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COVID-19 Information for Patients

Frequently asked questions for BC Women’s patients about novel coronavirus COVID-19.
June 22, 2020

What is novel coronavirus 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 June 22, 2020. For the latest info, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website: BCCDC: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Appointments

Now that we have seen a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province, we have begun to restore non-urgent health care services at BC Women's.


We began increasing our surgical capacity on May 18, 2020 starting with priority gynecological procedures, as assessed by our health teams. 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.


More information on the recommended check-up schedule before birth (antenatal): BCCDC: Antenatal Visits during COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)

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. 


More info: BCCDC: Antenatal Visits during COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)


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 the main BC Women’s entrance (Entrance 93), the entrance to the Urgent Care Centre (Entrance 97) for Labour and Delivery patients ONLY, and the main Teck Acute Care Centre entrance (Entrance 53). Entrance 77 is also now accessible to patients, families and visitors.


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

A hand cleaning station is available at each of these hospital entrances and everyone must clean their hands when entering the hospital.
 

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. Stay two metres apart from people when you can. 


For advice on whether you should wear a mask, please visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/prevention-risks/masks

Prenatal concerns

We know that with other viruses like influenza, pregnant women can get sicker than non-pregnant women. Our teams are watching closely for this with COVID-19, but so far no studies have shown this and in fact most disease in pregnant women is mild. There is no clear evidence that COVID-19 transmits to your baby during pregnancy.

 

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. 


If you are pregnant, and have COVID-19 symptoms, you should be tested and managed by your health-care provider. 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 one support person 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 wear a mask if they have any possible COVID-19 symptoms. There will be extra precautionary measures visible, for instance, health-care workers are often wearing more personal protective equipment. There are more visitor restrictions in place and physical distancing measures are in effect.

 

No, due to the risks involved, no accompanying children can be allowed in hospital at this time. Please plan well ahead with alternative childcare arrangements, as labour or other complications can occur at any time during a pregnancy, day or night. 

 
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


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:
Information to help people with chronic conditions, including potential precautions, can be found here:
BCCDC Physician Epidemiologist Dr. Eleni Galanis has this helpful video on how to protect yourself and your family:
For the latest COVID-19 updates, follow:
SOURCE: COVID-19 Information for Patients ( )
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