Hope doctors move to serving patients over the phone

Only those with severe symptoms, or residents at the Hope hospital, are being tested for COVID-19

Hope’s medical centre and walk-in clinic are moving to ‘seeing’ patients over the phone, and the waiting room at the 4th Avenue clinic has been virtually empty for the past two days said manager Jo-Anne Hislop.

In a rapidly evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spread of a virus which now has 348 cases in British Columbia of which 95 are in the Fraser Health region, the medical clinic is moving appointments, follow-ups as well as prescription refills to phone-based meetings.

The Fraser Canyon walk-in clinic may also be closed next week as Hislop said there is very little need for it at the moment. Specialist services run out of the walk-in clinic have been cancelled, such as physiotherapy and specialists who come to Hope on a weekly basis.

Rather than coming in to the medical centre or walk-in, people are asked to call 604-869-5648. Opening hours for the centre are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

People with mild symptoms including mild respiratory symptoms, stuffy noses or tickles in their throats are being instructued to self-isolate for 14 days. These symptoms are widespread right now, Hislop said, with cold and flu season wrapping up and seasonal allergies starting up.

“Right now is a bad time because everyone seems to have a cold or the flu, as well, and spring hay fever and all sorts of those kind of things,” she said.

Last week, patients were still being brought into the medical clinic and swabbed for testing. With new provincial guidelines, Hislop said tests are now only being conducted for people either residing at the Hope hospital or being admitted to the hospital with symptoms including a high fever, cough or shortness of breath Hislop said.

There are restrictions for visitors to the hospital – most departments only allow one visitor at a time for each patient – and the long-term care facility adjacent to the hospital – the Fraser Hope Lodge – has closed to visitors.

Reports of gloves and masks for healthcare workers running low, and worries about testing swabs running out have been circulating in Hope, but have not yet been independently confirmed by the Hope Standard.

We have requested an interview with Fraser Health, this report will be updated when more information is received.

Read more: B.C. COVID-19 cases jump by another 77, another care home affected

Across the province, two dozen healthcare workers have been affected by the virus said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. They are recovering from “relatively mind symptoms” she added.

CoronavirusFraser HealthHealth

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

What would you like to ask Hope’s Mayor on COVID-19?

Send us your questions, ahead of a conversation with Peter Robb

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘It’s frightening’: Hemlock Valley trucker on being on the road during COVID-19

Armed with a keychain-sized hand sanitizer, trucker Brennan Bateman set out for the United States

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read