Friday, 22 May 2020 09:04

VIHA COVID Update

I just virtually attended an information conference and thought you might find some of the info interesting. It was Kathy MacNeil, Marko Peljhan, Richard Stanwick, and others.
Things that might affect the Auxiliary and you:

1 VIHA realizes that the old philosophy and old medical system can be improved and now is the time to do it. So if there are anomalies, things that make you crazy, things that could go better, now is the time to suggest them. What works best for the safety of staff & patients today? You can send your ideas to me and I will pass them on, or send them yourself. Time to re-imagine to make it an integrated system.

2 Expect transit to be slow.

3 If you are scheduled for a procedure/operation soon, you might get a phone call to be sure you are still keen to be on the list. This week, they have 4,000 calls to make and had already made half of them by Tuesday.

4 Gloves and masks are always top of mind. Gloves are discouraged, to be replaced by hand washing. The gloves can quickly become contaminated and easily contaminate others. People wearing them feel protected, as they should, but others are in much more danger. Similarly, masks only need to be used when it is impossible to keep people apart through re-scheduling or with barriers. So we will undoubtedly have to use masks in the shop. Any kind of mask is ok, but it absolutely must be clean and dry. Avoid congregating at shift changes, or other times. Keep distant and feel safe and, if necessary, mask.

5 The CEO sees safety as essential and pyramidic. She said that the top most important thing to do for safety is keeping apart, followed by the administration & policies, then the physical things like barriers, and lastly, the PPEs. In that vein line-ups have to be managed as things get busier. She also advises us to accept the instability and ambiguity and not try to fight it or worry about it.

6 Visitors are still restricted, including the ban on window visits for another month.

7 Parking is resuming soon. When they removed the charges, staff took to parking in the pretty empty visitors' parking and they are being asked to move back to employees' parking.

8 Cafeteria seating is not opening yet.


Other things:

  • Oak Bay and Mt Tolmie patients will be moving to the new facility on Hillside in July.
  • They are keeping beds available so if there is a flare-up there will be room away from regular patients.
  • WorkSafe is in charge of the regulations for businesses opening up. Their mandate is to keep workers safe. They will be checking up and there will be a complaint process if you are worried about something in particular. 25% of all local businesses are teetering today.
  • Research can be iffy, so go to a good source.
  • Talk about 10% of a group getting re-infected is, at the moment, just talk. It is unclear whether it is actually a completely new infection or simply the same one continuing, or if it means people are basically immune and the infection is slight.

Val Smith, Vice-President.