Northern Health is appealing to residents of northeast B.C. to get immunized and make other COVID-19 precautions a priority, for their own safety and to reduce pressure on the region’s health care system.
The northeast continues to experience significant COVID-19 activity and hospitalizations, particularly at Fort St. John, and Dawson Creek & District, Hospitals. Both facilities are seeing an increase in patients with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19, in addition to the ongoing urgent care needs of area residents, resulting in increasingly longer waits to be seen.
A number of northern B.C. residents needing critical care have been transferred to other parts of the province; the majority for COVID-19 care needs, and the majority of those not fully vaccinated. Of the 92 critical care transfers out of the Northern Health region as of November 1, nearly 40 per cent (36) have been from the Northeast health service delivery area.
Northern Health needs your support and commitment to stop COVID spread and protect health services.
- Get vaccinated! While immunization rates are rising in larger centres such as Fort St. John and Dawson Creek, other parts of the Northeast still have some of the lowest vaccination rates in BC. There are ongoing vaccine clinic opportunities throughout the region; find a clinic near you.
- Adhere to regional public health orders. Additional health measures are in place including restrictions on, and vaccination requirements for, personal gatherings and other events. Read full details.
- Self-monitor, seek testing for symptoms. Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms on an ongoing basis, and – if symptoms develop – self isolate, and complete the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool or contact your family doctor or nurse practitioner. You can submit a request for COVID-19 testing online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or call the Northern Health Virtual Primary and Community Care Clinic at 1-844-645-7811.
To further reduce strain on emergency and acute care resources, those with less-urgent care needs are advised to visit their primary care provider/family physician’s office during regular business hours, or to contact the NH Virtual Primary & Community Care Clinic (10 am to 10 pm daily, (including weekends and statutory holidays).
Individuals who require emergency attention should call 9-1-1, or visit the local emergency room. Northern Health’s emergency rooms tend to patients who have experienced a sudden and/or unusual change in their health. This includes, but is not limited to, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding or pain, chest pain, broken bones, and eye injuries.
Patients who aren’t sure whether their condition would warrant an emergency room visit, or who need health advice can call HealthLink BC (8-1-1), or visit HealthLink BC for non-emergency health information from nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists 24 hours a day, seven days per week.