This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP

Avoid the hospital as much as possible: Omineca Medical Clinic

Doctors would also like to provide ‘virtual care’ wherever possible

As of Wednesday last week, the Omineca Medical Clinic in Vanderhoof has a new updated process for visits to the clinic.

In a news release on March 18, at 10 am, the Clinic stated that their goal is to reduce patient traffic and avoid transmission of COVID-19 to vulnerable people within the community.

Doctors would like to provide ‘virtual care’ where possible.

So, if you already have an appointment, you need to call the Clinic to see if your appointment can be changed to a phone call appointment.

Second, if you make a new appointment, it will be booked as a phone call if that is clinically appropriate.

But there will be circumstances where an individual needs to be seen in-person and those will be accommodated as needed, the Clinic wrote in their release.

Meanwhile, every patient will be screened at the door of the Omineca Medical Clinic to ensure they are offering appropriate and safe care.

For vulnerable populations, prenatal clinic will be held from 7 am to 8 am everyday. And home visits will be arranged for the elderly for other special circumstances on a as needed basis.

All non-urgent appointments for routine health care such as pap smears, drivers medicals and other routine check-ups will be delayed and re-booked in the coming weeks.

READ MORE: B.C. prepared to ‘test, test, test every suspected case’ of COVID-19

“These are still important to us and your health. We will constantly review the situation and the information available and will reschedule in the upcoming months.”

If you have a non-urgent appointment, the local health-care clinic will call you to cancel or reschedule.

The Omineca Medical Clinic is also recommending that residents avoid the hospital as much as possible.

“We want to protect you, your family, as well as the staff and vulnerable patients in the hospital.”

The Clinic is asking patients to delay routine blood-work and X-rays. If you are unsure whether your blood-work and X-ray can be safely delayed, please call the clinic and your doctor will call you back to help determine the best plan for your care.

Visitors will be restricted as well, the Clinic said.

Additionally, COVID-19 screening protocols have been updated as of March 23. So if you are currently experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness such as a new or worsening cough, a fever or difficulty breathing you need to follow these four steps:

1. Call the Northern Health COVID-19 Hotline (1-844-645-7811) for screening.

2. If the Hotline staff recommend that you need testing, your requisition form will be sent directly to St. John Hospital. The Hotline staff will also instruct you on how your results will be available after testing.

3. Staff from St. John Hospital will call you to set up a time for your swab and explain the process to get your swab.

4. Follow the directions provided by St. John Hospital staff and get tested at your scheduled time/location etc.

For additional up-to-date factual information on COVID-19, please visit the following:




Read a letter by physicians in Vanderhoof to residents on page 4.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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