Surrey Memorial Hospital. (File photo)

COVID-19

Fraser Health says ‘well intentioned call to action’ from Surrey nurse contains ‘misinformation’

A video of a health care worker, allegedly at Surrey Memorial, making the rounds of social media

A video circulating on social media from a nurse claiming to work at Surrey Memorial Hospital was “well intentioned,” but includes some “inaccurate” data and “misinformation,” Fraser Health says.

Earlier in the week, a video that was posted to social media has been making the rounds in Surrey and beyond.

In it, a woman claiming to be a health care worker at Surrey Memorial’s emergency department says workers are “seeing a lot of people walk through these doors with COVID-19 symptoms.” The woman did not disclose her name or her job in the video.

“We have a lot of people in critical care currently at the hospital. Our wards are getting full. The numbers that we’re seeing here of confirmed cases and cases that are pending are higher the media can tell you, just because they can’t keep up,” she said.

READ ALSO: Surrey Memorial’s biocontainment facility playing big role in B.C.’s COVID-19 response, March 6, 2020

However, in an emailed statement to the Now-Leader, Dixon Tam said it is “an unfortunate video that doesn’t reflect the situation accurately.”

“While this was a well intentioned call to action, some data she shared was inaccurate and had misinformation,” said Tam, public affairs for Fraser Health. “We regret that she felt she needed to share this as it has negative consequences by creating fear in the communities and she shared information without confirming her data.

“What we can share is that we are seeing lower ER visits than we have had in five years and in particular is at 90 per cent occupancy. We have ventilated capacity at this time as well.”

READ ALSO: More than 400 COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths in B.C., March 21, 2020

For the latest on COVID-19 cases and more, visit surreynowleader.com/tag/coronavirus.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Ministry of Health are still not disclosing the communities for all of the cases.

While the video has caused some concern for people, the woman in the video did remind people to do their part to help flatten the curve.

“I’m asking everyone who doesn’t have a job that’s deemed as essential to do your part, which is to please, please stay home. If you don’t have to go to work, don’t go to work. Designate one person in your home to go be the grocery-getter, to go run any essential errands that you need,” she said.

“You might not think you’re sick, but there’s lots of people out there who are carrying this and transmitting it to different people, not being symptomatic at all or having their symptoms show up a bit later, and at that point, they’ve spread this illness to people without knowing it and people that are potentially very vulnerable and not able to fight this off themselves.”

She also reminded people to wash their hands frequently, to lotion afterward so the skin doesn’t break down and to disinfect surfaces, packages and groceries.

“Please do your part, we’re all in this together.”

Meantime, doctors in Fraser Health are calling on Henry to do more.

READ ALSO: ‘We need to do more’: Fraser Health doctors send dire letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry, March 21, 2020

More than 200 doctors endorsed the letter to Henry, urging her to take further decisive action on COVID-19, such as the closure of all non-essential businesses and heavier use of social distancing.

While Henry hasn’t yet ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, on Saturday, she did order the immediate closure of salons, spas, tattoo parlours and other personal services.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s top doctor orders immediate closure of salons, spas and other personal services, March 21, 2020

– With files from Patrick Penner, Ashley Wadhwani

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