The City of Langford has put $400,000 towards its COVID-19 response and has funded a telemedicine-based pilot project for Langford residents to access seven days a week.
The call centre, an initiative led by pharmacist Michael Forbes, was launched on March 21 and within its first two days received 529 calls, performed 139 nurse outbound calls and 22 online doctor consultations. Six people were designated serious cases that required testing and two people were directed to emergency rooms.
“We’re just trying to do our part … the province is having its daily announcements and telling everybody how many cases are,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “I just didn’t want to sit on my hands and do nothing so we put our team together and some council members agreed we needed to do something.”
The phone lines are open all week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and are staffed by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and call attendants whose aim is to provide Langford residents with tools, advice and resources to help deal with COVID-19 concerns without leaving their home.
After a telephone call consultation with an attending, residents may receive advice on self-isolation or quarantine measures needed, be referred for a telemedicine consultation with a nurse or doctor, or be directed to follow-up with 811 directly.
If medication or medical supplies are needed, the pharmacy is able to deliver.
“Now, Langford residents have someone to talk to even if they’re just anxious,” Young said. “We’re there to talk to you, to listen and to give advice.”
Young said the City has been working with community partners to make various signage for local businesses to use to remind community members about social distancing. He said the City is hoping to reach out to community members and remind them about best practices such as hand washing, self-isolating and social distancing.
To learn more about the COVID-19 response plan for Langford residents visit covidlangford.com.