As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice has provided an update for Keremeos residents on how to continue to access primary care. (Black Press Media file)

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice has provided an update for Keremeos residents on how to continue to access primary care. (Black Press Media file)

How Keremeos residents can access health care during COVID-19 crisis

Information includes how to book an appointment, how to access emergency care, long-term care, more

[Submitted by Heather Allen, SOS Division of Family Practice Communications Lead]

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice has provided an update for Keremeos residents on how to continue to access primary care.

Booking an appointment:

Patients needing an appointment with a family doctor in Keremeos are asked to call ahead for care at the South Similkameen Health Centre at 250-499-3000, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The doctor will then determine whether you can be seen over the phone, by video, or if an in-person appointment is required.

These measures are meant to reduce the risk to all patients and staff as well as to conserve valuable personal protective equipment for health care providers, which are used every time a patient is seen in clinic or the emergency department for any reason.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, all local residents – whether you have a regular family physician or not — are welcome to call to book an appointment,” says Keremeos physician, Dr. Marina Louw.

Emergency care:

Anyone with a time-sensitive emergency such as severe breathlessness, chest pain, loss of consciousness, stroke symptoms or traumatic injury should phone 911 for ambulance transport to the emergency department. Patients who do not take an ambulance are asked to please phone ahead to the clinic at 250-499-3000, during office hours, or 250-499 6098 after hours, so emergency room staff are able to prepare for their arrival.

Patients who have non-critically time-sensitive issues, but think they require a visit to the emergency department, are asked to call for a consultation with a family doctor. If the clinic is not open, please phone 811 for advice. If neither option is available, call 250-499-6098.

Long-Term care:

Keremeos providers are working together to ensure that residents at our local long-term care units continue to receive care, primarily using telehealth appointments to limit personal contact and reduce transmission risk to this very vulnerable group. Please note that long-term care facilities are currently closed to visitors and the public.

“To protect the health of those currently living in long-term care, there are provincial restrictions in place limiting visits to essential visitors only,” says Interior Health director of clinical operations, Jon Clare. Please be assured that visits for those clinically-assessed as being end-of-life will be accommodated.

Further assistance and information:

If you have donations of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and other needed supplies for medical staff, please call the clinic at 250-499-3000.

“We, as physicians, want to thank the community for doing their part and all the support and donations we have received,” says Dr. Louw.

Everyone is encouraged to follow provincial recommendations about staying home and safe social distancing practices listed on the BC Ministry of Health’s HealthLink BC website ( More COVID-19 information is available on Interior Health’s website (

Visit for up-to-date information on municipal building closures, links to COVID-19 facts and trends, care centres, preventions measures, and to sign up for Keremeos’ notification system, which allows residents to receive immediate emergency communication. Those without computer access, can sign up by calling the village office: 250-499-2711.

Heather Allen can be contacted at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

After 20 years in the community, Pathways Addiction Recovery Centre has had its funding cut by Interior Health, who says they are bringing addictions services in-house now. (Facebook)
Community outraged at Interior Health’s decision to cut funding to Penticton addiction services centre

People question why Pathways addiction services would be cut during an overdose epidemic

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Penticton bylaw services department. (Submitted file photo)
Penticton Mayor tries again for more bylaw officers

Mayor John Vassilaki wants to see bylaw offer seven day a week services with extended hours

The City Park dock in Kelowna was underwater due to rising Okanagan Lake flooding in 2017. (OBWB photo)
Okanagan facing extreme flooding risk

Water board calls for updated Okanagan Lake level management

Penticton City Hall
Penticton City Hall continues with COVID-19 reduced hours

One year ago, city hall cut its hours in half, now it’s the only municipality left doing so

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 8 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

The restart of the program means seniors can receive affordable meals delivered five days a week Photo by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post.
Princeton Meals on Wheels one year trial will cost $92k

Program restarts, and volunteer drivers are needed

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering soft tissue injuries following the incident

Most Read