We’ve heard from Kootenay Boundary doctors and nurse practitioners that they are open for business, though consultations are initially being done by phone.
But what about patients with pre-existing conditions who require regular lab work to stay optimally healthy?
Or, what about those who become acutely ill and require blood collection for further diagnosis?
They must appear in person to have blood work drawn.
Given the collection lab is often full in downtown Trail, sometimes spilling into the hallway of the medical building, how is the public -and lab workers – staying safe during a pandemic and time of physical distancing?
“Interior Health is taking additional precautions to protect our patients and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Susan Duncan, Interior Health spokesperson told the Trail Times.
In Trail, the hours of operation at the outpatient lab for the public have changed to 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with immunocompromised/at risk patient hours from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Patients experiencing symptoms must call ahead and will be given an appointment between 3:30 and 4 p.m. for blood work. That phone number is 250.368.8141.
As well, Rossland and Salmo clinics are not seeing immunocompromised or suspect/symptomatic patients.
The patients will be booked for an appointment at the Trail outpatient clinic.
Duncan says increased cleaning has been implemented within all Interior Health outpatient facilities.
“People are also reminded that if their blood test is not urgent and doesn’t affect their care to stay at home or practise physical distancing if they must go out,” she said.
“And all blood tests are on referral from a physician or nurse practitioner.”
Physicians across Interior Health have been asked to refer only those patients for whom laboratory testing is deemed to be urgent and where results will immediately impact care management.