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Coronavirus: Open letter from Kelowna doctors asks public to ‘stick with B.C.’s COVID plan’

Click to play video 'KGH doctors write open letter to public' KGH doctors write open letter to public
Fatigued by the COVID-19 pandemic, some doctors at Kelowna General Hospital are reminding people of the need for strict adherence to public health guidelines when it comes to COVID-19. The letter comes as the hospital struggles under the strain of the virus' second wave. – Jan 5, 2021

As the second wave of COVID-19 breaks across B.C.’s Interior, the increased number of hospitalizations is taking its toll on Kelowna General Hospital.

“Our system is not overwhelmed at this stage, but we do see a steady stream of people coming in our emergency department and that is always a worry for us,” Dr. Albert de Villiers told Global News.

According to numbers from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, on a per capita basis, the Central Okanagan has ranked high among new COVID cases over the last few weeks.

“We know that Kelowna has been one of the harder-hit areas of the province, and so we are feeling the pressures at the hospital,” said Mark Masterson, chief of staff at KGH.

READ MORE: B.C. nurses face increasing stress during COVID-19 pandemic: survey

So, in order to protect hospital resources, healthcare workers and vulnerable members of the community, three KGH doctors have penned an open letter to the public.

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The letter is a reminder to residents to respect public health guidelines when it comes to COVID-19.The letter is asking the community to not gather with people outside your household, wear a mask and practice social distancing in public and to stay home when they are sick.
“We’ve all seen those increasing numbers in the fall and we have been anxious about what is going to happen in the winter with the fatigue that everyone is feeling,” Masterson said.
Click to play video 'Alberta doctors share struggles of working ICUs, COVID-19 wards during Christmas holidays' Alberta doctors share struggles of working ICUs, COVID-19 wards during Christmas holidays
Alberta doctors share struggles of working ICUs, COVID-19 wards during Christmas holidays – Dec 31, 2020
The two-page letter, signed by Dr. Tony Kwan, Dr. Scott Smith and Dr. Vikas Chaubey, outlines the seriousness of the situation at KGH.
“We just need you to stick with us for the next few months to keep COVID under control,” Masterson said.
It’s a plea that the Interior Health Authority’s chief medical health officer has echoed.“We can see the end is in sight, so we are just asking people to please stick with it,” de Villiers said.“Then we all will be safe.”

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