oneVCH COVID-19 Bulletin
May 15, 2020
Bulletins are also available on the COVID-19 section of our VCH staff intranet.
  • On May 15, the Ministry of Health confirmed 15 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. for a total of 2,407 cases in the province. 
  • Of these cases, 1,908 have fully recovered.
  • The total number of confirmed deaths is 140.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health had 878 cases.
Click here to see the BC COVID-19 Dashboard

If you receive a media inquiry or see media at any of our locations, please contact our Public Affairs team. Our media line is 604-202-2012 or email
Accommodating patients and clients at VCH sites

Vancouver Coastal Health is gradually restarting our programs and services, beginning with surgery, ambulatory and community services located on hospital campuses, diagnostic imaging and laboratory services. This transition means we will begin welcoming more patients, clients and visitors into our hospitals and clinics.
With limited parking near our hospital campuses, we need to ensure patients and clients can get to their procedures and appointments and that their loved ones or support persons can be there, too. Hence, we need to ensure there are spaces for them to park if needed. Starting on Tuesday, May 19, we will be designating parking spaces for patients and clients at our hospital sites across VCH.
With this change, we would encourage our staff and medical staff to consider sustainable ways of getting to work, particularly with the increasingly warm weather. This may be a great opportunity to try cycling or taking transit. Please see below for some alternative options to driving to work.
We truly appreciate the support of our staff and medical staff as we transition into this new phase.


For the latest updates on meter parking and free parking, please visit our Parking & Transportation staff intranet page.


Cycling - Cycling is becoming more popular as the weather improves and traffic has lessened. If you live within five kilometres of your workplace, why not give it a try? See or contact Arthur Orsini, Healthy Transportation Lead, with specific questions by email at

Carpooling - VCH is pleased to offer carpooling as another commuting option to staff with enhanced infection prevention and control guidelines for carpooling with a colleague. Carpooling offers a benefit to staff dealing with a lengthy or crowded commute. Sign up for our Go Orca carpool matching app. If you need help signing up or have any questions, please email

Transit - TransLink has implemented changes to ensure physical distancing is respected and everyone feels safe:
  • Facilities: Stations and bus loops across the TransLink network are being cleaned at least once per day, including a disinfectant wipe down of stair and escalator handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, fare gates, Compass vending machines, garbage handles, benches, seats, emergency cabinets and emergency phones.
  • SkyTrain: All SkyTrain cars are cleaned overnight and receive a disinfectant wipe down of poles, seats, ceilings, handles, windows, sills, and other surfaces within the cars.
  • Bus & SeaBus: The entire Bus and SeaBus fleet are being sprayed using a strong disinfectant each week, which comes in addition to daily cleaning schedules.
  • HandyDART: vehicles are being cleaned and disinfected every day.
  • West Coast Express: All West Coast Express cars are cleaned and disinfected each evening once they come out of service.
For more information about what TransLink is doing in response to COVID-19, visit their COVID-19 Precautions webpage.
Challenging times offer Squamish General Hospital staff opportunity to give back to the community

What began as a simple challenge among a small group of staff at Squamish General Hospital (SGH) to raise morale during a difficult time has grown into a way of giving back to a grateful community.

During the month of April, dozens of nurses, doctors and staff at the hospital took part in a 30X30 challenge that pushes them to exercise 30 minutes a day for 30 days. The one catch: it would cost $30 for each participant, with the funds raised going toward local charities.    

For Holly O'Neill, the registered nurse who started and inspired her to colleagues to take the challenge, the interest by her coworkers and the community has been completely unexpected.   

“There's been a lot amazing support and it brought a lot of us together in such a hard time," she said.

O'Neill explained she started the challenge because most of her coworkers are moms and they often forget to take care of themselves as they put everyone else first. She thought maybe 20 or so people would participate in what she called her "take care of YOU" challenge, but the number quickly swelled to 90.

By the end of the challenge, the group raised $7,355, with $7,000 being split between the Squamish Food Bank and the Squamish Women's Shelter and the remainder to Squamish Hospice Society. A separate five-kilometre run raised another $1,000 for the local hospice. 

Read the full story here.

VCH staff support: Broadway shuttle

In order to ease the pressure for staff riding the #99 bus during the morning commute, the inter-hospital shuttle will now run between the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain and VGH.
On weekday mornings for the remainder of May, the shuttle will pick up staff displaying their hospital ID on Broadway and drop off at the Blackmore Pavilion. The pick-up location is just to the east of the #99 bus stop - beyond the red pavement - and travel time is just under 10 minutes.
Five trips will take place, departing at 6:20 a.m., 6:40 a.m., 7 a.m., 7:20 a.m. and 7:40 a.m.
  • The driver will provide hand sanitizer to all passengers before they board.
  • All passengers should be monitoring for symptoms of illness and should not board if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • All passengers should be exercising best practices with regard to hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
Questions or comments, please contact Arthur Orsini, Healthy Transportation Lead, by email at
Starting today, we will regularly feature common questions frequently asked by staff and medical staff. Topics will vary.

Q&A: Infection prevention and control

How often are clinical areas cleaned and who is responsible?
  • Common areas and high-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis, with a focus on: reception counters, seating areas (including clinic room seats), doors, handrails, light switches, door handles, toilets, taps, handrails and counter tops.
  • Non-essential items (remote controls, magazines, etc.) should be removed from waiting and gathering areas.
  • Local Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) in partnership with Public Health and Infection Prevention and Control are responsible for ensuring the appropriate frequency and type of cleaning takes place.
What general infection control measures should staff and medical staff follow before and after seeing patients?
  • Staff and medical staff must practice effective hand hygiene before and after each patient/client – washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Staff and medical staff should follow respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes and avoiding touching the face, mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Staff and medical staff should avoid unnecessary travel between rooms/areas for assessment and/or treatment.
Working remotely survey – Last chance!

If you have worked from home or would have liked to work from home during the pandemic, we want to hear from you! Please fill out the Working Remotely – Employee Experience Survey.
We are now considering what our future might look like in the coming weeks and months. This is an opportunity for you to reimagine our new normal and leverage learnings about new ways of working to help transform the employee experience and make VCH a great place to work.
This confidential survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and is open until 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2020.
Coffee break with IPAC

Our ongoing series of coffee breaks with Infection Prevention and Control continues on Wednesday, May 20 from 2:30 to 3 p.m. This week infection prevention and control experts will be covering the do's and don’ts of donning and doffing, along with a live Q&A via Menti.

Tune in Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. using the following link: If prompted for a password, enter 1234. Please stick around until the end of the Q&A to fill out a quick evaluation and tell us what you’d like to see as a future topic.

Unable to join live? The presentation will be uploaded to the IPAC site following the event, and questions we couldn’t get to will be answered. Recordings of previous sessions focusing on PPE, testing, and AGMPs can be found there too, under Coffee with Infection Control.
Diary of a day: Andrew, Community Health Nurse

In celebration of Nursing Week, nurses from across Vancouver Coastal Health are taking us along for their shift — giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the important work they do, alongside their interdisciplinary teams, to care for our patients, clients and residents.

Andrew De La Cruz is a community health nurse (CHN) at Three Bridges Community Health Centre in Vancouver. Every day, he bikes from home to home, visiting Vancouver Community patients where they're at, while delivering the health-care services they need.

Andrew recently took us along for one of his weekend shifts — documenting his day to give us a behind-the-scenes look at his role.

Read the full story here.
Kudos to the Richmond Home Support team

Throughout our COVID-19 response, the Richmond Home Support team has continue to provide exceptional care to Richmond residents requiring additional supports in their home. This work is vital to ensuring that not only clients receive the care they need, but that they can remain at home.
One home support client was so impressed by the amazing service the team has been providing, that they sent flowers and a card to the Richmond team:

“We’ve been very appreciative of the homes support services. Polite communication and a helpful team have been especially nice in these stressful times."
Kudos to the Richmond Home Support team for their great work in supporting our community clients.

Celebrating birthdays during COVID-19: A bright spot

Many of us are celebrating birthdays very differently this year. Extended family dinners have been replaced with Zoom calls. Dinners at restaurants with friends are on hold until “this is over.” How do we create those special moments with our loved ones while respecting physical distancing?

Huffington Post Canada recently profiled a family from Mississauga who created a wall of family photos and birthday messages to surprise their father on his 70th birthday. Picked up by the Good News Movement on Instagram, the truly touching reaction of Ralph Pisani has close to 500,000 views and he is now receiving birthday wishes from across the planet. 

Click here to read the full story and make sure you have tissues nearby
you might just need one!

What creative things are you doing to celebrate birthdays with your family or friends this year?  How are you making your child’s birthday memorable?  Please send your ideas to and we’ll circulate them in a future bulletin. Thanks for sharing your ideas and stories!

For suggestions or feedback on Caring for our Community & Caring for Ourselves, please contact the People+Culture team at

To contact Employee Wellness/EFAP, please visit or email us at To get started with one of our services, please fill out this form.
Friday of nursing week

Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer once said: The fewer the words the better the prayer. Many years earlier, St. Jerome had written even more simply when he stated: Prayer is a groan.

So, what are these two spiritual giants trying to tell us? Well for one thing, despite what we may have concluded from observing public worship, prayer is more a matter of the heart and gut than of the head. Complex formal language is not needed. What is needed is to dare to let it all out. Nothing changes until it becomes what it is, as Jung liked to say, so just let it out.

The other day I offered up a very brief prayer for someone when alone in the privacy of my office. It just naturally erupted into a stretch and it felt absolutely appropriate – and why not?

Some Jews pray with a rocking motion, the Sufi Muslims twirl, while others outstretch themselves on the floor. There is no one correct format to pray. What is common, however, is the need to be into it – to let it out. If meditation is breathing in the divine, prayer is the exhaling of our soul, the expression of our spiritual longing. As embodied creatures, we should not be surprised at the need for physical expression of that which is spiritual, for human beings are exactly that – a physical expression of that which is spiritual.

So on this Nursing Week Friday, the last day of the business week, why not express yourself with a little prayer – in the form of a groan perchance or a stretch (even a cough – but alone of course!). Or pretend you have a remotely wired cell phone so you can go walk and talk your prayer. Be creative and see what arises. The creator is not interested in your formalities, just that which is authentic. You can cry, rage, laugh, sing or dance – as long as you don’t “hurt no one” it’s all good when it comes to prayer.

And if at first, it does not all come together then take a page from Buddha’s teachings and remember: The greatest prayer is patience.

For all the nurses and others who are working this long weekend – may you see your work as a prayer, and may you be blessed in surprising ways that you did not expect. For all those who will be at home, may you find peace and rest. Finally, for those of you who are not yet able to pray, for whatever reason, may you be comforted by the words of the French writer Georges Bernanos who said: The wish to pray is a prayer in itself. God can ask no more than that of us.


Written by Doug Longstaffe, Profession Leader, Spiritual Care & Multifaith Services
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