From Vancouver Coastal Health: do your part, stay apart

“We’re doing our part, now we need you to do yours.”

That’s the message from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), which has seen the largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia since the global pandemic started.

In coordination with the provincial government’s advanced COVID-19 response plan, VCH has been executing on its own VCH Regional Pandemic Outbreak Response Plan for several weeks in preparation for an expected increase in confirmed cases. Under that plan, VCH has activated Emergency Operations Centres, is managing bed and critical care capacity, and is working to get medical supplies and equipment to where they’re needed, fast.

The success of VCH’s efforts to contain COVID-19 depends equally on two things: the planning and preparation it is doing within the health-care system, and the cooperation of the public in keeping their distance from each other, and not spreading the virus.

To ensure the hard work in the health-care system has the best possible outcome, we must each reduce our personal risk by:

·         washing hands often, for at least 20 seconds

·         avoiding touching your face

·         sneezing into your elbow

To help “flatten the curve,” we must also continue to practice physical distancing:

·         stay two metres from others

·         socialize online instead of physically

While physical distancing is a helpful response to flatten the curve, you can still connect and care for your friends, family, neighbours and community. Look out for seniors isolated at home. A simple phone call, a video chat or regular update emails can go a long way to reducing isolation and establishing a connection. Offer to run errands and get supplies for those who are older or have underlying health issues that make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Going outside is still encouraged for people’s well-being and doesn’t pose a risk, just don’t do so in large groups and wash your hands when you return.

Find posters and social media images you can share to help spread the word at the links below:

·         Physical distancing poster here

·         Image files for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter here