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We're resuming services at BC Women's while keeping safety a priority

Patients and families might have questions about what care may look like as our health-care services resume during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.
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We hope the information below is helpful. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your care provide or clinic directly. 

Why is the hospital moving back to full-service levels now?

A decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province means we can begin to restore non-urgent health care services at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre. Our first priority is ensuring the health and safety of you, your family, our care providers and staff. To accomplish this, we have introduced a number of additional measures across the hospital to ensure it remains a safe place to seek care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am awaiting a surgery/procedure date. What do I need to do?

We began increasing our surgical capacity on May 18, 2020 to perform priority gynecological procedures at BC Women’s, as assessed by our health teams. If you are awaiting for a surgery, procedure at BC Women’s, you will be contacted to reschedule.

I am awaiting a clinic appointment date. What do I need to do?

Work is underway to increase the number of clinic appointments at BC Women’s.

You will be contacted by the clinic to schedule/reschedule your appointment. In advance of your appointment, you will be contacted to assess for any symptoms of COVID-19.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have also increased the number and types of health-care services that we can provide virtually. We will continue to provide those virtual appointments unless in-person appointments are required for patient care.

Where should I park when I arrive for my appointment?

The provincial government has temporarily waived parking fees on hospital lots during the pandemic. As such, parking on-site may be limited. Due to limited parking available, should you be waiting in your car during a family member or friend’s hospital appointment, we would ask that you wait off-site when possible. Please note that free parking may be lifted at any time, so watch for parking fees in effect signage. There is limited free, street parking along Heather Street, near 33rd to 38th avenues. 

Are food and retail services now open?

The hospital cafeteria, Starbucks, and Second Cup on campus are open but require physical distancing and may have reduced hours or product availability.

Why are my clinicians and doctors wearing masks if I’m not sick with COVID-19?

Your care providers may be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, face shields, gowns or gloves to protect patients and staff. We understand that masks may be frightening or triggering to some patients who may be fearful of not being able to see someone’s expressions or their face. You may see some care providers wearing a button that shows what they look like without a mask to help put patients more at ease. 

What is the hospital doing to provide care safely during COVID-19? 

BC Women’s is following strict infection prevention protocols determined by the BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control and Health Canada. 

Is it safe to come to the hospital with health-care concerns that aren’t related to COVID-19?

Many people are worried about visiting hospitals or clinics during the pandemic, but it is still safe to seek care. You can expect to see additional measures in place to protect you, your family and our staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These include active screening for COVID-19 symptoms at each entrance by hospital staff followed by a request to clean your hands. You also may be asked to wear a mask, depending on any symptoms you might have. 

Can my partner accompany me when I go to the hospital? Can I visit a patient who is hospitalized at BC Women’s? 

To keep our patients, families and staff safe and in keeping with the provincial health officer’s recommendations for physical distancing, we are limiting the number of family members and visitors entering our buildings. For current visitor restrictions at BC Women’s, visit: bcwomens.ca/covid19.

How can I continue to protect myself while at the hospital?

The most important thing you can do to prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses is to clean your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. You should clean your hands often with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water, especially after touching shared surfaces or objects (e.g., door handles, elevator buttons, and toys) and before eating.

Do I have the option of attending my appointment virtually?

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have also increased the number and types of health care services that we can provide virtually. We will continue to provide those virtual appointments unless in-person appointments are required for patient care.

Are you screening patients for COVID-19 during the re-opening process? 

Yes. We have comprehensive screening protocols in place which include assessing for any symptoms of COVID-19 before you arrive at the hospital for an appointment or procedure. When you arrive at the hospital, you will again be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at an entrance by hospital staff.

Are COVID-19 preventative measures in place within the individual clinics?

You will be advised about any clinic-specific procedures or protocols in effect during your pre-visit telephone screening. When you come to the hospital, you can expect to see additional measures in place to protect you, your family and our staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Your care providers may be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, face shields, gowns or gloves to protect patients and staff. Your clinic may have additional physical barriers in place to ensure infection prevention and control.

Are there designated entrances to access BC Women’s?

Yes, we are continuing to restrict the number of family members and visitors on campus. By limiting access, we can facilitate active screening. There are designated entrances for you to enter BC Women’s. To find them, visit bcwomens.ca/covid19.

Should I wear a mask if I am coming to BC Women’s for any reason? 

You will be asked to clean your hands when entering the hospital and you may be asked to wear a mask, depending on any symptoms you might have. For advice on whether you should wear a mask, please visit, bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/prevention-risks/masks.

 
 
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