COVID-19: local closures and how to get health advice over the phone

By Andru McCracken


Yesterday Northern Health announced an ‘online’ COVID 19 clinic for people who have questions and concerns about the virus. Don’t let the name fool you, you access it by telephone.

“Initial screening assessment and information is provided over the phone,” said Eryn Collins, who is a communications officer for Northern Health.

She said that callers can be connected virtually, using video, to a health care provider like a nurse, a nurse practitioner or a physician if required.

NH COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line can be reached at +1-844-645-7811

As of Saturday there were two people within Northern Health who tested positive for the virus, however they didn’t pick it up in the region.

“My understanding is that they were people who traveled outside of the country and they were identified when they were staying here in Vancouver Coastal,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, during an update Saturday afternoon. “They are very stable. They have milder illness so they drove in a private car and are in isolation at home.”

The BC Centre for Disease Control said that there are 73 confirmed cases in the province, the number has stayed at 73 since Saturday.

One person has died of the disease. 6,326 individuals were tested as of March 13, 2020. 

The threat of COVID is having local impacts. For example, on Sunday, Valemount Children’s Activity Centre manager Krista Voth said that the Valemount Day Care would be closed until further notice due to concerns around the virus.

A new local winter festival called SledFest was scheduled for March 21 but has been cancelled also due to concerns about the virus. For more event cancellations see our events page here.

While McBride’s village office is still serving customers in person, they are only serving customers one at a time.

“Due to COVID-19 concerns, we are taking customers in the office one at a time. Please respect health authority requests for social distancing,” reads the online note.

On Monday afternoon the Village of Valemount announced the Village Office and Visitor Information Centre would be closed to public access, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

CAO Wayne Robinson said that the office was scheduled to reopen 8:30 am, Tuesday, April 14. He said residents to contact and do business with the village over the phone and via email.

Information about the virus is available at healthlinkbc.

LAST UPDATED 1 PM Monday, March 16

Art by Pete Linforth

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