250.629.3233 (Clinic)

COVID-19 Updates

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update on Pender Island as of May 01,2020

We are here, and happy to see you!!  It’s been a bit quiet, so if you have a health concern you would like to check in with us about, we are happy to hear from you.  Just call the clinic (250-629-3233) and make an appointment.   For moms (or dads) with little ones, the Public Health Nurse (250-544-2400) is still coming to the clinic as well and would truly like to connect with you.   In addition, the mental health team is available for phone appointments (no in person visits yet) and can be reached by calling Ulla (250-539-0325) or Elizabeth (250-539-0905).  We know things are a “bit” different just now, but we are here and happy to be of help!

I was born with “itchy feet”, at least that is what my husband believes.  Staying close to my Pender home is a new skill for me.  I am the one who routinely plans a “surprise get-away” to some new adventure, be it a restaurant, concert, fishing hole ………..well you get the idea.  It is taking a lot of energy right now for me to “stay put” and not get on that ferry, just to go anywhere………..like Sidney for example!  Sidney BC I mean.  Who knew how appealing that would become, after just a few weeks of staying home?  And yet, as I talk to my family in AB, SK and Ont, I hesitate to complain.  We are being so well cared for by our businesses.  They are cleaning, serving, and  supporting us in previously unimagined ways.  That is not necessarily so in the “bigger world”.  We do have the freedom of outdoor space, and the ability to go for amazing walks, hikes or just “sits by the ocean”.  We don’t have sidewalks to worry about being too narrow to pass on, nor incredible traffic that continues even though very little is open.  We hear birds, waves and the voices of friends and neighbors from a safe distance.  This is not easy, natural or fun, but the choices we make about “staying put” impact everyone.  We are connected in a way like never before.  There is a lull just now, but don’t let it fool you.  We are as responsible for each other now as we were at the beginning of this virus.  Stay home, stay safe, find creative ways to reach out, without being “present”.  It is not yet time to relax the rules, but its coming, in slow, small waves……….soon.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update on Pender Island as of April 9th, 2020
Content borrowed from the Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association, with thanks. Original article: click here

As we go into what looks like a gorgeous long weekend, a few quick reminders:


  • Please celebrate virtually. It is imperative that we all continue to practice social distancing over the long weekend and not be lulled into a false sense of security.
  • Please be aware that BC Parks have closed. If you have private outdoor space, please stay there. 
  • A reminder that the Provincial Medical Health Officer will not be naming individual  communities with positive tests for Covid-19. There is a risk of providing a false sense of security if a community is not named as the site of a positive test result. We must act based on the assumption that the virus is present on Pender Island.
  • The pandemic is having unintended health consequences for many people. Please do not be scared to come to the medical clinic or call your doctor if you are ill or have symptoms of concern.
  • Finally, we are so grateful to those who have sent messages of thanks to our clinic staff and other front-line workers. Having the support of the community means so much to those providing essential services.

Please enjoy the beautiful weather, get out in the garden, go for a walk, but break the curve NOT THE RULES. Thank you to everyone for doing your part. A 7pm hoot or howl to everyone in the community!

An important update from Dr. Bonnie Henry, regarding maintaining confidentiality during COVID-19 (April 7th, 2020)
Original article: click here

By Dr. Bonnie Henry
Provincial Health Officer
April 6, 2020


When an outbreak hits a community, one of the most urgent things people want is information. This is human nature, as information allows us to protect ourselves, our families and our loved ones.

Information is at the heart of public health: knowing what our risks are, where they are coming from and who is affected. One of the key ways we gather information is through active contact tracing, when public-health teams map the transmission, alert those at risk and close the circle to break the chain.

Public-health protocols also dictate that when the potential for transmission is unknown, we must immediately alert the public. From the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in B.C., we have been doing exactly that – alerting people to the risks within communities through regular briefings and connecting with individuals who are close contacts. When we cannot close the circle, we open the circle.

Public health is boots-on-the-ground health care, which means teams work to connect with each and every person who may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19. We do this to provide individual support and, equally important, to continue to follow the transmission trail.

Initially, public-health teams identified the source of transmission was from travellers. That is why our briefings listed travel locations and cruise ships. With that information known, we were able to put precautions in place.

However, as we have seen here in B.C. and globally, once there is community transmission, there is no boundary to the spread of COVID-19. Simply put, the risk is everywhere.

It would be irresponsible to mention only a few communities and give people outside those areas a false sense that they are not susceptible or at lower risk. Every health region in British Columbia has people with COVID-19. Every community and home town – no matter how large or small – is at risk.

As we notify the public about COVID-19 cases, we have been careful about how much we disclose about the personal details of people who were potentially exposed and the specific location of confirmed cases. This is because, as with many communicable diseases, there is still very much of a stigma associated with infection.

We want people who have symptoms to contact us and to feel safe contacting us, knowing their personal information will be protected. This is important to everyone. It allows public-health teams to do the work they need to do to keep all of us safe.

So, while I understand the desire to know and understand what the COVID-19 situation is in your community, I need to emphasize that knowing where the positive cases are does not protect you, your family or your community. The actions you take will do that.

No one is immune from this disease, but everyone can make a difference. Every British Columbian has a part to play to flatten the curve.

Wash your hands, do not touch your face, stay home if you are ill, and stay apart with physical distancing. Let’s all do the right thing.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update on Pender Island as of April 3rd, 2020

On this blustery spring day, the Pender Islands Health Care Society would like to give a warm and sunny thank you to the community for their ongoing commitment to “flattening the curve”! The kindness, generosity and compassion that we are seeing on a daily basis really helps ensure that although we may be physically distanced from one another, the community is still very much taking care of each other.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has just reminded us that the next two weeks are Mission Critical in limiting the impact of the virus – we have to maintain our vigilance in following ALL of the recommended protocols (physical distancing, limiting trips to the store, hand washing, self-isolation). Virtual meet ‘n greets only please, folks! There are plenty of “apps” for that, and now’s the perfect time to try out all those groovy SnapChat filters, right? We need to remember that the virus does not move, but rather people move the virus (but, we can still have some fun when staying at home!)

The SGI Community Resource Centre is coordinating grocery and hardware store deliveries for people who are self-isolating or unable to get to the store. Please call the HelpLine at 250-629-3665 for assistance. So many of you have kindly stepped up to volunteer time and resources to help out – we see you, and it is so very appreciated.

We would also like to remind you that the clinic is still here for your medical needs, even if they are not COVID-related. Please call us on the general line – 250-629-3233 – and we can assist you from there. In-person access is limited, but we are still here for you and the medical providers are doing telephone consults, as well as responding to all urgent and emergency visits. We do have a doorbell at the front door – please ring it if we do not see you immediately.

If you know of any seniors who are in need of extra support right now, please get in touch with Jane at the Better at Home program: (250) 629-3346. Also, thanks to the Legion, we have plenty of tasty homemade, frozen meals available. Please contact Jane at the above number for more details.

Thank you for all you are doing to keep Pender well!

Erin Pauch
Exec. Asst.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update on Pender Island as of March 27th, 2020

Thanks for doing all you are to keep Pender well!

We continue to ask that you stay at least 6 feet away from anyone not living in your home, take advantage of the opportunity to pre-order groceries and hardware supplies limiting your possible exposure, and wash your hands (applying cream after). If you are feeling somewhat unwell, running a fever or having trouble breathing, call 811, use the self assessment tool, or call the clinic. These are the tools that will make the difference.

Stay on Pender, enjoy the outdoors, reacquaint yourself with phone conversations, board games, baking, solitary walks in quiet areas of the island, a long cup of tea on the deck…….the list goes on. Think of being welcomed at home, rather than confined at home or “stuck” at home. Look away from dust bunnies and admire the birds, buds and sounds of spring. Maybe begin creating a list of your favorite songs, start singing or playing them. This is a challenging, difficult time. YOU have the tools to make the difference. They are free, easy and accessible. Oh yes, stop touching your face!!! (as I remove my hand from my chin).  ~Marion Alksne, Executive Director, PIHCS

A note from the Medical Clinic Staff:
Our heartfelt thanks to you all for your encouragement and support over the last few weeks. It is very appreciated.
As of this week, the clinic is on lockdown and in-person access is limited. But, we are still here for you and the medical providers are doing telephone consults as well as responding to all urgent and emergency visits .
Here’s what you can do to help us:
Please call and receive instructions from staff before coming down to the clinic.  
We are using all telephone lines available to us in the clinic, some from offices that are currently vacant. Please call us on the general line – 250-629-3233 – do not press “redial” or use the number on your call display.
If you receive a message from the clinic, please listen to the message before calling us back so we have the info to direct your call appropriately.
We are using the old pick-up/drop off box for paperwork, including TAP forms. The box has been moved and is now on the side of the building outside the optometry office entrance (facing the ambulance station).
We now have a doorbell at the front door. This will help you get our attention if we do not see you immediately.
We are all practicing physical distancing so please don’t think us rude if we ask you to keep back when we meet you at the door!
We have received calls from you asking if you can bring us treats. You are all so kind! And while we are all cookie and chocolate fiends here, we must decline these offers. Right now, the best gift you can give us is to  #stayhome, #bekind and #plankthecurve!


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update on Pender Island as of March 23rd, 2020

A friendly reminder……….It is not in our nature to pass car stops or hitch hikers, but for now, it has to be.
We can not keep 6’ distance between us and a passenger, even if they sit in a back seat.  Further more, you can not accurately wipe down all the surfaces in your vehicle to sanitize it after providing a ride………..most interior roofs are fabric, and there are lots of nooks and crannies that will be missed but can easily hold droplets.  Sadly this means there is no means of public transportation for those in need. 
Truly, there can be no exceptions, unless the person looking for a ride, lives with you (ie: has daily direct contact with you.)  It will be very hard to drive by those we know, usually give rides too, or just plain look exhausted……….but this is what we have to do to get out of the situation we are in world wide. 
No rides, no exception.  
Marion Alksne

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update on Pender Island as of March 23rd, 2020


Well, it has been a challenging year, to say the least!  Yesterday, after getting off the phone with family in SK, AB and Ont., I truly was thankful to be here, where we can walk outside and still maintain a healthy 6’ distance from anyone.   It is critical, now more than ever, that you realize maintaining physical distance and handwashing are two of the most important tools.  Facemasks and gloves do not give you licence to get closer.
The staff at the clinic want you to know they are here and ready to help.  We are just approaching things in a different manner, but if anything, our compassion level is heightened.  PLEASE, call before you come.  We are solving as much as we can over the phone.  Our Primary Care Providers are calling people directly, answering questions and problem solving.  For those that the doctors decide must come in, you are to wait in your car and one of the MOA’s will go out to get you.

We have hand sanitizer and a mask at the door for you to use, and we are only allowing one patient at a time to come into the building.  That will make it much safer for you, but a tad lonelier too.  The MOA’s and our cleaning staff are being vigilant in keeping it safe for you to be here.  The community health nurses and the doctors are both increasing their in home visits, rather than having people come to the clinic.

Each one of us has someone we are worried for and want to protect.  PLEASE act as though you are a carrier, stay home or go on solitary walks, avoid commercial enterprise as much as possible.  Our businesses are doing an amazing job of supporting you with curbside service and allowing pre-ordering.

There are some wonderful things happening on the island, hearts being posted in windows for you to spot as you are out for a walk, Christmas lights being on at night, neighbourhood phone checks, surprise care packages being left on doorsteps, online local fitness classes…………the list goes on.  We have always been a creative, caring place to be!   Lets continue to be tender towards each other, and  support each other………………from a distance!!!  So get out your hockey stick, and let no one outside of those you live with, get closer than the fully extended length of the stick!!

Marion Alksne
PIHCS Exec. Director

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update on Pender Island as of March 19th, 2020


With many thanks to the Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association for their ongoing updates. The below information was adapted from these 2 posts:

Update as of 1:00 PM March 19, 2020

We are not aware of any definite COVID cases on Pender Island. The Medical Health Officer keeps us informed on a regular basis. However, given the emergence of cases elsewhere on Vancouver Island, we are assuming that there are cases in our community and are acting accordingly. We are all part of this pandemic. BC and Vancouver Island’s infection rate curves are following that of other countries; we are just a bit behind. We are in the critical period to “flatten the curve” and slow the rate of spread of COVID-19.

Knowledge of a positive COVID-19 case does not change how we respond; the basic precautions (as noted below) are the most effective tools that we have.

Locum physician and Pender resident, Dr. Knight, said today, “What is going to get us through this is partly how we look after ourselves, but most importantly, how we look after each other.”

Please be advised: we will not be sharing information about individual cases.

The BC Centre for Disease Control posts updated case counts and press statements here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/case-counts-press-statements

BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: https://covid19.thrive.health/

The most effective tool we have to prevent spread is physical separation. We implore you to maintain social distancing of 6 feet (2 meters), which is the typical distance from fingertip to fingertip with arms outstretched. If you have any cold symptoms, or are returning from out of the country, you must self isolate for 14 days.

  • If you have any symptoms of a cold or respiratory illness, assume you are infectious and stay at home and self isolate for 14 days.
  • Confidentiality is terribly important. Careless talk will cause needless harm and worry. Rumors always spread faster than facts. Please be respectful of other people’s privacy.
  • Be kind to each other, offer friendship and help. We are a great community. Let us keep it that way.
  • Please DO connect by phone with neighbours and returning travellers to help with groceries.
  • Think about this as an opportunity to support the more vulnerable in your community (see link here for a UK model: https://covidmutualaid.org/)


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If a sink is not available, alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc. 

For inquiries about COVID-19 that are health related, call BC HealthLink at 811 (or 711 for the hearing impaired).

For other inquiries related to COVID-19 that are about cleaning, self isolation, quarantine, etc. call ‪1-888-COVID19 (888.268.4319).

Please continue to follow all previously posted protocols.

Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Precautions on Pender Island as of March 17th, 2020

It fills our hearts to see how Pender Island has truly come together during this challenging time. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone for showing such kindness and compassion to each other, along with the many phenomenal offers of help. Thank you to all of the businesses and organizations that are making extremely difficult decisions in order to decrease the risk to the community.
Mandatory Self-Isolation upon return to Pender from out of the country
It is now mandatory that anyone coming to Pender from any location outside Canada self-isolate for 14 days following their return. This is no longer a voluntary measure and has been mandated federally and provincially. The importance of this measure cannot be stressed enough. Please help us get this critical message out to the many Pender Islanders who are returning from winter vacations and may not be aware.
For more information, refer to the Provincial Health Office’s Self-Isolation Information and Monitoring Form: Click HERE
Additional links:
BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool
Taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
BC CDC Common Questions - COVID-19

BC CDC Press Statements and Case Counts

New Provincial COVID-19 Hot Line:
A dedicated phone line has been established to answer general questions and provide information about the coronavirus.
Call: 888-COVID19 (888.268.4319)
Please continue to call 8-1-1 for specific questions related to any symptoms you are experiencing.
Pender Island Health Centre Protocols during this Pandemic
Please avoid coming to the clinic for non-essential reasons.
• Consider requesting a phone appointment for follow-up on diagnostic results or other investigations.
• We will gladly renew and fax prescriptions over the phone.
• If you need a TAP form, please call ahead so it’s ready for you when you come to pick it up.
If you do have to come to the clinic:
• Please be diligent about using the hand gel station as you enter the clinic.
• Practice social distancing by sitting or standing at least 2 metres (approximately 6 feet) away from anyone else.
• Stand back from the reception counter and maintain a distance from the medical office assistants.
The COVID-19 situation is evolving very rapidly so please follow credible news sources and watch for new updates to help you stay informed.
Yours in good health,
Dr. G. Moore and clinic staff

**Many thanks to Mayne Island Health Centre Association for some borrowed content**