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Travelling to The Valley Considerations

March 18th 2020

To Our Albertan Neighbours,

I am writing to you as one of the Physicians in Invermere BC requesting your consideration before you travel between provinces during this difficult period. Many Albertans have vacation homes or part time residences and see the Columbia Valley as a wonderful place to escape to. Here in the valley we appreciate all that you contribute to our area and the spirit that you bring with you.

This is a stressful time with the threat of Covid-19 spreading throughout Canada, Closures of Schools, Recreation facilities, cancellation of trips planned months in advance, all lead to a desire to find a place to unwind and escape. I would like to request that before you visit the Columbia Valley during this time you consider that we have a small hospital with 8 beds. 8 full time doctors that cover the emergency department, clinics, and hospital in-patients. And yes we only have one ventilator! Our town is small and isolated and our closest Intensive Care Unit will likely be strained with our regional cases. Transport of patients between provinces is difficult at the best of times and moving Covid-19 patients will put many emergency health providers at risk. All of these factors will make it difficult to transport patients to the care they deserve.

During the summer months, winter holidays, and long weekends we are honoured to care for all the Albertans that visit our wonderful valley. During this time of uncertainty I ask that you remain home and do your best to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the illness that comes with it.

Here in Invermere we have a large proportion of senior citizens that are relying on us to keep them safe. I thank you for your consideration and allowing us to focus on giving our local patients the best possible care.

Dr. William Brown MD, CCFP 

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