Updated March 30
March 30, 2020 -
Update: Dr. Illingworth (Elaho Medical Clinic) will continue to see her patients at the Elaho clinic.
Please contact her clinic directly to book.
March 30, 2020 Squamish General Hospital Update:
We want to assure you that during this time of COVID19, the Squamish General Hospital (SGH) remains a safe place to labour and deliver your baby. Our governing health authority (Vancouver Coastal Health) and SGH put patient safety as a top priority.
The flow of patients through the hospital has been optimized to reduce the risk of virus transmission. We have the medical staff and space in the hospital required to manage your labour & delivery safely.
The following measures have been put in place:
Separate entrance for obstetrical patients.
Physical separation of labour & delivery (L&D) ward from the rest of the hospital.
No cross-coverage of staff (ie. Nurse working on the hospital ward or in the Emergency room will not also cover L&D. Mountain maternity doctors are not working in the emergency room).
Minimize the number of providers attending your birth (ex. No trainees).
Appropriate personal protective gear on all health care providers.
All rooms and equipment are fully sanitized between every patient encounter.
Contingency plans in place for patient management in the event of a positive COVID 19 patient admitted to SGH (Note: at the time of writing there are no COVID 19 patients at SGH. Contingency plans change based on risk assessment and may include diverting labouring patients (at home or in-hospital) out of the community).
Currently in Vancouver Coastal Health, labouring women may bring one support person to labour with them. COVID 19 positive or presumed positive individuals may not be present in a supporting role. We understand how distressing it is to be told that you cannot surround yourself with whomever you want at this important life event. However, under current public health guidelines, it is critical to maintain social distancing to help protect yourselves, your loved ones and your community from spread of coronavirus.
Finally, we would like to stress that Vancouver Costal Health and SGH have worked extremely hard to prepare for scenarios in which COVID 19 positive women need care in labour & delivery. We have worked with our Obstetrical and Pediatric colleagues, and consulted guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecology of Canada (SOGC) to create plans and treatment protocols to care for you and your newborn.
Please feel free to talk to any one of the Mountain Maternity doctors about your concerns, and bring us your questions. We understand that the current situation with COVID-19 can feel frightening, but we are working hard to make sure that your health and safety are top priority.
March 24, 2020 Mountain Maternity Update:
New Maternity Clinic in Squamish
In an effort to keep pregnant women and newborns out of doctor’s offices, away from other patients and decrease the risk of exposure to COVID19, a dedicated maternity clinic will be established as of March 26, 2020. The Squamish Walk In Clinic is now closed during the week, therefore the maternity clinic will be run out of this location.
- All Mountain Maternity patients and well-baby checks (up to 4 months old) will now CALL TO BOOK their appointments through Diamond Head Medical Clinic, and WILL BE SEEN at this new maternity clinic at the Walk in Clinic location.
- You will be seen by one of the Mountain Maternity doctors. This may not be your regular Mountain Maternity doctor, thank you for your understanding.
- Even if you are a patient at Squamish Medical Clinic, this also applies to you.
- If you already have a prenatal appointment booked please call and rebook to be seen at the new clinic.
Call to book prenatal or well-baby check:
Diamond Head Medical Clinic:
Location of new Maternity Clinic:
Squamish Walk In Clinic
40147 Glenalder Pl #103,
Squamish, BC V8B 0G2
- Do not bring a support person or children to your maternity clinic visits. Please come alone if possible (call Mountain Maternity to arrange an alternate plan if this is a barrier to you attending the clinic).
- Do not come to the clinic if you have been travelling internationally in the past 14 days (call Mountain Maternity to arrange an alternate plan).
- Do not come to the clinic if you have respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, sore throat)
o You can call any of the following for urgent medical advice: 1. Telehealth: 811 2. SGH Maternity: 602-892-6055 3. Mountain Maternity 24/7 Doctor on call: 604-800-9923
Pregnancy AND respiratory symptoms:
- If you are in your third trimester (>= 28 weeks) AND you have respiratory symptoms, please call the Mountain Maternity Doctor on call to arrange an assessment and possible testing for COVID.
- If you are in your first or second trimester with respiratory symptoms the recommendation is the same for the rest of the population. http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health-statement-on-coronavirus
Timing of Prenatal visits during the pandemic:
- The updated recommendations are for pregnant women to avoid any unnecessary healthcare exposure.
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecology of Canada (SOGC) recommends the following:
o Any reduction or alteration in prenatal care will need to be individualized according to the particular circumstances of the patient, the capacity of the health system, and access to virtual visits.
o Recent literature supports some reduction in frequency of visits in the later trimesters if the first trimester screening indicates a low-risk pregnancy but there is no consensus on a reduced schedule at this time.
o Virtual visits and telephone support should be offered where appropriate.
- In summary, your prenatal care will be tailored to your individual needs. Your prenatal provider will discuss this with you at your next visit.
Labour and Delivery:
Coming to the Hospital:
- Please call the Mountain Maternity doctor on call (604-800-9923) for the usual indications (e.g.in labor, decreased fetal movement, if your water broke, need support,etc)
- If you have any respiratory symptoms please call SGH Maternity or the Mountain Maternity doctor on call before coming into hospital.
- You will be going through the MAIN ENTRANCE of the hospital, not the emergency room, for assessment. If it is after hours (after 8pm) then you will be redirected to the side door. Clear directions have been posted on the front door of the hospital.
- When in labour, if your support person has any respiratory symptoms or has a recent travel history (14 days), then they will be unable to enter the hospital. We realize this is a very difficult thing to ask of you, but it is very important in order to keep you, your baby, our healthcare team and our community safe. Please practice social distancing to ensure you stay healthy.
- Measures are in place to keep the obstetrical unit separate from the rest of the hospital as much as possible.
- The hospital continues to be the safest place to have your baby.
We realize there are a lot of unknowns right now, and in the setting of pregnancy this can be especially difficult. The Mountain Maternity group and the entire Squamish Obstetrical team would like to reassure you that the above measures are being put in place to keep you and your family safe. Please refer back to our website for updates regularly. Thank you and we look forward to being with you as you deliver your precious babies!
Note from Dr. Kelly (Head of Obstetrics at Squamish General Hospital) : (March 19)
On behalf of Mountain Maternity Group and Squamish General Hospital Obstetrical Group, I want to thank each and every one of you for doing your part to minimize Covid-19 disease transmission. It makes me very proud to live, work, and raise my girls in a community that bands together to make change when we need it most.
Your diligence with hand hygiene, social distancing, and isolation is helping to protect you and your family. At the same time, it protects our vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and newborns. When the days ahead seem long and uncertain, think back to what it felt like to be a new or expectant mother. Try to imagine those new emotions and worries, then try to imagine those life changes with the addition of the Coronavirus pandemic!
I am reassured by your posts, your motivation, and your commitment to protecting these moms and babes. Thank you! I appreciate it. They appreciate it. And all of SGH Maternity appreciates it, too!
For up to date, accurate information on Covid-19 and pregnancy, please visit the following SOGC link:
Squamish General Hospital staff has been working tirelessly to revise our maternity department to improve mom and baby safety. We have a few new policies in place, that will be updated under the direction of VCH. For now, please share the following with expectant families in the corridor.
Sea to Sky Corridor obstetrical patients with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, sore throat) can call any of the following for urgent medical advice:
1. Telehealth: 811
2. SGH Maternity: 602-892-6055
3. Mountain Maternity 24/7 Doctor on call: 604-800-9923
If you have EMERGENT symptoms e.g. severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, speaking in single words), severe chest pain, having a very hard time waking up, feeling confused, lost consciousness -- go to ER immediately or call 911.
1. If your phone call yields recommendations for further symptom assessment, please present to the ‘Covid Cafe’ outside of SGH. Please DO NOT go to your doctor’s office or walk-in clinic.
2. If further assessment is NOT recommended, stay home and continue to isolate.
3. Absolutely NO visitors are allowed on the maternity unit.
4. When presenting to SGH for maternity assessment or labour, try to alert your care provider ahead of time and she will pre-register you in the system. During the day, use our hospital MAIN ENTRANCE and walk to the nursing station upon arrival. After 8:00 PM, use the ER buzzer upon arrival and a nurse will come out to direct you.
Please continue to spread the word about social distancing. We can flatten the curve as we welcome these new ones into this crazy and wonderful world!
Dr. Rachel Kelly
Another useful link is the RCOG reference for pregnant patients and their families: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/
Here is some information about the virus in general as well as self assessment tool.