The holiday season is here and Island Health is reminding people to take steps to keep healthy, stay injury-free and avoid unnecessary visits and potential long waits in emergency departments during this busy time of year amid increasing COVID-19 case counts.
For non-life-threatening conditions and health concerns, there are many options for care over the holidays:
-If you need non-urgent care, speak with your family doctor or primary care provider;
-Visit an urgent and primary care centre or walk-in clinic;
-Familiarize yourself with the locations and opening hours of area walk-in clinics;
-If you are unsure about your care needs, call HealthLink BC at 811 to speak to a nurse, 24 hours a day;
-Note the weekend and holiday hours of your local pharmacy/drug store and ensure your prescriptions are up to date;
-Make sure you have basic pharmaceuticals on hand to control children’s fever and pain;
-Check weather conditions and wear appropriate footwear when outdoors to avoid slips and falls, buckle up in vehicles and do not drink and drive;
-Get your flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine;
-Wash your hands frequently and follow mask protocols and keep your gatherings small to avoid spreading and contracting COVID-19, the flu virus and bacteria;
-Should you or someone in your care have a critical or life-threatening condition such as a major injury, trouble breathing, symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, loss of consciousness or severe bleeding, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. Do not delay seeking emergency care.
All Island Health facilities have COVID-19 safety protocols in place and it is safe to seek care for emergencies and scheduled appointments including medical imaging, diagnostics and laboratory services.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, perform a self-assessment. Call 1-844-901-8442 if you require testing.