As many as 24 health care workers in BC have been affected by COVID-19 so far, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer.
“About two dozen of the health care workers in BC have been affected with this virus, and I am relieved and happy to say that none of them have had severe illness,” Dr. Henry said in an update on March 20.
Dr. Henry said health care workers affected by the virus had had mild illness.
“There were some very short hospitalizations but for most part people have been managed at home,” Dr. Henry said.
Dr. Henry praised the dedication and commitment of health care workers and said hundreds of people in the province and Canada had been cared for by them.
She also assured health care workers that the province did have the medical supplies that are needed.
“We are committed to do everything we can so we can continue to best protect everybody in our health care system,” she said.
Meanwhile, British Columbia Nurses’ Union has just started a new 24/7 phone line for nurses who have occupational health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This phone line is available to all nurses who require urgent assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Nurses can call at these numbers: 604-4332268—press 1, and toll free 1-800-663-9991-Press 1.
The members of the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) have also met Dr. Bonnie Henry to ensure smooth flow of information around COVID-19 for health care workers.
“We are ensuring that every possible step is taken to support health care workers who are on the front lines of this crisis. That includes ensuring that proper training and equipment is available to members so that they can safely play their central role in the response to COVID-19,” said Jennifer Whiteside of HEU.
Minister of Health Adrian Dix has announced that child care services would be provided to health care workers so they could do their jobs.