A group of approximately 15 physicians, doctors, nurses and health care workers have come together in conjunction with the City of Langford to try and keep possible COVID-19 cases at home by bringing the testing to them.
Michael Forbes, pharmacist and owner of the Forbes Group, and Dr. JP Lim, an internal medicine specialist, came together to create the COVID-19 Langford BC Response Team, which is being sponsored by Langford Mayor Stew Young, in an effort to contain the virus.
The response is a shift from the drive-through testing site set up by Island Health in Victoria.
“Rather than having a patient get in the car and drive around to get tested, and while they’re out and about there’s a high risk that they would go and get some supplies at a store or gas or whatever so we felt this was a more secure way to keep the contagion at home and let us bring the services to us,” says Forbes.
Starting on March 20, people who access the service will be triaged over the phone to assess the severity of their condition and walk through self-assessment protocols to determine the likelihood of them having COVID-19.
Forbes says that the group does have some testing its available, although they won’t be testing everyone.
“If we do need to go to someone’s home, we will go in full protective gear and have the patient come to the door, swab them there and then take the sample back to the lab,” he says.
In addition to testing patients and providing medical care, Forbes says they will be providing free care packages for patients with medicine to help treat symptoms, along with masks if needed and hand sanitizer.
Currently, the operation is limited to Langford only but Forbes says there could be room for expansion depending on how things go.
“We’re building an airplane as we learn to fly it,” he says. “Right now we’re just doing what we can with the tools and information we have.”
To contact the COVID-19 Langford BC Response Team call 778-600-0240.