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.”

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

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

A vaccine-filled needle awaits injection, during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held Jan. 15, 2021 at Amica White Rock. Community Living B.C.-funded workers learned April 8 that they, too, can now be vaccinated. (Tracy Holmes file photo)
Support workers for those with disabilities given vaccine priority

News shared with Community Living B.C.-funded staff on April 8

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

Scott Wheatley stands with the main Kenyan and Ugandan umpiring crew that he trained at the Nakirebe Complex outside of Kampala in 2020. Wheatley, a member-at-large with Softball B.C. is supporting a recent open letter from the sporting body that calls on the government to reinstate gameplay for kids in organized sports. (Photo: Submitted)
Softball B.C. urges provincial health officer to lift ban on gameplay for kids in organized sports

Sporting body sent open letter to both Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Valley tulip attraction returns this weekend for 1 month

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Most Read