• Roy W Digital Manager

As many of you have seen the situation regarding the recent COVID-19 pandemic has increased in seriousness as testing and cases appear to increase. As a part of Pacific Coast's ongoing effort to provide you with accurate and up to date information our weekly round up hits week number two.

There are plenty of sources of false information and fear mongering amongst the online community including Social Media. As we mentioned in our previous post we recommend getting your information from the following sites:

Health Link BC

World Health Organization

BC Centre for Disease Control

Government of Canada

Island Health

Centre for Disease Control (for our U.S friends and family)

Phone support in BC call 811

General Updates relating to Victoria BC and the surrounding areas:

1. Victoria Transit: For the next 30 days Victoria Transit is implementing rear door boarding in to enhance social distancing for drivers and passengers. Passengers can still load through the front door if they require use of the ramp or other accessible features of the bus.

In addition, fares will be free in Victoria for the next 30 days for both the conventional and handyDART systems. Visit BC Transit for the latest route, payment and other updates.

2. If you need to head out please call ahead to make sure any business or government organization is open and double check any precautions you need to take leaving the house.

3. Some grocery stores are dedicating their first hour of opening to seniors and persons with disabilities. Please check with your grocery store by Social Media, their website or call to confirm if a program is available.

Some questions you might ask are:

  • Time and days available

  • Any specific requirements such as age, documents or ailments that must be present.

  • Limits on certain purchases

4. The Government of Canada has recently announced some new benefits for Canadians who are being affected by COVID-19. Double check their website to see what benefits you qualify for and check often as the site updates all the time. In addition there have been changes regarding tax return deadlines and some other information that will be useful.

5. Social distancing when heading out should be a focus to help in protecting yourself and others. Social distancing is a way that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact with others. Even those who are not sick, we should still keep about two meters (six feet) or the length of a queen-sized bed from one another when we can when outside our homes.

6. Federal, provincial and municipal governments "At this time" are asking that if you have symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing or have travelled outside of Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, avoid contact with others. See a health care provider as soon as possible.

7. To be tested it is suggested "at this time" to call your healthcare provider, answer their questions and follow any instructions they offer. You can also call the Health Link at 811 to get a referral. Most testing facilities including drive through do not accept requests for testing without a referral.

8. Bills, we all have them and they do need to get paid. Many companies such as BC Hydro, Shaw, Telus, Rogers are offering relief in the form of payment arrangements and other benefits to those affected by COVID-19. Some financial institutions are offering mortgage relief and other ways to help, please check with your financial institution to see what is available to you.


Please note the following information can and will change by the minute.

It is important to understand that information where it pertains to going out in the public is not an endorsement to head out anywhere at anytime.

The information is intended for those who "need" to head out.

Always consult your healthcare professional before making any decisions where it pertains to or potentially could pertain to your health and safety.

Pacific Coast Health Services continues to provide support to seniors in the greater Victoria area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional protocols will be needed & taken for the protection of our healthcare professionals and clients..

If you need assistance or have any questions regarding how we can help, feel free to call our 24/7 care line at (250) 389-0202.

If you see an error or have some information that you feel should be included in this article , please feel free to email rwhitney@pchservices.ca.

  • Roy W Digital Manager

Updated: Mar 19

Be aware of what information is online.

Photo Credit CDC

Pacific Coast Health Services has noticed a lot of misinformation on the internet including on social media in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have compiled a list of links and collected some information that we feel should help clear up any misconceptions and to help you stay safe and informed. From testing & prevention to preparation & response here are some the most trusted sources to get information on COVID-19 in BC.

Health Link BC World Health Organization BC Centre for Disease Control Government of Canada Island Health Centre for Disease Control (for our U.S friends and family)

Phone support in BC call 811

The American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries has compiled a list of products that have been pre-approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against “emerging enveloped pathogens.” The centre said the products can be used during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Hand washing is one of the most important ways to fight the spread of viruses.

Pacific Coast Health Services COVID-19 Response Plan

Final Notes: COVID-19 like any new pandemic will have changing information. We will be updating this post as more information comes in. Do you have some information or a link that you think should be on this list? Drop us an email at rwhitney@pchservices.ca

  • Roy W Digital Manager

Older adults can be disproportionately affected by disasters and emergencies. Seniors and caregivers must have an understanding of the potential risks and prepare to curb those risks by having an emergency plan in place. Mobility, chronic conditions, side effects from medications and lack of preparation can be just some of the factors that should be considered when preparing for an emergency plan for seniors. Never use cookie-cutter plans as every individual's personal needs will vary.

Working with friends, loved ones or caregivers can make planning easier

Identify the Hazards:

Begin your plan by asking yourself what potential hazards you could face specifically on the west coast of British Columbia.

Here are just four examples of emergency

Earthquake: The entire west coast of B.C is in an active earthquake region that could be impacted by an earthquake at any time. Learn how to prepare for an earthquake by visiting the government of B.C website.

Tsunami: waves can grow large in height as they near our shores. These environmental powerhouses can cause destruction of property, flooding and affect people's ability to get around. To learn more about Tsunamis, check out this video.

Wind Storms: can happen at any time; however, they are more prevalent between the months of October - March. High winds can cause extensive property damage from fallen trees and power lines, causing power outages & road closures.

Wildfires: Forest fires hundreds of miles away can have a detrimental effect on seniors breathing, mobility and overall health. This stands especially true for older adults with heart and lung conditions.


After identifying potential hazards specific to you, it is time to get prepared. When it comes to seniors in British Columbia, you may need to consider going above and beyond the basics.

Consider having the following in your emergency kit:

  • Extra supply of any prescriptions (always consult with your healthcare provider when it comes to medications)

  • Extra glasses, hearing aids & hearing aid batteries, blood sugar monitors and batteries for blood sugar monitors.

  • Breathing and respiratory aids.

  • Record of medical conditions & allergies stored in a waterproof container.

  • Sanitation and hygiene products.

  • Minimum of three day supply of non perishable food.

  • Manual can opener

  • 4 litres of fresh drinking water per day. (plan for minimum of 72 hours)

  • Matches and candles

  • Flashlight with extra batteries

  • Coins and cash

  • Blankets

  • Whistle

  • Portable battery chargers for cell phones

  • Have a list containing a support network of no less than three people and their contact information. In addition, keep a complete list of your healthcare providers including caregivers, nurses, doctors or any part of your support team.

  • Copy of important documents in a water proof bag or container.

  • First Aid kit

  • Pocket knife

  • If you have a pet, you will need enough supplies to support your pet for at least 72 hours. Including food, water & medications.

  • Battery or hand cranked radio.

  • Have and practice an evacuation plan

  • If you are using a walker, cane, wheelchair or any other mobility device, have a mobility plan in place. Have a conversation with your caregiver or a medical professional to explore your options.

  • Ensure you have smoke detectors with the ability to detect carbon monoxide and can serve as a night light. Change your batteries at least once per calendar year.

Check: the condition of any packaging, expiry dates, double check batteries & add/remove items as needed.

Identifying the hazards and having your emergency kits ready doesn't serve you well if it is not ready when you need it. Keep everything in a space where it is readily available and inspect your kit no less than 2 times per year.

Keeping informed is one of the most essential components of any emergency plan. From preparing your emergency kit to putting your emergency plan in action, knowledge is king. Check out our list of links to help you better be prepared in case of an emergency.

Pacific Coast Health Services has qualified nurses and caregivers that can help with your emergency preparedness plan. From personal supports to nursing call Pacific Coast Health Services for your free in home assessment at (250) 389-0202 24/7/365.

This post was a collaborative effort with our friends at Lions Gate Home Care


©2019 Pacific Coast Health Care Services