COVID-19 Updates, Information, and Resources
Updated: November 19, 2020
Below is information about Covid-19, including changes we’ve made to our clinic as a result of Coronavirus, changes made at KGH, current best practice guidelines, and additional resources. We will try to keep this page as up-to-date as we can. As always, the health and safety of our clients is at the top of our minds as we contemplate best practice during this time.
We have made the following changes to our clinic in order to help slow the spread of Covid-19 – to protect all our clients and the entire community.
Prenatal and Postpartum Clinic Visits:
We will be continuing with the WHO recommendations for the timing of antenatal visits as follows:
- Initial Visit 6-8w – virtual (Zoom or telephone)
- 12-14w – in-person
- 20w – in person
- 28w – in person
- 34w – in person
- 36w – in person
- 38w – in person
- 40w – in person
- 41w – in person
For more information relating to prenatal visit recommendations, please visit this link: http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Professionals-Site/Documents/COVID19_AntenatalVisitsDuringPandemic.pdf
If anyone has any additional risk factors in their pregnancy this schedule may change depending on clinical situations. You can always email or set up a zoom appointment with your midwives if you are needing additional support or have further questions and need some extra time to discuss further.
*Due to the rising COVID case counts in our region and changing guidelines from the Ministry we are now requiring clients to wear masks for entire visit in our office. We also must insist that patients come alone. We recognize this is a challenge for families and we appreciate your understanding.
- Please wear a mask for the duration of your visit.
- Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering clinic
- Please come alone. If you are unable to come alone we will need to reschedule your appointment (we are happy to have partners attend via phone, zoom or video chat). We are requesting that no partners or children come with you to your appointments to help limit the number of people in our clinic space and help with social distancing requirements.
- If you have any symptoms of cold or flu you will need to reschedule your visit
We greatly appreciate you support and understanding during these challenging times so we can continue to provide you safe care.
Before Face-to-Face Visits/Appointments:
We are kindly requesting that everyone do a self check for cold and flu symptoms prior to your clinic appointments or home visits. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, we recommend you contact your midwives to reschedule and you call the Urgent Care Center to organize a Covid swab. As we work with vulnerable populations – pregnant women and newborns – we are unable to attend clients with any cold/flu symptoms until we know for sure that you are covid negative or 10-14 days after onset of symptoms and your symptoms are improving. Not only are we concerned about covid right now, but it is also RSV season, so please be mindful of how you are feeling and if you have any questions or concerns, or are unsure of whether you need to reschedule/test please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us to discuss further! You can also upload the BC Covid-19 app at: https://bc.thrive.health/ to self-check your symptoms. A review of the symptoms are as follows:
- Fever (38 degrees Celsius or higher),
- Cough or worsening of chronic cough
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches
- While less common, symptoms can also include:
- Stuffy nose
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Dizziness, confusion
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rashes or discoloration of fingers or toes.
Births at KGH
For the health and safety of all hospital patients, KGH has instituted the following changes:
- Patients are now requested to only use the main entrance, or Centennial Entrance, to access the hospital. If you are in labour, do NOT wait in the covid screening line – move to the front and let them know you are in labour. Once you enter the main doors, turn left and follow the hallway to the first set of elevators. Take the elevators to the 4th floor for the perinatal unit – there are signs to direct you.
- Masks are mandatory while in the hospital and are required while walking through hallways and in assessment rooms. However, this does not include when you are admitted and in labour in your own labour room.
- Only 1 support person is allowed to attend each labouring person. Accredited Doulas are now allowed as well as partners! This means you may have your partner and your doula now. However, they must be the same person(s) for the entire duration of the L&D stay – ie no other visitors or switching in and out.
- No friends and family are allowed in the waiting area on L&D
- No visitors are allowed on Postpartum Ward. Only parents are allowed into the NICU.
Home Birth/Malachite Suite Birth
- We ask you to limit the amount of support persons at home. We are currently absolutely happy to have doulas as part of the home birth support team, and 1-2 other support people, including partner. But request no friends and family that do not need to be present. If you or anyone of your home is symptomatic we will be recommending a hospital birth. If the birthing person is symptomatic at time of birth the safest location is the hospital.
- We currently have a large influx of clients requesting out of hospital birth and we will do everything we can to accommodate those. However, we are limited in number and do need to have 2 registered midwives available for every out of hospital birth – if there are not enough midwives available (due to increase in work load or from illness) we may request you birth in hospital.
- We are strongly encouraging anyone thinking about out of hospital birth not to choose this based out of fear of the hospital. Home birth is safe for low risk individuals but may not be for everyone and does require more home work, supplies, and planning than hospital.
- Malachite Suite is still available to rent and Kelowna Midwives are encouraging clients to consider suite birth if wanting out of hospital as we have more control there in terms of infection control and cleaning/sterilizing. However, we do recognize that there is an added fee for this, Malachite has kindly offered to discuss financials and offer sliding scale for those desiring suite birth but may not have the funds. Please contact them directly to discuss financials and for booking the suite.
Postpartum Home Visits
- We are happy to continue to provide postpartum home visits during the first 1-3 weeks at home.
- It is important to stress that if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of cold/flu, your midwives will not be able to enter your home. If you are symptomatic at the time of labour, you will be expected to come into the hospital for your birth so that your midwives will have access to full PPE and Covid presumptive protocols – we are unable to provide home birth for anyone that is symptomatic.
- This is the same expectation for the postpartum visits and your midwife cannot enter your home with any household members exhibiting any cold/flu symptoms.
- We apologize for the inconvenience and extra stress that this may cause for our clients who have been planning their home births through their pregnancies.
Potential changes to your midwife team
The midwives at CMK (and in our larger Kelowna community) work as a team and help each other in times of need. We prioritize continuity of care for our clients, and strive to provide your known care providers to you whenever possible. If one of your midwives becomes ill, you may receive care from another midwife in our community in order to protect your health.
General Pregnancy, L&D, and Postpartum Guidelines regarding Covid-19
The 3 leading organizations for Obstetrics and Gynecology have recently published Covid-19 practice advisories. You can read them here:
Other tips and information:
Wondering if you need to swab or self-isolate for Covid-19? Take this quiz: Covid-19 Self-Assessment Tool
If you think you may have any symptoms of Covid-19 including fever >38c, coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and/or GI symptoms do not come to clinic but instead please call 8-1-1, where you will be able to speak to a nurse and be triaged to a testing centre if indicated. Anyone who is symptomatic & needing urgent obstetrical assessment will be assessed at KGH.
As a reminder, the best way to protect ourselves and our community from Covid-19 are really simple:
- Hand-washing – Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after touching your face, before eating, and after using the washroom. This is the best way to prevent transmission of any virus. If a sink is not available, the next best option is hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your face if possible. COVID-19 and other viruses are spread through coughing and sneezing, but also by touching surfaces that the virus is living on and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose immediately. Alternatively, folks can cough or sneeze into their sleeve.
- Social Distancing—As much as reasonably possible, keep two arms-lengths (one yours, one the other person) apart from others.
- Self-isolating with members from your family only – this means no friends or visitors at your home!
Thank you for your understanding during this time. We recognize that this is a changing situation, and our guidelines may change to reflect best practice recommendations as they continue to evolve. Please do not hesitate to call our office at 778-436-8060 if you have any concerns.