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COVID-19 Information for Patients

Frequently asked questions for BC Women’s patients about COVID-19.
September 29, 2022

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by a recently discovered virus. It now affects many countries around the world. Updates to this page will be made as the situation develops, and this information is currently up-to-date as of September 29, 2022. For the latest info, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website: BCCDC: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy

Appointments

If you are waiting for a surgery, you will be contacted to reschedule your surgery or procedure.

Yes, if you are healthy and your pregnancy is low risk it is recommended that you have at least 8 check-ups with your health-care provider, either in-person or virtually. Blood pressure checks are needed to diagnose pre-eclampsia, a leading cause of maternal morbidity. All lab tests and ultrasound tests that are time sensitive should still be completed.

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 will also be offered a medical mask at the entrance.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have 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.

If you have other medical risks or mental health issues (for example, obstetrical risks, fetal risks, medical co-morbidities or psychosocial issues), work with your health-care provider to create an individualized care plan to determine your schedule of visits. 


Please call the clinic you have the appointment with and share information about your symptoms (including any new fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue or loss of appetite). A physician or nurse will assess the urgency of the appointment and provide guidance. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, remind each health care provider that is taking care of you that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

We are currently limiting patient, family and visitor access to the hospital to facilitate active screening. Access is limited to 93 (main BC Women's entrance), 11 (off Oak Street), 97 for Labour and Delivery patients ONLY (Urgent Care Centre), and 53 (Teck Acute Care Centre). Entrance 77 (near Heather Street) is also now accessible to patients, families and visitors.

 

Please see the campus wayfinding map for the location of these entrances.

 

At each entrance, you will be asked a few questions, regarding any illness symptoms, recent travel, possible COVID exposure, and offered direction. A hand cleaning station is available. You will also be offered a medical mask to wear. 


 

The most important thing you can do to prevent COVID-19 is to clean your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. Clean your hands often with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water, especially after touching shared surfaces or objects and before eating. Pregnant women need to be careful with the hand sanitizer they use. Read the label before use as some products, including acetylaldehyde, are not appropriate during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Stay two metres apart from people when you can. 


For additional information about masks, please review this information on the BCCDC’s website. 

 ‎You will be asked to clean your hands when entering the hospital and you will offered a medical mask at the entrance. Children ages three and older are also requested to wear a medical mask if they are medically able. 


For additional information about masks, review this information on the BCCDC’s website.

Prenatal concerns

Though most disease in pregnant women is mild, Canadian data has shown pregnant women with COVID-19 are at an increased risk of being hospitalized and being admitted to intensive care units. COVID-19 is also associated with an increase in preterm births (before the 37th week of pregnancy) in Canada. Some babies born to women with COVID-19 are admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit. Transmission of the virus from mother to infant is believed to be rare.


For more information on COVID-19 and pregnancy, please visit the BCCDC website.

If you have flu symptoms you should be evaluated by your health-care provider. Influenza during pregnancy can cause complications and the virus that causes influenza is still circulating in B.C. 


This information should be passed on to the hospital or facility where you expect to deliver. Please call your health-care provider to obtain guidance.

 

‎Seek urgent care if you experience one of the following changes in your health:   

  • If it becomes harder to breathe
  • If you can’t drink anything 
  • If you feel very unwell
  • If you show signs of going into labour

Labour & birth

Yes, you may have two support people plus one registered doula in your room – including during the overnight hours. Those allowed in the room during a C-section birth depends on the risk level.  

If your partner is sick they should not come to the hospital. Please identify a back-up support person in case your partner is sick. In order to keep our staff and other patients safe we require your support person to be well.

You and your support person will be on isolation. Care will be based on your symptoms at the time. You can expect continuous electronic fetal monitoring during labour to assess your baby’s wellbeing. After birth, we will keep you and baby together if at all possible. We consider skin to skin contact, delayed cord clamping and breast feeding safe at this time. If you need to go to the operating room, we may take more steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will encourage you to practice good hand hygiene when caring for your baby. We will also advise you to wear a mask if you breastfeed. Your baby will be tested for COVID-19. Ask your primary care provider for more information.

 

Patients and visitors will be met by a screener at the entrance, who will remind them to wash their hands, and they will be offered medical masks to wear. There will be extra precautionary measures visible, for instance, health-care workers are often wearing more personal protective equipment. There are also more visitor restrictions in place.

 

Yes, siblings of a patient may accompany parents or legal guardians. Due to unpredictable care requirements in the Emergency Department and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), however, a limit to ONE adult caregiver/support person may sometimes be required. Limiting the number of people at our sites is an important precaution to ensure the safety of all, including our sickest and most vulnerable patients.

 

Newborn care

Click to enlarge - Breastfeeding + COVID-19Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact is recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic. Human milk has antibodies and immune factors that protect the health of your baby.  Wash your hands before and after providing care,  holding or feeding your baby, and wear a mask if you are sick. 


If temporary separation from your baby is required,  you are encouraged to express your milk. You may reuse your breast pump kit as long as you wash your breast pump, parts, and feeding equipment carefully each time. 


For more info on expressing milk and cleaning your breast pump visit: Expressing breast milk


BCCDC COVID-19 Guidelines for breastfeeding

COVID-19 vaccine

The Canadian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (SOGC), the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and public health experts in B.C. all advise that pregnant and breastfeeding women should be offered the vaccine when eligible, including the booster dose.

If you have questions and you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, speak to your health-care provider about COVID-19 vaccines.

Register for vaccination here.


To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy or while breastfeeding, see Vaccine Considerations from the BCCDC and COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

Read the information on the BCCDC website on this for more information‎

 

More online resources about COVID-19

The Government of BC and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) put together this informative list of frequently asked questions, including what symptoms to look for with the illness:
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) has developed a dedicated web page about COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and understanding the risks of COVID-19 while pregnant:
For the latest COVID-19 updates, follow:
SOURCE: COVID-19 Information for Patients ( )
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