Peace Arch Hospital has not had a COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic, executive director of White Rock and South Surrey and Delta Health Services Carol Wiebe says. (File photo)

Peace Arch Hospital has not had a COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic, executive director of White Rock and South Surrey and Delta Health Services Carol Wiebe says. (File photo)

White Rock and South Surrey keeping pace with pandemic, council told

Health Services executive director says vaccinations, preventative measures on-track

In spite of COVID-19 challenges, White Rock and South Surrey seem to be keeping pace with vaccinations, and with demands placed by the pandemic on Peace Arch Hospital.

That was the message to White Rock council from Carol Wiebe, executive director for Fraser Health’s White Rock and South Surrey and Delta Health Services, and Peace Arch and Delta hospitals.

Speaking to council’s March 29 regular meeting, Wiebe gave an update on current measures and how objectives are being met in the Peninsula area.

Wiebe paid tribute to the hard work of Peace Arch staff and the enhanced infection prevention controls they’ve had in place to counteract the spread of COVID.

“I’m knocking on wood because we are blessed that Peace Arch has not had a COVID outbreak, compared to many other sites in Fraser Health, and we want to keep it that way,” she said.

“We want to boast, at the end of this, that we were able to support COVID patients, we’ve cared for a lot of COVID-positive patients, but we have not caused an in-hospital transmission.”

READ ALSO: Fraser Health limits hospital visitors to slow spread of COVID-19

READ ALSO: Germ-killing robot on the job at White Rock’s Peace Arch Hospital

But she warned that it’s crucially important for people to continue to follow public health guidelines on masking, distancing and gathering, particularly with the onset of warmer weather.

“We’re starting to see people get a little too close,” she said.

“We do have the variant strain throughout our communities and it’s very highly contagious, compared to our first and second round, the second wave of COVID.”

Noting that Fraser Health has identified the City of Surrey, generally, as a transmission “hot-spot”, Coun. David Chesney asked whether Wiebe sees the White Rock and South Surrey area as above average or below average for concern.

“The hot-spot is in the central Surrey area – it’s not impacting White Rock and South Surrey at this time,” Wiebe said.

“Our numbers are stable, and we’re not seeing the amounts (of patients) coming through our hospital, which is good news as well.”

On the vaccination front, Wiebe told council that appointments are now open in the area for seniors 73 years of age or older, Indigenous individuals 55 and older and Indigenous elders.

“We continue to accelerate, as per the province’s direction, and I encourage everyone to book as soon as they are eligible – it sure makes life easier for us,” she said.

The next eligible group, Wiebe said, are clinically extremely vulnerable (or CEV) patients – already identified through the health system and primary healthcare providers – who are being contacted directly by letter for their appointments, outside the age-based roll-out.

“We continue to follow the provincial direction around the front-line workers,” she said. “These priority groups continue to receive their first vaccines as well.”

Wiebe said although many businesses are not on that initial priority list, those that received priority to this point were manufacturers and businesses “struggling with COVID outbreaks.”

Community Home Health and help support programs have immunized most of their home-bound clients, Wiebe reported – representing over 8,600 people throughout Fraser Health – and all long term-care and assisted-living patients and staff have received their first and second vaccines (although new arrivals in the system are still in the process of being vaccinated).

The online booking tool is now working well, Wiebe said, and functioning 24/7, and there are still ample appointments available, “so were not having issues with that at this time.”

Wiebe acknowledged that Peace Arch Hospital has been “playing catch-up” – ensuring that scheduled surgeries get back on track through the Surgical Renewal Program. “We’ll be opening up further ORs in the very near future, but we are going to start with extensions on Saturdays, so we are going to be performing some surgeries on Saturday at Peace Arch as well.”

With increased demand, there have been issues around increased wait lists for CT scans, Wiebe said, but hours have been expanded at Peace Arch Hospital and other local Fraser Health sites and that medical imaging staff are “doing a great job catching up with some of the wait lists they’ve had due to COVID.”



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of White RockCoronavirusHospitals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sports broadcaster and 30-year high school football coach Farhan Lalji. (Image via farhanlalji.com)
Farhan Lalji chats about the new B.C. high school sports governance proposal

Lalji, a 30-year high school football coach, thinks the new proposal will be bad for student athletes

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Surrey councillor trying to get policing referendum on the table, again

‘I’m sending it back for clarification,’ mayor decides

A simulation lab at Surrey Memorial Hospital has been helping healthcare professionals train during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Memorial Hospital’s simulation lab trains professionals during COVID-19 pandemic

Surrey Hospitals Foundation contributing $100K toward new technologies

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Dr. Bonnie Henry says Surrey immunization targeted at neighbourhoods most at risk

‘What we’ve been looking at is the case rates by neighbourhood,’ provincial health officer says

A horse and driver cruise around the track at Fraser Downs in Cloverdale Sept. 14, 2020 amid smoke from U.S. forest fires. Harness Racing B.C. announced it’s halting the spring season two weeks early because of a lack of money and says racing won’t continue in September without and influx of cash. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Harness racing suspended at Fraser Downs

Spring season ends early, 135 workers out of jobs

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read