oneVCH COVID-19 Bulletin
May 29, 2020
Bulletins are also available on the COVID-19 section of our VCH staff intranet.
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
  • 4 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.
  • Total of 2,562 laboratory confirmed cases in the province. 
    • Vancouver Coastal Health: 900
    • Fraser: 1,277  
    • Interior Health: 195
    • Vancouver island: 127
    • Northern Health: 63
  • 34 hospitalized 
  • 6 currently admitted to ICU
  • 2,170 have fully recovered
  • 164 confirmed deaths
Click here to see more updates on the BC COVID-19 Dashboard

Update to essential visits for acute-care sites

Essential visits shall be limited to one visitor per patient/client within the facility at a time for a visit up to two (2) hours. A visitor who is a child may be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member. Visitors who require assistance may also be accompanied by an additional family member. 

For long-term care sites: A public health order restricts visitors to immediate family members and spiritual advisor of residents who are clinically assessed to be at end-of-life. A very limited number of exemptions will be granted in exceptional cases. 

For more information about essential visits at VCH sites during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Visiting the hospital page of our website.

Today is a Day of Action Against Racism

As announced yesterday, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has declared today, May 29, to be a Day of Action Against Racism. This is part of a province-wide campaign to encourage individuals, businesses, community organizations, and associations to rise up against racism and respond to the rise in racist and xenophobic incidents since the pandemic began, especially towards the Asian community.

“VCH is fully supportive of this provincial campaign. We are also working with operational leaders, employees and partners to develop a public-facing anti-racism campaign to support our staff,” said Brett Sparks, Vice President of Employee Engagement. “VCH does not tolerate any form of verbal or physical abuse. We are asking all staff who experience or witness racism or any form of discrimination to report the incident to their manager or HR advisor, and reach out for confidential debriefing supports through Employee Wellness (EFAP).”

VCH statement on anti-Asian incidents

Earlier this month, VCH issued a statement on this topic to add its voice to those raising concerns about the increasing reports of anti-Asian incidents related to the current pandemic. VCH remains committed to supporting the diversity of our staff and the diverse communities we serve, and is also working on a larger diversity, equity and inclusion plan to foster a discrimination-free workplace where all employees receive equitable treatment in hiring, training and promotion. Watch for more information on this on this and our campaign in the coming weeks.

New leaders webinars now available for registration

As we enter into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that leaders will continue to work in uncertain and complex environments as we re-imagine and co-create our future. We need to continue to ask ourselves:

What role will we play as we transition into our new normal?
What leadership skills do we need to hone to navigate complex situations?

But perhaps, equally important:

How will we find the time to make sure we continue learning and growing?

Your growth and development matter. As leaders, we can share our learnings with our colleagues, patients, their families, and our community, and provide the best leadership to our staff at this critical time. To support you with this goal, we are pleased to offer several webinars to further your learning and provide opportunities for growth.

Sign up today to reserve your spot – seats are filling up fast:

Who can register?
These one-hour webinars are designed for senior leaders, managers and medical leaders.

What’s available to all staff?
Our Exploring Leadership series is available to all staff; stay tuned for more updates on available sessions in the near future (online workshops are currently at full capacity).

Thank you for your continuing commitment to learn and grow and support our one VCH team! If you have any questions, please email

Q&A: Patient care

Can I assume a healthy person can ward off COVID-19?

​​We are still learning about the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. So far, most people experience a mild disease course and recover. A smaller proportion of people experience moderate to severe disease, which may include pneumonia. Most deaths have been reported in seniors and people with multiple comorbidities.​​

How can we protect patient/client/resident confidentiality? 

​Protecting patient confidentiality is essential. Please follow routine privacy policy. Emails are not appropriate for sharing confidential patient information. Also be aware that group emails sent to colleagues can become public or be shared with media, which may fuel anxiety around unconfirmed rumours and cases.

We are reporting only when we have a positive case, but are not sharing private patient information with the public.​​​​

Celebrating the many faces of physiotherapists

From providing exercises and manual treatment to supporting postpartum recovery and clients with arthritis, physiotherapists play a vital role in the care continuum. Working with clients from all walks of life to instill confidence, body awareness and overall well-being makes the role of a physiotherapist unique – teaching their clients to continue helping themselves.

May is National Physiotherapy Month and to recognize the important work of more than 400 Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) physiotherapists and rehabilitation assistants, we wanted to highlight what they do every day. From highly specialized acute-care settings in Vancouver to small rural community settings in Bella Coola, these health-care professionals treat a wide range of people and conditions. 

Jamey Tozer, a physiotherapist in Powell River, works in home and community care and enjoys the wide variety of clients in a small town, adding that s​he often see his clients after work when doing errands in town.

“Our client population is quite diverse in Powell River – with a high number of residents with chronic illnesses, a recent population surge of retirees and about 12 group homes. Add those factors to the north region inhabitants of First Nation peoples, oyster farmers and fisherman, to the mill workers of town, to the residents of Texada Island and you have a good representation of the types of clients we treat here."

Read the full story here.

Moving forward with appreciation
As health-care professionals, we have all been in the spotlight for the past few months as we have courageously come together to support each other in the fight against COVID-19. We have much to be proud of in what we have accomplished together, and we are all so grateful and appreciative of every one of you!

It’s been the goal of this Caring for Ourselves and Our Community series to share and celebrate bright spots across our organization to support each other as we learn and grow together. We have been a medium to shine a light on the innovative and creative ways you have been striving to create calm and confidence in yourselves and each other in the face of much change and uncertainty. We have been honoured to share your ingenuity and spread your positivity – thank you!

As we move into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we invite you to continue these practices and share them with each other. We know that we will continue to work in uncertainty and complexity as we re-imagine and co-create our future, and one thing that we can always control is what we choose to acknowledge and appreciate.

We leave you with one more submission of caring for each other – this time from our colleagues on the Sunshine Coast. The photo below is a tribute to the nurses from their physician colleagues during Nursing Week, and was sent to us by Suzanne Walter, one of our family physicians on the Sunshine Coast. Thank you everyone for all your amazing submissions, and for sharing your stories and photos with our oneVCH team!

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.
To tell the truth

Yesterday I wrote about friendships – especially those forged during COVID-19. Today, I am thinking about truth and particularly truth in relationships. This is actually a pretty tricky subject. Spiritually speaking, the truth is always held in high regard. Yet, as some have pointed out correctly, we can perhaps only bear so much truth at any given time.

Years ago, I had a particular problem with often being late. I was not proud of it, but I never really realized how it might be affecting my friendships and collegial relationships until I read a short article on tardiness in a popular magazine. I had read all kinds of scholarly articles and books on interpersonal dynamics as part of my professional education for ministry and spiritual care, but this little article really changed how I conducted myself. For the first time, I read how one person was impacted by their friend’s constant lateness of arrival.

The gist of it was that the person doing the waiting felt their tardy friend considered their time as more valuable than theirs. As a result, they felt disrespected at each meeting. Now people who are naturally time conscious will say of course! But persons who struggle with being on time often do not realize the message they are sending. For me, reading this little article was all I needed to start mending my tardy ways because I did not want to send that message to friends and colleagues. While I might not ever win any punctuality wards, I soon became at least considerably more normal in my arrival times.

My point is that no one had ever made the impact of my tardiness clear to me
no friend, no colleague or family member ever told me how they felt. My clinical supervisor had noticed it and brought it to my attention but his personal feelings were never really disclosed. I know it is hard to confront or “care front” someone like this. Friends can make a lot of excuses for one another and may even get to the point where the friend’s bad habits are considered just part of being the person's character. We are all guilty of hiding some truth. The thing is, sometimes the truth really can make a big difference for the good.

Saadi Shirazi, a 13th century Muslim and Sufi mystic of considerable renown, wrote:

I am displeased with the company of friends. To whom my bad qualities appear to be good; they fancy my faults are virtues and perfection; My thorns they believe to be rose and jasmine. Say! Where is the bold and quick enemy. To make me aware of my defects? He whose faults are not told him ignorantly thinks his defects are virtues.

Perhaps the secret resides in respecting oneself enough to dare speaking the truth of one’s experience in love without judgment. We can’t read the other persons mind, so we should not assume the motives behind their behaviour. They probably don’t intend to disrespect us or hurt us. But we know the impact their actions have on us. A true friend will care about their impact on us and likely be able to hear what we say, if it is said in the spirit of friendship. In other words, whatever the issue may be, don’t wait until you have no more tolerance left and make your comment the parting shot as you walk out the door for good.

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