate care and then we would transfer that person to one of the designated sites also for people who are in more rural areas we have been in the process of setting up what we call covert communities sorry community cohort centers and those centers will be set up to bring somebody closer to the hospital if they've got quite a journey to drive over two hours to get to hospital it most likely will be like in a hotel setting and there will be resources available to that individual to be safe and self isolate and the reason why we're doing that is because we do know this particular virus people can deteriorate quite quickly so we want them to be close to care where we could bring them in to the hospital very quickly if that happens thank you so the premier and Minister Dix and and dr.
Bonnie Henry had had shared that the decision to cancel elective and non urgent surgeries was one of the most difficult measures that they had to take to prepare our hospitals during this this epidemic and this has had a profound impact on those who have been waiting for surgery both T Leo and Rene from Calgary would like to know when elective surgeries are going to start again and Doug in West Kelowna asks can we get a clear explanation as to why we're not proceeding with elective surgeries here in the interior region when our kovat case numbers are quite low and steady and the hospitals seem to be underutilized a lot of us are suffering continuing and worsening chronic pain yes and I think for all of those that work in health care we know how to difficult that decision was and a lot of people in pain waiting on surgeries and to those people and really empathize that people who have been getting closer now have further delay so the reason why we are not proceeding forward now is should we have a surge in patients who do become positive we need that capacity within the system to be able to care for them safely in hospital we're sitting right now around 70% occupancy within our sites and in across interior health and so keeping that capacity right now know as soon spoke about to make sure that courage stays flattened and plateaued so there are definitely discussions going on in the province around how one might ease back into surgery in a surgery in a very phased approach so that we do not end up having that curve swing up again so lots of consideration there and there'll be lots of discussion is happening around the best way to do that but we don't have a clear picture as of yet around exactly when that will be happening Andrea and Summerlin asks the government and Health Authority has instructed citizens to stay home and walk in their neighborhoods they have asked citizens to avoid any non-essential travel under these guidelines why are golf courses allowed to stay open even if a participant participants follow the social distancing rules doesn't it go against all the guidelines they have been asking citizens to follow so I guess it is golf season out there not a goal for myself but I do understand we're coming into that and I sure there a lot of eager people out there who wanna call my understanding from correspondence I've received is that many golf courses have chosen to stay closed and not open but I'm aware that some are opening and certainly the expectation of those golf courses that are staying open are choosing to open is that they follow first off the provincial health officer orders around the closure of restaurants and those types of facilities so those those facilities attached to golf courses would not be allowed to open and the golf course operators would be expected to ensure that all of the recommended guidelines are being followed for physical distancing and enhance cleaning and ensuring there's hand-washing available and and once again we would rely on those who are using things the golf courses to do the same if they are out walking the course that they're maintaining they're distancing and ideally if they're with other people that's just with the people that they live in the same household with and we and we in interior health all of us do appreciate being outside and we recognize that the there are many benefits and important benefits to us as humans to playing outside physical and mental and there are other ways to do that right now that don't involve going to those types of activities so in my neighborhood I see a lot of people who are walking with their kids or with their partners and dogs and staying close to home still getting their physical activity and some exposure to nature but doing it in a safe way thank you my dad's a 92 year old avid golfer and is really looking forward to the course is opening and saying we will do anything to ensure that we produce proper social distancing and and and restaurants we've talked to some of them in the region and they are they're doing take oh they're not opening they're doing they're provided they're making sure and there's so many restaurants that are providing that takeout service it's been great it's you know that they can still continue to stay open which is really good the people of course are thinking about summer and the fall but everybody I think kovin 19 is wane on air everyone's minds this one is from Janine in Creston and she says a Creston Valley consists of several communities from yak to rondelle and they hold an Country Fall Fair in mid-september in their local community center this year will be their second Fall Fair they host about 2600 people over two days to showcase and display the country and farming community ending with the feast of local food and drink provided by our local farms what are our chances of hosting this fair even if we do 200 people intervals so currently under the provincial public health order around less than 50 people not over 50 people and I have heard from our health officer this week that she's spoken to some events remain like a peony and they have since sort of canceled their their plans and I think that it's pretty safe to say that those types of events will not be going forward over the next few months as we continue to work really hard to contain this virus and minimize the impact on our honor on the public but also on our health care system and definitely that's a very sad thing for many people to hear and those are events people look forward to especially if they've been going on for a hundred years but it's again these are temporary these are temporary measures and we are making sacrifices right now and the intent is pay off for us down the road thank you in fine little questions in advance and we're gonna move to the live questions and after this one is Robin from Colona asks it's important that the province of BC has taken the responsibility for overseeing the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for migrant farm workers coming coming back however once the 14 days are finished they'll then move to the same overcrowding housing conditions that will not allow them to continue physically distancing what is being done about farm worker housing on farms to protect workers mm-hmm so it's very accurate that individuals arriving from outside of Canada to help support our agricultural industry are being self isolated for 14 days as of anybody returning into Canada at this point in time so there are some processes in place to make sure that when those individuals move to their more permanent locations first of all that Public Health local public health is being informed so we will we will know where those different individuals are and through our teams including our environmental health officers we can work with those in those types of settings with those farms to help ensure that the guidance is being followed in terms of appropriate living condition that there's healthy food available for those individuals but also around things like cleaning and physical distancing and so again the expectation is that those individuals will still need to be and the people supporting them will need be following those public health measures thank you and I get to ask the first live questions so from Cornelia her question is is it safe to clean for others in their homes mm-hmm that's a really good question and we know that many many of those types of businesses have closed down or scaled back and I think it really depends on on the situation so we know that for people housekeepers going into other people's homes there was a course a risk of either bringing covent with you or actually having Kovac transmitted to you through somebody in the household they are you know it depends also on the clientele that you're serving if you're serving if you're helping out individuals who are in that higher risk group or elderly right there's going to be a higher risk there that that we don't want those people to be infected with Ovid and if you're going to multiple homes that's also a risk so there may be creative ways to do that such as ensuring that when you're going in if you're going in to clean someone's home that they're not home at the same time they're using the proper properly recommended cleaners and disinfectants and again I think it's really situational thank you Thanks the second live question for Nell you think you can open restaurants dying in soon because service the plate dishes and spoons used by gas saying menus and the payment machines use the same washrooms it's so tough for us because dr.
Henry said that she might open restaurant soon but I feel that even if you do hundreds of changes we are still home to still prone to it we're not opening restaurants yet as you mentioned there is still the dine in or dine out and take-out options which I think has helped those businesses to you know keep going for many of them and I see lots of people and we were able to supporting those restaurants and doing and so in terms of restaurants reopening I think what's really important and I think this is happening is that the restaurant industry is you know coming up with and and offering up creative solutions to the government in terms of what they think will work for them and how they can follow that and you know continue to follow that Public Health guidance but fun open at the same time and as we're moving into warmer weather and we know there's patio is we also know the risk of kovin transmission outside is certainly less than it is indoors so there might be possibilities of you know spacing certainly spacing tables out for great distance and minimizing the number of people that come into the restaurant and you know enhance cleaning so those are things that will look to the restaurant industry to help provide some innovative and creative solutions on these all would like to know when can we expect the much-needed scans such as MRI CTS and ultrasounds to resume I've been waiting for six weeks as of today and nothing heard yet yeah so Diagnostics ambulatory carry light surgery are all services impacted by trying to decrease the activity and people in in and out through the hospitals but that will also be dependent on the urgency of the MRI or the scan based on the physician is recommendation so if it is in fact emergent it will be done we're continuing on doing those types of scans and MRIs for less urgent of course it's along with elective so dreidels are still in abeyance so that as soon as we've given the green light to phase in an approach to bringing those back on money we will do that as quickly as possible Thank You summer look like for youth centers and youth sports right so there's a lot another one a lot of parents are interested in in terms and children right in terms of getting together with some social interaction and physical activity so again I don't think any decisions have been made yet around youth sports or summer camps I'm what it might look like we have I said we have a ways to go we need to we need to determine how we're doing with the curve you know ideally we want to see not just the flattening but it decreases in the curve that we're seeing fewer and fewer fewer cases and certainly we know that these types of settings and environments are important not just for kids but also parents or tribes we might be trying to get back to work around that time as things start to loosen up a little bit so again this is an opportunity for those who run the summer camps or operate their camps or coach teams to think about some innovative and creative ways or maybe they could bring some of those activities back over to summer melanie has a question which is coincidental to Richard's dustman Global News just putting out a tweet saying dentists and chiropractors are set to be some of the first professions to come out of the coal bed lockdown Melanie is an RMT in Kelowna and she says I work at home in a separate clinic from my living space most of my clients are essential health care workers I'd like to know when I'll be able to go back to work so I can help them stay physically healthy so they are able to care for all our people in the healthcare system so when when what are people going to go back and is there an order to this so I've also seen that in the media a little bit in terms of speculation maybe it's more than that which professions might go back first and I also saw that about dentists and chiropractors and you're right norm we do rely on those individuals for health and well-being including a registered massage therapists now those those types of professions all are regulated under under a college or Association and there's been a lot of communication and correspondence between between the province and those regulated professions and they're regulated bodies and we're very appreciative of how those professions have responded to the köppen 19 outbreak and recognize it that's might be very difficult for them on an economic front and so certainly those are the groups it would be great to see them be able to start to come back as we start to ease up restrictions and I'm sure that they would have many ideas in terms of how they can ensure they're maintaining maintaining the important measures and ensuring that the practicing good infection prevention control in their clinics and practices so I don't know hints to Melanie as to the thrust of her question is when can she go back to work right know in September I would defer to her provincial health officer on that in terms of when I might be okay thank you very much thank you so Ramona is asking when will the serology tests be available and how will people be prioritized to receive those tests good question so the serology tests is is a blood test that allows us to determine if somebody has antibody is to to a disease to a virus or bacteria and so really interesting that there is a certainly coming soon will be a validated antibody and serology tests in BC and that will actually give us a good idea of how many people have actually had koba 19 infection in our province and in our regions and how many of them have immunity to this disease and so we recognize that we have not we have we have not found all of the cases of copán 19 over the past few months that we have 156 lab confirmed cases an interior health but we know there are other people who've had symptoms and oftentimes mild symptoms that was likely also Colvin we don't pick them up in our daily surveillance reporting so that serology tests is coming to BC and it'll be really interesting to look as a starting point at our health care workers our health care workforce to see how many of our health care workers potentially have immunity if we are able to determine how long that immunity lasts for : 19 those health care can get back to work and have a little bit more confidence as they're working with patients with Tobit 90 Thank You just as a follow-up if they they prove positive and have more confidence can they work without the PPE or they still require the PPE we would still require the PPE and again we I think it's a little bit too early for us to know how long immunity will last if you've been infected and how long you're immune for it we were hoping it would be for the you know the duration of the pandemic or maybe for at least a year or two but we're still learning that so we would still be recommending the PPE and there also other other infectious agents as well that we want we want people help your recipe to protect okay Thank You Betty betty has several questions so I'll try to go slow on this so we can capture all of them she says that teri health when its interior health going to start having workers in one site and not to three or four sites our family's aware that not everywhere is one site are you going to continue to have new residents brought into facilities and placed in quarantine so two or three questions in there yes maybe the first one so there was an order for single site for long-term care facilities which is our most vulnerable population and we are allowed to phase that anywhere and start where we think is most prudent so we have looked at some of our areas and are starting to look at implementation in Kamloops and Cranbrook and then we'll go from there as we learn obviously this impacts quite a lot of our employees so we have to do this thoughtfully so that if people have enough work and able to maintain their hours and their income so we're starting doing that planning right now and we will move through other uses of the Health Authority as we've experienced what has taught us in Kamloops and Cranbrook and then for we do know as well and some of our long-term care facilities the interior health doesn't have any contracts with or they're privately owned some of them have gone ahead and implemented this already so with their own stuff so that's quite positive and for introducing new residents into long-term care facilities obviously movement throughout that facility we're even trying to limit staff going from one area to another inside the facilities so if there's a new client goes into that facility obviously we're doing trying to make sure they're fairly limited to who they're exposed to until as you say about 14 days is over okay thank you so this is from Mary there are currently virus free communities can we expect these communities to be infected or is there a good possibility they will remain virus free so I think this comes back a little bit to people wanting to know where individuals are that are positive I think it's safe to assume this is a pandemic this virus is spread very fast across the world it's assumed you have the virus where you live that due diligence that everybody's demonstrating right now it needs to continue and I think it would give people a very false sense of security if they thought the community was not impacted by this Russia says what is the distance in the taxi how safe the taxi drivers and taxi passengers so taxis are taxi drivers are still working and we recognize that the essential service for many people to have access to that form of transportation so there are ways I think to make it a safer ride for people so I would recommend that they sit in the backseat from the taxi driver taxi companies may be using plastic shields or ways to prevent those droplets from moving back and forth between the front seat and the back seat and certainly if you are ill you shouldn't be getting in a taxicab give any of those respiratory system as I mentioned earlier you should be staying home and not getting in a cab because your droplet could be left on surfaces in the taxi and we'd have also expect that the taxi drivers are not working while they are ill or have respiratory symptoms and then finally I would say that again the expectation would be that those taxis are cleaned on a regular basis and disinfected to ensure that we can they can get rid of any of those respiratory droplets that might be there or put virus so Shawn is asking I have an MRI booked for me v is this still going to take place and if so do I have to wear a mask in the hospital so again if I not knowing if this is an emergent procedure or if it's one that can wait and that would be dictated by their health care provider so if it is deemed emergent it will continue if it's something that can be postponed until a later date then it probably will be as soon as we are given as I'd said the green light to start phasing in to bringing people on we will make sure that but the the wait list that we have is maintained so people don't lose their spot if you like and make sure that people are broadening rate order and if anybody's condition has changed while they've been waiting on their MRI or CT and they feel that they're deteriorating they should get in touch with their primary care provider we could do a virtual visit with them or whatever they need to make sure that they're not at the point that they need something else don't know someone call them them to tell them yes yeah okay angles Linda asks if you live alone and have been self isolating is it okay to get together with another person who also lives alone if it has been self isolated well we have heard of some solutions to these self-isolation issues so in turn including I've heard of families who kind of dedicate themselves to each other and they promise that they won't have contact with anybody else but they want to get together just those two families and have the kids play together so recognizing the importance of the social connection and for people who people who are living alone they might need that I think that's something that they could certainly explore doing but they need to be sure that they weren't they weren't socially they weren't socially congregating with other people and I'd still recommend that they maintain their 6 feet or 2 meter distance if they were together and that they are washing their hands and following all those good practices and not getting together if they're ill or have respiratory symptoms I think you just made a lot of people very happy with that answer I think so too so well could this virus disappear just like the SAR virus it of new year's back mm-hmm right so we had SARS in in 2003 it's also a corona virus and it had a worst case fatality rate than this copán 19 so a bit more severe in terms of the number of deaths that we saw and it did go away we did see some some outbreaks of it and it was contained certainly and I'm not sure we're gonna see that with with koban 19 I think a lot of really strong efforts were made at the beginning to try and we heard about containing containing containing this virus and unfortunately we saw it spread globally and it's also it spreads relatively easy in people as well so I think it's going to be around with us for quite a long time and certainly until we have a vaccine available to us kits Minh wants to know how many kovat 19 tests are being done per day in British Columbia and maybe you can also introduce the new tool that's available online for people to see the the data that's coming out every day mm-hmm so I can speak to I can speak to our interior health situation for testing and so we do actually have we have four labs now that do testing and in the interior health region and I think Susan mentioned earlier that we have done over we've done over 9, 000 tests over the course of the pandemic for our interior health residents and 6, 000 of those have been have been done through our material health lab so that's quite a feat gents really led us to have a relatively rapid turnaround time of test results so at the very beginning of this pandemic we we saw maybe a few days to get a test result back because our lab our nasopharyngeal swamps had to be sent to thank uberta these– CDC for testing and and now we're getting a turnaround time it's much quicker so we are doing a lot of testing in in to your health and we know with our increased or expanded testing criteria provincially that's come out this week we're likely to see more testing as well and that's a good thing because we want to know where this virus is and we want to be able to contain it so the answer the second part the BC Centre for Disease Control has a new link if people would just go to the website they'll see the link to a tool that actually gives them a daily breakdown of all the people had been tested those that have are in ICU those are in hospital etc it's really a great tool just BC Centre for Disease Control over to you Katrina okay thanks very so crystal is asking seasonal allergies versus kovat 19 sentence okay good one so not everybody has seasonal allergies those people who do probably are you know the first time they'd had them and they probably aware of what those symptoms are and how they present so certainly if these are symptoms that you've not had before that are new and that needs some of those symptoms that I talked about earlier that are consistent with Cobra that I'd really recommend and having a very low threshold for having it for reaching out to your healthcare provider or to one of our IH COBIT assessment testing center is to inquire about getting a test and and certainly people can do the BC CDC at coalbed self assessment tool as well online and I just did it today actually to try it out and it works quite well and it'll actually guide you through a series of questions and at the end to let you know what you should do in terms of getting a test or I'm seeking further advice or in some cases people who maybe have more severe symptom if they weren't aware of to reach out to get some more urgent care so we only have four minutes left so I'm gonna wrap this up with the last question and I could give you a whole number of questions but I'll make him do that I'll just ask the question about questions when we did this before I don't forget it's been what two three four weeks probably three weeks ago when we get the first one Susan and sue at the end of it you've committed to those that didn't get their questions answered that you would get the questions and try over the next few days to provide answers to on your website and you did a great job you know thank you I really appreciate the quick turnaround so there's the question all those people that have submitted questions if we give you those questions do you think you can do that again absolutely I think we might not do them individually but certainly withersteen's will do our best together thank you very much and back to you Katrina I want to say thank you – Thank You Susan then sue for your valuable information you shared tonight and how well you've answered the questions like I learned a lot and I'm sure everybody watching tonight did too you guys are you're both amazing so thank you so much for all the work you're doing for us and the interior Health Authority and and I want to thank everybody for joining us tonight especially our guests and I want to thank my cold and I want to thank Health Minister Adrienne Dix and dr.
Bonnie Henry for the work that they're doing our government has taken action and continues to work hard to support British Columbians and and they are leading the charge on it and I've done such an amazing job so kudos to them and before we wrap up we want to leave you with a few additional resources and so norm I'm gonna let you begin so for provincial support and Cova 19 information please visit triple W gov dot BC CA slash covin 19 for seniors looking for additional support at this time called 2-1-1 or visit triple w dot bc 2 1 1 dot CA that's 2 1 1 or triple WBC 2 1 1 dot CA if you or a family member need additional medical advice please call 8 1 1 and for the latest medical updates including case counts prevention risks and testing visit WWE CDC CA for the provincial health officers orders notices and guidance you can visit www.
com/recycle and education supports travel transportation and essential service information you can go to the gummies CDC a back slash kovin 19 website or call 1 888 Kovan 19 which is one eight eight eight two six eight four three one nine between 7:30 in the morning and 8:00 at night seven days a week and people Wahb answers for you and remember please follow a public health officer dr.
Bonnie Henry's guidelines so that we can all help protect our families and friends our neighbors and ourselves and those we haven't met yet these very basic measures continue to be the most important measures our stay at home when you're sick wash our hands frequently for 20 seconds I think he said it was the ABCs or happy birthday my gran son says its ABCs twice granny so I got my I got schooled cover our cop and and sneeze with our elbow and don't forget even though we're a part to try to stay connected find ways to stay connected and as dr.
Henry says be kind be kind to each other be kind on social media just wherever you can and I want to thank you all again for joining us and I hope you all have really good evening good night stay safe.