Skip to main content

Care during COVID-19

As we provide health-care services during COVID-19, keeping you safe continues to be our top priority. Across Vancouver Coastal Health, our infection prevention and control standards are in place to protect our patients, clients, staff and physicians. This information will help patients, clients and families understand what to expect for your upcoming appointment or procedure.

What to expect at your upcoming outpatient clinic appointment

This video will show you what to expect when visiting our hospitals and outpatient clinics in the time of COVID-19. 

 


What to expect at your upcoming surgery appointment 

This video will show you what to expect when visiting our hospitals and undergoing surgery in the time of COVID-19.  

 


Before coming to the hospital or clinic

Before you arrive at the hospital or clinic, staff will contact you to inform you of the recommended public health guidelines. You may receive a pre-admission package that includes instructions for the COVID-19 self-assessment on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website. Please follow the recommendations from the self-assessment. 

If you require assistance (translation, mobility, etc.), please contact the clinic prior to your appointment. Your care team will work with you to ensure your needs are met. We provide free language services to people whose primary language is not English, including qualified interpreters. We can also set up telephone calls for family to be present for discussions about your health and plan of care.

Monitor yourself for cold or flu-like symptoms before your scheduled appointment or procedure date. If you’re experiencing any changes to your health, please notify us prior to coming to the hospital or clinic. Appointments and procedures may be postponed at the discretion of your care provider or our medical staff. If this happens, rest assured that you will be rescheduled once you are feeling better.

What to expect when you arrive

We want to assure you that it is safe to come to the hospital or clinic if you need medical care. We are taking a number of measures to ensure you and your team of health care providers are safe every step of the way.

  • Enter the hospital or clinic from the main entrance

  • Sanitize your hands

  • As you move through the hospital or clinic, you may notice our spaces look a little different:

    • You may see floor decals/markers as well as signage in elevators or in the cafeteria. These are to help you maintain a physical distance of two metres.

    • Staff and physicians are using personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection. This is for both your protection and for the protection of our staff and physicians.

    • Increased cleaning and disinfection of our clinical areas, as well as our waiting rooms, cafeterias, coffee shops and common areas.

During your time at our hospital or clinic

All VCH facilities remain restricted to essential visits only in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you are encouraged to connect with loved ones virtually using your personal device. Please note: VCH is not responsible for the security of your devices. You may also ask staff if tablets are available for use.

Please limit the number of items you bring. If there are any essential items that you need from home, please connect with your care team.

You and/or your support person may be asked to:

  • Wear a mask or other PPE if needed 

  • Practice excellent hand hygiene by cleaning your hands often

  • Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes

  • Practice respiratory etiquette (sneezing/coughing into your elbow)

  • Maintain a physical distance of two metres in common areas such as elevators and waiting areas

For more information on infection prevention, visit the COVID-19 prevention page.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, it is safe to come to our hospitals and clinics. At VCH, infection prevention and control has always been a top priority. To protect our patients, clients, staff and physicians, all our hospitals and clinics follow the safety standards set by Infection Prevention and Control, Public Health, the Provincial Medical Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

We want to reassure you that it is safe to come to the hospital or clinic if you need medical care. We are taking a number of measures to ensure you and your team of health care providers are safe every step of the way.

  • After arriving at the hospital or clinic site, you will enter the building from the main entrance.

  • If you need assistance (mobility, translation, etc.), please let us know, and we will work with you to ensure your needs are met.

  • You will be met with a greeter who will ask you to please sanitize your hands.

  • The greeter will also ask you a few questions – this is to check if you might have cold or flu-like symptoms. If you do, you will be asked to wear a mask.

  • As you move through the hospital or clinic, you may notice our spaces look a little different:

    • You may see floor decals/markers as well as signage at elevators or in the cafeteria. These are to help you maintain a physical distance of two metres.

    • You will also notice our staff and physicians are using personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection. This is for both your protection and for the protection of our staff and physicians.

  • We have also increased our cleaning and disinfection not only of our clinical areas, but also our waiting rooms, cafeterias, coffee shops and common areas.

If you feel that you require a support person, please contact the clinic prior to your appointment. Your care team will work with you to ensure your needs are met. ‎

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working closely with the Ministry of Health to protect the health of everyone in B.C., including patients, clients and residents at all Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) sites. An updated Ministry of Health policy provides expanded guidance and definitions about visitors and essential visits, noting that health authorities should continue to restrict visitors to essential visits only.

Essential visits include:

  • Visits for compassionate care, including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end of life, and medical assistance in dying (MAID)

  • Visits paramount to the patient or client's physical care and mental well-being, including:

    • Assistance with feeding, mobility, personal care

    • Communication assistance for persons with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments

    • Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities, including provision of emotional support

    • Visits for supported decision-making

    • Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery

  • Existing registered volunteers providing the services described above.

  • Visits required to move belongings in or out of a client's room.

  • Police, correctional officers and peace officers accompanying a patient/client for security reasons.

Essential visits shall be limited to one visitor per patient/client within the facility at a time for a visit up to two (2) hours. A visitor who is a child may be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member. Visitors who require assistance may also be accompanied by an additional family member. 

Virtual visits are strongly encouraged and supported where in-person visits are not possible.‎

We provide free language services to people whose primary language is not English, including qualified interpreters. We can also set up telephone calls so you may be present for discussions about their health and plan of care.‎

 

You are welcome to drop off items to the main entrance of the hospital, in a bag clearly marked with the patient's/client's name and room number. Our volunteers will deliver it to their unit. Please limit these to essential items. ‎

 

For the safety of our patients, clients, staff and physicians, please notify staff of any changes to your health prior to coming to the hospital. Appointments and procedures may be postponed at the discretion of your care provider or our medical staff. If this happens, rest assured that you will be rescheduled once you are feeling better. ‎

 

Staff members who are providing direct care for patients and clients may be wearing masks and other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns and eye protection for their safety and yours. ‎

 

While we are asking anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms to avoid visiting our sites, this is not always possible. We will ask you to wear a mask if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.‎

 

Questions?

Please contact your care provider or clinic staff if you have other questions that haven't been answered here. 

If you have symptoms related to COVID-19 and want to talk to a health professional, please call your care provider or 811.


SOURCE: Care during COVID-19 ( )
Page printed:

Copyright © Vancouver Coastal Health. All Rights Reserved.