COVID19: Update

March 18, 2020

Based on emerging trends and guidance from public health officials, including the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, VPWAS has requested that all staff work from home starting Wednesday March 18 until further notice. In addition, all in-person meetings and events until the end of April will be moved online, postponed, or cancelled where necessary.

Like other organizations and businesses, we are doing this to help encourage social distancing, which we believe will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

  • all group programming has been cancelled until further notice
  • WINGS Housing subsidy will be mailed on 19th of March and the 19th April

Peer navigation and support will be available through email support@vpwas.org, or pozwomen@vpwas.org or phone 250.382.7927 / 1.877.382.7927 (toll free)

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is the recommended resource for provincial information that is accurate and current: http://www.bccdc.ca. Information is being updated frequently on the site at this time and individuals are encouraged to check back regularly (eg. daily).

Island Health also has frequently updated information on their website: www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.

In an effort to ease the burden on HealthLink 811, B.C. has set up a dedicated COVID-19 line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319.

On behalf of the Board, staff and volunteers of VPWAS, please be safe, stay healthy

Pozitively yours,

Craig Dales
Executive Director, VPWAS

March 17, 2020

**Please note the following changes to VPWAS programming and services**
 
In effort of reducing the possible spread of Coronavirus all groups have been cancelled until further notice, including the Women’s Circle that was rescheduled for this Friday, March 20th.
 
WINGS Housing subsidy. For the next two months will be mailed to your provided address. Mail will be sent out on the 19th of March and the 19th April.
 
Should you feel unwell and/or experience symptoms such as fever, sore throat, coughing or body aches, you are discouraged from coming into VPWAS for programming or support. You’re asked to communicate with your VPWAS staff contact to make alternative arrangements for your care and support, which could include support over the phone or email.

It is recommended that you continue to follow appropriate health activities:

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not touch your face, and cough and sneeze into your sleeve if you do not have a tissue.
  • Have extra food on hand at home should you be required to self-isolate.
  • Ensure that you have an adequate supply of all medications (including HIV medications and PrEP).

If/when we are advised to close, Peer navigation and support will be available through email support@vpwas.org, or pozwomen@vpwas.org or phone 250.382.7927 / 1.877.382.7927 toll free Or through other social media platforms.

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is the recommended resource for provincial information that is accurate and current: http://www.bccdc.ca. Information is being updated frequently on the site at this time and individuals are encouraged to check back regularly (eg. daily).

Island Health also has frequently updated information on their website: www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.

In an effort to ease the burden on HealthLink 811, B.C. has set up a dedicated COVID-19 line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319.

More updates may be sent as warranted.

Stay healthy, create a buddy system to check in on each other

March 12, 2020

Re: COVID19

At VPWAS, we recognize that many people in our community are living with HIV and AIDS, chronic illnesses, and disabilities, and that many of us may be at higher risk of acquiring the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Until we receive further notification from Island Health, VPWAS will remain open. (as of March 12, 2020)

  • In the VPWAS office and drop-in space we will endeavour to maintain a clean and disinfected space.
  • Staff and volunteers have been notified to stay home if showing any symptoms.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at each elevator in our building, in each washroom as well as inside VPWAS drop-in.
  • Building staff are disinfecting the door knobs, elevators and washrooms several times a day

During this rapidly changing time, we urge you to practice precautions and preventive health measures such as:

  • staying home if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with coronavirus;
    • cough, sneezing, fever, fatigue, sore throat and difficulty breathing
    • especially if you have recently returned from travelling or have had contact with someone who has been travelling
    • if you feel that you have been exposed call 811, or your doctor or clinic
      do not go directly to a clinic or the hospital without advising them of your symptoms
  • Washing your hands with soap (for at least 20 seconds)

Be your healthiest self

Lifestyle habits that help your immune system to function optimally during cold and flu system are important for fending off the coronavirus, too.

  • Regular hand washing
  • Staying hydrated
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising
  • Managing stress
  • Getting adequate sleep

We will follow up with any further instructions we receive from Island Health

VPWAS Staff, Peer Navigators and volunteer supporters are available by phone 250.382.7927/1.877.382.7927 or email support@vpwas.org

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Vancouver Island Persons Living With HIV/AIDS Society (VPWAS) 101 - 1139 Yates Street, Coast Salish Territories, Victoria, BC. V8V 3N2
Phone: 250.382.7927 | Fax: 250.382.3232 | Toll Free: 1.877.382.7927 | support@vpwas.org | www.vpwas.org |