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COVID-19 Updates

Important links:

8-1-1 Health Line substitute


How to talk with kids about COVID-19?

Vancouver Coastal Health

Fraser Health Authority

Medical Interpreting Services during COVID-19

BC Assessment for COVID-19 – Support and Test (mobile and computer)

BC Centre of Disease Control – case counts

Government of BC – COVID-19

Government of Canada – COVID-19

World Health Organization


MARCH 26 – food banks and shelters

Info on food banks and shelters during COVID-19.


Text/FaceTime: 778-987-4179
E-mail: Elizabeth.Dagg@vch.ca

Image description: Speaker is Elizabeth. Caucasian women with long brown hair flowing down past her chest. She is wearing a black shirt with black background. A blue-green tattoo on her left arm between elbow to wrist.

Hello! I am Elizabeth. I want to let you know that I am committed to supporting you, your family and friends, or anyone who is in need of services from the Food Bank and/or shelter. Almost every city has a Food Bank and shelters available. Many Food Bank locations have made several operational changes and continue to make changes daily. I know this is very confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating, which is why I am here to support you. I will share a link below this video so that you have access to information about the Shelter and Street Help Line. There are locations all over, from Vancouver to Chilliwack. This shelter list is updated everyday with room availability, population, and information about different shelters with designations. There are shelters designated for specific people groups like senior citizens, Indigenous peoples, men, families, women, etc.

Before you go to the food bank, you are required to register. If you have not registered, please feel free to contact me to start registering. If you are unsure or unable to keep up with many operational adaptations, please contact me. My text, FaceTime, e-mail information will be seen below the video as well. Stay safe and take care!

MARCH 26 – LIVE PRESENTATION about FInancial assistance – covering ei, rent, bills…

meeting ID: 944 435 0794


Hi, everyone! Felicia and I will host an online Zoom question and answer session about EI, bills, rent and other financial assistance during COVID-19. It will be tomorrow, Friday, March 27 at 9:30-11:30 AM.

You will need to download the Zoom program on your computer, iPad or iPhone and Android.

If you want to use your computer, go to the website https://zoom.us/download to download.

For iPad, iPhone, or Android, please go to the App store and search ZOOM Cloud Meetings and download.

You can just join without signing up by using the meeting ID: 944 435 0794.

See you tomorrow!

March 24 – Handwashing – when, why and how?

Image description: Speaker is Felicia. Caucasian women with shoulder length brown hair. Half of the hair is in a top bun. She is wearing dark forest green long shirt in front of dark brown background.



I want to discuss how to protect yourself during these coronavirus times and what you can do.

First do what? – water and soap – what can the soap look like? (point to soap).

First, turn on the water, second put some soap onto your hands and really scrub it under the water. How long? for 20 seconds or more. Consistently, keep doing it, you want a good deep clean. That will expel viruses from staying onto your body.

Second, if you don’t have any water or soap, you can use hand sanitizer. What’s that? [Shows example.] It’s important right now to avoid touching your face and touching things. You know when you go out in the public and you touch things when food shopping, different surfaces…no please try to avoid that if possible. If you MUST touch things, please go wash your hands with soap after or use hand sanitizers.

Protect yourself from obtaining germs and getting it yourself or giving it to other people.

Also, during the day I want to emphasize washing your hands frequently, as much as possible and keep clean. That will help minimize any disease from spreading. If you have questions and concerns, please contact us.

March 24 – ASL Medical Virtual Clinic (Only British Columbia Residents)

Dr. Nertomb is offering a temporary virtual medical clinic for patients who are BC residents in ASL. Book your appointment at: jessicanertomb.janeapp.com

Follow her at her YOUTUBE page.


ASL Medical Virtual Clinic (British Columbia Residents only)

Hi my name is Jessica Nertomb. You may know me by my maiden name “Dunkley”. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people do not want to go to their doctor’s office and be in close proximity to others. They may want to exercise social distancing. So I would like to help the Deaf community by offering a virtual clinic connecting with patients via video such as FaceTime or Skype, etc. I have created an appointment website where you can click on the link below to make an appointment with me via video. You can discuss any medical related issues such as COVID-19, prescriptions or health issues. This clinic is temporary and will be running during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not a permanent clinic. Please click on the link to view the schedule and make an appointment. This service is only available to BC residents who have a CareCard (MSP). I regret this service is not available to non-BC residents at this time. Thank you.

March 23 – Medical Interpreting Services during Covid-19


Hello. Medical Interpreting Services will continue to provide interpreter services during these challenging times. We understand that this is a difficult and stressful time for the ASL community trying to keep up with news and following instructions from the Canadian Government. MIS is taking extra care to ensure that patients, interpreters, and staff’s health and safety are top priority.

If your Doctor or Health Care Professional asks you to call to talk to them instead of coming to the office MIS can still book a qualified Medical interpreter.

We are still booking interpreters to go to appointments and emergencies.
Please let MIS know if you have:
1. Recently travelled internationally
2. Do you have a new cough, fever, or any other cold or flu symptoms?
3. Have you been in close contact with someone who has recently travelled internationally or has cold or flu like symptoms?

If you answered yes please let the MIS dispatcher know so we can protect the interpreters, patients, and staff.

Please contact MIS and the dispatcher will advise you of how we can help to book an interpreter for the appointment or emergency.

Additionally, you can contact Dr. Jessica Nertomb (Dunkley), who is a Deaf doctor in BC, to support you with any medical-related needs or questions that you may have about COVID-19 in ASL instead of calling 8-1-1 or 1-888-COVID19. You must be a BC resident with a BC health card. Please contact her for a Facetime or Skype appointment: jessicanertomb.janeapp.com.

March 18 – Financial Assistance from Canadian Government

ASL version about the financial assistance from Federal Canadian government as Wednesday March 18.


Hey It’s Charlie.

I’m working on supporting social distancing, so right now I am working from home. Right now, there is a lot of overwhelming information and it is changing every day. Today, there were some updates related to some financial assistance from the Federal Government who has now described new programs and new rules but it’s complicated. Some of it is vague and overwhelming. I just want to touch on a few points and share a brief description as well as some suggestions, should you have questions.

So today, the Federal government made an announcement about several different things.

– People right now who are employed but do not have paid sick time, if you are required to stay home for 2 weeks for self-isolation, either because you have travelled or because a Doctor has told you to stay home because of risk of the virus OR a family member is required to stay home and you need to care for them for the 14 days period; there are two changes to the EI system that will impact you. One is a doctor’s note is no longer needed to qualify for EI Sick benefits. Also, the one week waiting period has also been dropped so you can apply more quickly. Effective today.
– If you are self-employed and do not qualify for EI benefits regularly and your business is now closed, or you are unable to work, you may qualify for the Emergency Care Benefit from the Federal government.This benefit can be used for a maximum of 15 weeks and can be used for some financial support.
– If you work for a company that has temporarily closed such as coffee shops, restaurants, at a mall, and you are no longer being paid; typically you would not qualify for EI as you are still employed. You can now ask for EI benefits . EI is now supporting work sharing which means you work is continued but your hours have been reduced, meaning you are not earning as much as before – you may qualify for partial EI benefits to top up your income.
– The child tax benefit is for families with children and is based on annual income. The Federal government has announced that in May, there will be an increase for each child in the family. The increase will be a maximum of $300 per child. Again, this is based on income so you may not got the full $300 but if you qualify for Child Tax, you will see an increase. Also, if you qualify for GST, the payment in May will double. The other GST payments throughout the year will remain the same but the MAY payment will increase.
– Taxes are due typically every year soon. Right now, the government has extended the due date to June 2020. So tax information must be sent by the end of June. If you owe money on your taxes, it is not due immediately as the government has postponed the due date to August of 2020.
– If you have a Student Loan through Canada Student Loans that is in repayment, payments are not required for the next 6 months. Also interest will not be accruing during this time. The hope is that this gives you time to help budget and manage your finances.

There is a long list of information related to Federal government relief supports, and I’ve mentioned only a few things. The website is more comprehensive and have detailed information. The web address will be in the comments. If you are uncertain about what to do with the information, or your budget or if you are concerned about your income, please contact your Bank for help and remember they may provide interpreters. You can also contact CRA through email, phone, VRS, or TTY but please understand that there will be a long wait time to get through. Many other people are looking for information and asking for help. IF you are looking at the website but are having trouble understanding the English or are just unsure, you can feel free to contact WBP as we can help explain and clarify as much as possible. Remember we are not financial experts but we are here to help.

Take care, be safe, and wash your hands! Bye!


March 17 – What is COVID-19 and how to stay safe?


Hey, it’s Charlie. I am at the downtown community health clinic – DCHC- under VCH. Definitely not the WBP office. I wanted to chat about the Corona Virus, also known as Covid 19. There has been a lot of discussion, news stories, rumours – WOW. So I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about a few things. Symptoms, Actions, and Risks.

Symptoms: Really this time of year is cold and flu season. Symptoms of Covid 19 may look like a cough, fever, body aches and fatigue. If you present with these symptoms the best thing to do is stay home take care of yourself, rest, eat, wash your hands and avoid others. If someone you know has been diagnosed with Covid 19 you may have a higher risk of catching the virus. But if no one you know has been diagnosed your risk remains very low. If you have a cough, shortness of breath, and fever please don’t go to the doctor. The best thing to do is to call the Health Line. If you use the phone you can dial 811. If you use VRS the number to dial is below. You can chat with a nurse who will discuss you’re your symptoms, what you should do, assess your risk and if they are concerned they will explain where and how you can receive a test (swab) to check.

BC Healthy authority has recommended any travel out of Canada, to the USA will require a 14 day period of self-isolation. This is because symptoms may not appear immediately if you contract the virus, and it can take up to 14 days to develop symptoms. This time period helps reduce the spread of the virus. The risk for contracting the virus currently is low and most cases have been people who have travelled to countries and contracted the virus somewhere else. There hasn’t been cases of community transmission yet. **NOTE this has changed – A dental conference has resulted in some community transmission however risk to general public remains low** Again- most of the symptoms experienced will be mild: cough, cold, fever, fatigue. If you have other health conditions, lung/respiratory, weak immune system- you may be at higher risk. Again – please connect with Health Link for questions.

March 17 – Office Hours Update


Hello. I am (name sign: KP on the left shoulder – “K” then “P”) Kristen at Well Being Program.

I want to give you an update about Well Being Program during coronavirus pandemic.

Many of you may be concerned why many businesses are closing – adding stress or increasing anxiety during this time.

I want to make sure you know that WBP is still open. However, the office hours are now changed for next little while. The new hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm from Monday to Friday. I want to be clear that things are constantly changing so please be sure to check the office if we are open or not.

Groups and workshops are on hold for next little while. We will let you know when they will be back – we will communicate when they will return.

Right now, it is a stressful and anxious time for many of you. That’s why it is important that WBP remains open and operational. However, it will be mostly video calls (FaceTime, Skype, Duo) – clients do not come to the office – they are to stay home and stay safe.

We are still operational via video calls. If you are a current client, contact your staff to make an appointment for a video call. If you are not a client and want some counselling or support during this stressful and anxious time or support in general, please contact me at:

kristen.pranzl@vch.ca or text/FaceTime 604-306-7633

We will have a conversation – discuss, make a plan and connect you with a staff.

Same time, if you have questions, concerns or curios, feel free to contact me anytime.

Thank you for your support and understanding.