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News releases

Surgery pre-admission changes to keep patients safe

Northern Health is resuming elective surgeries that were postponed due to COVID-19, and we are committed to helping keep patients, medical staff and support staff safe.

NH is implementing plans for telephone pre-admission screening of surgical patients, where available. This new model of care will reduce the need for patients to come to the hospital for in-person visits before their surgeries, and will include telephone assessments, and consultations.

Have symptoms? Get tested for COVID-19

B.C.’s testing COVID-19 strategy has been expanded to include anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, however mild.

While testing has expanded, not everyone needs a test. COVID-19 testing is not recommended for people without symptoms.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. They include:

New virtual mental health supports for COVID-19 on the way

To ensure British Columbians have increased access to vital mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province has announced $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and services and launch new services to support British Columbians.

The Province is working in partnership with Foundry Youth Centres, the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA-BC), the BC Psychological Association and other community partners to deliver new and expanded mental health services.

Northern Health temporarily suspends pay parking

In an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Northern Health is temporarily suspending pay parking for the public, staff and medical staff, at the University Hospital of Northern BC effective April 1st, and until further notice.

Pay parking machines require people to touch screens and buttons that may have been touched by someone previously. Discontinuing the use of pay parking machines reduces the risk of potential spread of infection and also supports physical distancing measures that have been mandated by the Provincial Health Officer.

Safe seniors, strong communities during COVID-19

As part of British Columbia’s emergency novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response plan, the Province is providing the United Way of the Lower Mainland with $50 million to bolster seniors’ supports at community service agencies throughout British Columbia.

This will help address immediate needs associated with the impact of COVID-19, so seniors get the support they need to stay safe at home.

New clinical guidance to reduce risk for people during dual health emergencies

To help reduce the risks to people who use substances, the Province has announced new clinical guidance, effective immediately, for health-care providers to stem the spread of COVID-19 and respond to the ongoing overdose emergency.

The provincial clinical guidance incorporates the federal government’s recent exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.