Boil water, ticks, nurses, UBC-O athletics, heels and more…
SEKID Boil Water
The South East Kelowna Irrigation District has issued a PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE for users on the surface water system.
The order is effective immediately and remains in effect until further notice.
The Boil Water Notice is required due to increased turbidity in source water from Hydraulic Creek.
The melting snow at the lower elevations has increased flow at the District intake causing the turbidity to increase above an average of 5 NTUs for the past 24 hour period.
During a boil water notice, tap water used for drinking, brushing teeth, or rinsing ready-to-eat-foods should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute.
Interior Health has been consulted and is fully involved in this notification. The South East Kelowna Irrigation District apologizes for any inconvenience this notification might cause our customers and appreciate your cooperation and patience during this time. The length of time the Boil Water Notice will be in effect is unknown at this time, but turbidity will likely trend lower towards the middle of May. The public will be notified when conditions allow the Boil Water Notice to be rescinded.
Kelowna residents unsure of who their water supplier is can get this information by going to www.kjwc.org and using the “who is my water supplier” tool.
As the weather warms, people across Interior Health will be spending more time outdoors in tall grass or wooded areas and this means an increased chance of getting tick bites.
Ticks are small bugs that feed on the blood of humans and animals and can sometimes transmit disease.
Ticks are most often found in tall grass and wooded areas, so covering up before you head outdoors and checking for ticks on yourself, your children, and your pets after being outdoors, are simple things that go a long way to prevent tick bites.
Ticks are common across Interior Health. The most common tick species in our region is the Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni), which is not known to carry the Lyme disease bacteria. The Wood Tick can carry other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, although it is very rare. In addition, some ticks also have toxins that can cause tick paralysis, a condition resulting in temporary muscle weakness and paralysis until the tick is removed.
Less than one per cent of Ixodes ticks in B.C. carry Lyme disease. The tick species that carries Lyme disease (Ixodes pacificus or Ixodes angustus) is more common in the coastal areas of B.C., but may also be present in some areas within Interior Health. In addition to fever, headache, and muscle pain, people infected with Lyme disease will often develop a rash that looks like a “bull’s eye” target and expands from the site of the tick bite.
If you find a tick on yourself, a family member, or pet, wear gloves and gently remove it. Use needle-nose tweezers to gently grasp the tick close to the skin and pull the tick straight out without squeezing. After removal, clean the area with soap and water. Try to save the tick in a sealed container with a cotton ball soaked in a bit of water and record the date of the bite. If you have concerns or need assistance removing a tick, please contact your family doctor or visit a walk-in medical clinic.
All tick bites should be cleaned, as infection can occur whenever there is a break in the skin. Most tick bites do not result in illness; however, it is important to watch for signs of tick-transmitted illnesses. Signs of many tick-borne infections can be quite similar and include fever, headache, muscle pain, and rash. Anyone who experiences a bulls-eye rash or other symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. If you saved the tick, bring it with you to your medical appointment. Ticks that are still alive can be tested for Lyme disease.
Additional precautions people can take to prevent illnesses from tick bites include:
• Walking on cleared trails when in tall grass or wooded areas.
• Covering up by wearing a hat, long sleeves, and pants.
• Wearing light-coloured clothing to help spot ticks easily.
• Tucking pant legs into socks or boots.
• Applying insect repellent containing DEET on uncovered skin.
• Checking clothing and scalp (covered or not) when leaving an area where ticks may live – ask someone to help check hard to reach areas.
• Having a shower after returning from areas where ticks may live.
• Regularly checking household pets for ticks.
To reduce ticks from entering your home and yard, try these steps:
• Keep your lawn short and remove any fallen leaves and weeds.
• Keep a buffer area such as wood-chip or gravel border between your lawn and wooded areas or stone walls. Any play equipment or play zones should be kept away from wooded areas.
• Trim tree branches to allow more sunlight in your yard.
• Keep wood piles and bird feeders away from the house.
• Widen and maintain trails on your property.
More information is available at:
· Ticks and Lyme Disease – Interior Health: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/CommunicableDiseaseControl/Pages/Ticks.aspx
The Province is providing $1.746 million for palliative and hospice care in British Columbia to support patients and caregivers.
Funding will support hospice and palliative locations in British Columbia and be used for patient care quality and caregiver support; patient and health-care worker safety; education, tools and resources; improved continuity of patient care and, equipment to support delivery of patient care.
In January, the province also announced over 7 million in funding to create new hospice beds and support best practices.
350 people had breakfast for UBC-O athletes Friday.
The 12th annual Scholarship Breakfast raised more than 75 thousand dollars for student athletic endowments.
Heat athletes have had some amazing accomplishments this year including…34 academic All-Canadians, 14 National Scholar Athletes, two Canada West All-Stars, two Canada West All-Rookie team selections, and one CCAA All-Canadian.
A new animation diploma program at Okanagan College will give students the skills needed for careers in the animation industry in the Okanagan and support the growing B.C. tech sector.
The Province of B.C. is providing $250,000 to support the first year of the two-year program.
The diploma was developed in response to requests from the local Okanagan animation industry and will train the next generation of animators, with a strong focus on 2D, digital 2D and 3D animation technology and the ability to specialize in the second year.
The diploma is designed to help students develop artistic creativity and programming skills required by the digital industry and enable development of the industry in the Okanagan region.
The first intake of students will take place in September 2017; students will complete the program in April 2019.
The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of British Columbia’s vibrant technology sector and strengthens B.C.’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development through graduate seats, co-ops and coding, and market access for tech companies to drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.
Invasive Species May
The B.C. government has proclaimed May 2017 as “Invasive Species Action Month” to help raise awareness of invasive plants and animals in BC and to highlight the environmental and economic damage they can cause.
The proclamation is part of an ongoing effort to encourage people to learn more about how these plants and animals can displace native species and disrupt local ecosystems.
The B.C. government, the Invasive Species Council of B.C., regional districts, local governments, First Nations and community-based organizations work together throughout the year to help prevent the introduction and spread of these harmful species.
The Invasive Species Council of B.C. assists with invasive species program co-ordination and communications, develops best management practices (in collaboration with the B.C. government and local agencies), and helps increase public awareness and public reporting of invasive species.
The B.C. government provides ongoing financial assistance to support the work of regional invasive species organizations, including the mapping of invasive populations and the treatment of high-priority sites.
In March 2017, the B.C. government provided another $1.8 million to its annual invasive plant grants program. The money is being distributed to 31 regional districts, municipalities and invasive species organizations to combat the spread of harmful plants.
Over the next three years, the B.C. government is committing over $20 million to invasive plant management. This includes $2.2 million for a three-year pilot project to explore new ways of managing invasive plants in the Thompson-Nicola region. “Protecting Ecosystem Health and Agricultural Values: A Strategy for Crown Land Invasive Plant Management in the Thompson Nicola” will be delivered in partnership with the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Southern Interior Weed Management Committee.
The government has also made significant investments over the past few years to counter the threat of invasive aquatic animals. In March 2017, for example, the government expanded its invasive mussel detection program, which now includes 10 boat inspection stations at B.C.’s borders, extended operating hours for those stations, and 68 auxiliary conservation officers to conduct inspections.
Additional measures include enhanced public education, increased support to monitor lakes for the presence of invasive quagga and zebra mussels, and a dog that has being specially trained to sniff out invasive mussels, bear parts and other contraband.
Total funding for the invasive mussel program is now $4.5 million annually, run in partnership with BC Hydro, Columbia Power, FortisBC and the Columbia Basin Trust.
Activities planned for Invasive Species Action Month:
During the month of May, the Invasive Species Council of B.C. is supporting activities to raise awareness of harmful species, including a contest where people can upload videos about invasive plants and animals for a chance to win prizes.
Each week, the Invasive Species Council of B.C. will provide educational materials about invasive species and highlight how British Columbians can take action against them. To mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, the council is releasing a downloadable character called “Spotter Sandy” that youth in over 150 locations in B.C. can use in projects about preventing the spread of invasive species. More information about these activities will be available on the Invasive Species Council of B.C. website: www.bcinvasivesmonth.com
* Week 1 – Invasive Animals: Don’t Let It Loose! focuses on problems caused by invasive animals, including risks associated with releasing unwanted pets into the wild: http://bcinvasives.ca/commitments/dont-let-it-loose
* Week 2 – Invasive Plants: PlantWise, Grow Me Instead focuses on problems caused by invasive plants and helps gardeners (and people involved in agriculture, ranching and horticulture) prevent the spread of invasive plants in B.C.: http://bcinvasives.ca/commitments/commit-to-be-plantwise
* Week 3 – Outdoor Recreation: Play, Clean, Go focuses on outdoor recreation and provides “Play, Clean, Go” guidelines for removing debris from sports and recreation equipment to prevent the spread of invasive species: http://bcinvasives.ca/resources/programs/play-clean-go/
* Week 4 – Aquatic Activities: The “Clean, Drain and Dry” Program explains why invasive plant and animal species are a concern in B.C.’s freshwater and marine environments: http://bcinvasives.ca/commitments/clean-drain-dry
By working together, British Columbians can help stop the spread of invasive species that can damage the province’s environment, infrastructure and economy.
Nurse In Practice
Several Kelowna-region family doctors are welcoming nurses to their practice teams, to expand access and support more patients with their health needs.
Six family doctors’ offices have expressed interest in bringing nurses into their practices – including licensed practical nurses and registered nurses – through new funding from the Province.
This initiative is part of a comprehensive primary and community care strategy in Kelowna which will improve access to care for Central Okanagan residents.
In addition to nurses in primary care practices, it includes redesigning services to better support people with mental-health and substance-use concerns, a new Seniors Health and Wellness Centre, and targeted recruitment of family physicians.
It is expected that at least 3,000 residents in the community who are currently without a family physician will be attached to a primary care provider through this multipronged strategy. The work in Kelowna is a collaborative effort among the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice, the Ministry of Health, Interior Health and the Doctors of BC to help connect more patients with primary care.
The strategy builds on the division’s successful recruitment program, which has resulted in 11 family physicians moving to the area since 2015, and represents about 11,000 people newly attached to a family doctor. A further seven physicians are committed to starting practice this year in the area, with more having expressed interest in relocating to the Central Okanagan.
A key part of getting connected to a primary care provider is having a process to match patients with providers accepting new patients as capacity becomes available. To support this, the Province will establish a dedicated contact number for Central Okanagan residents without a family doctor, which will be in place by June 2017.
The nurse-in-practice initiative is part of the ministry’s work with physicians and health authorities to enhance primary and community care across the province. To bring nurses into their practice, doctors complete an assessment of their overall patient population to determine what services and skill sets are most needed in their practice, and which type of nurse would best complement their team. It is anticipated that as nurses are recruited and join practices, practices will have more capacity to care for patients with complex health needs and take on new patients.
On April 3, 2017, Health Minister Terry Lake made a $90-million funding announcement to support the expansion of team-based primary care throughout the province over the next three years, which includes the nurse-in-practice initiative. Teams and networks of primary-care providers are at the centre of the new model, with strong connections to new specialized community care services provided by health authorities.
Targeted investments to support the implementation of the ministry’s strategic priorities are made possible with a $4.2 billion budget lift in the ministry’s budget over the next three years.
Congrats to local software executive and veteran investor Grant Lawrence, who is taking over the reins of the Kelowna chapter of VAAngels.
VA Angels brings handle investors together with prescreened early-stage business proponents along the length of the Okanagan Valley.
The VAAngels network has more than 130 members in five chapters (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Kelowna and Medicine Hat) and has invested over $44 million in 150+ deals since 2003.
The Kelowna chapter has a great track record having provided 17 capital injections to seven companies since 2013.
Heels Not Required
The B.C. government has followed through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace.
The requirement to wear high heels in some workplaces is a workplace health and safety issue.
There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work.
The change was made by amending under the Workers Compensation Act.
The amended regulation ensures that workplace footwear is of a design, construction and material that allows the worker to safely perform their work and ensures that employers cannot require footwear contrary to this standard. To determine appropriate footwear, the following factors must be considered: slipping, tripping, uneven terrain, abrasion, ankle protection and foot support, crushing potential, potential for musculoskeletal injury, temperature extremes, corrosive substances, puncture hazards, electrical shock and any other recognizable hazard.
WorkSafeBC will develop a workplace guideline for employers and employees to support the amended regulation. The guideline is expected to be available by the end of April.
Under B.C.’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, WorkSafeBC already requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace that is free from discrimination or harassment for their employees. As well, the Human Rights Code provides protections against sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination in British Columbia, and that includes in the workplace.
The Rockets have a 2 nothing series lead in their 2nd round of the playoffs. Kelowna beat the Winterhawks 4-2 Friday and 5-2 Saturday night at home. Games 3 and 4 are now in Portland tomorrow and Wednesday. Game 5, is necessary would be back here at Prospera on Friday.