Doctors Derek Poteryko and Marcia Fukunaga demonstrate the recommended social distancing of two metres in a photo included in a news release issued this week by the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice, about the importance of combating coronavirus spread and how to do it. (Photo submitted)

Family physicians in Nanaimo stress fundamentals in COVID-19 fight

Nanaimo Division of Family Practice issues advisory to help combat coronavirus spread

The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice is stressing the importance of everyone doing their part to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In a press release issued Monday, doctors issued tips and reiterated information, stressing that social distancing is the primary way to prevent the spread of the virus and everyone needs to take measures to prevent virus transmission.

“This applies to everyone,” the release noted. “There are patients in their 30s in Italy, previously fit and well who are currently in intensive care units. Social distancing is currently seen as the main way to limit the spread of COVID-19. It requires you and everyone to aggressively limit unnecessary direct contact with other people.”

To help reduce face-to-face contact with health practitioners, phone calls and online assessments will be used, which will also reduce numbers of patients in waiting rooms. Office examinations will be arranged as needed.

Patients should also consider delaying any non-urgent lab work and ensure they have the prescription supplies to cut down on trips to laboratories and pharmacies.

The release, which included a link to a video featuring Nanaimo physicians Derek Poteryko and Marcia Fukunaga, also noted that all employers must waive the requirement for employees to produce a sick note. People who develop a cough, congestion or fever must are asked to assume they have a COVID-19 infection and must self-isolate for 14 days, but shouldn’t panic or immediately seek medical attention. A positive test for COVID-19 does not change treatment for it and most infected people will only develop a mild respiratory infection and will recover within two weeks.

People whose symptoms worsen are asked to contact their doctor or nurse practitioner. Patients shouldn’t go to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s emergency room for COVID-19 testing and go there only in case of a medical emergency.

The release advises people to take care of themselves by eating healthily, exercising and finding new ways to relax.

The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice recommends the relaxation tips and techniques found in a coronavirus sanity guide available at the Ten Percent Happier website at

To view the doctors’ release and find other information about the coronavirus and infection control measures, visit
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