To date, there have been 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health. As of 1:30 p.m. on March 30, there were 970 identified cases in B.C. (an increase of 86 cases)
13 Long Term Care facilities have confirmed cases
106 patients are in hospital, and of these, 60 are in ICU
19 deaths, including one person in a Coastal community (first death that is not linked to a long term care facility)
The fatality rate so far in BC is 2% among cases that tested positive.
In IHA, the average age of our ICU patients is 47 years old, and 53% are female.
There is a perception that younger people are immune to this virus. This is not true. They are less likely to die if they catch it, but can still end up in hospital significantly ill. Please be serious about physical distancing while socializing virtually.
Creston businesses have opened their hearts to our plea for Personal Protective Equipment. Thank you to our dentists, Drs Catherall, Armstrong and Small for donating masks and gloves, as well as Pealow’s for their donation of hand sanitizer. Shukin Orchards and Grey Creek Store helped us to secure sanitizer, N95 masks and face shields.
And, of course, thank you to China for their donation of 36 000 masks. I’ll let you know if any of those make their way to Creston. Dr. Bonnie Henry reported today that a shipment of one million surgical masks has arrived, and we’re optimistic that we will see out this pandemic with enough Personal Protective Equipment.
Across Canada, emergency physicians and frontline workers are preparing for an onslaught unlike anything almost any of us have ever faced. We’re afraid of what’s to come. We’re afraid that too many Canadians still don’t get it. We’re afraid for our patients, our families and ourselves.
But we are not in a panic. Perhaps our mindset has shifted from fear to understanding the dangers of this virus. It doesn’t mean that the danger has changed - COVID19 is very real, but we are so much better prepared than before. We are meticulously preparing for every scenario, from the mild COVID cases to those patients that will need intubation and ICU care. We have read every article that we can find, attend Teleconferences with specialists - all in an attempt to be as ready as we can be, if or when our number of sick Creston patients increase. In Creston, we can handle a slow and steady increase in cases to our hospital, and we have decreased our capacity to 50% to create extra beds for when we need it.
But when a neighbour walks up and says, ’how are you doing?’ I don’t even know how to answer. Because it’s fake to say ’well’ or ’great.’ It’s not great. It will be great when this is over. It will be great when we can reflect on lessons learned and be prepared for the next wave.
So now, more than ever, we must stand together in isolation. Whether you feel frustrated, mad, ugly, raw, hopeful or divine - the sacrifice of maintaining a two meter distance and washing your hands is not too much to ask. Let your days be slower than usual. Be distracted, but stay at home.
From the very beginning, we’ve talked about the flaw in our testing system. We are not testing enough patients with symptoms, and this is unlikely to change. (as per the Provincial Government) The numbers reported daily is not an accurate depiction of actual COVID cases.
It is crucially important that we continue to practice physical distancing, self-isolation when ill, quarantine after travel, and rigorous hand washing.
Creston Valley Physicians and Medical Staff