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

Pen High student Myles made this Little Library in his woodworking class and it now stand in front of West Bench Elementary. (Submitted)
Penticton Secondary student makes Little Library for primary school

The Little Library has been installed in front of West Bench Elementary

The Desert Centre in Osoyoos opened on Saturday for the season. (Contributed)
Osoyoos Desert Centre opens for the season

‘Getting out in nature is one of the most important remedies [during] COVID restrictions.’

The Pencticton Vees beat the Trail Smoke Eaters 7-0 in the second to last game of the season on Saturday. (Pentiction Vees photo)
Penticton Vees play last game of season today at 4 p.m.

The Vees have dominated the league in wins and play the Cranbrook Bucks at 4 p.m.

Book Shop by Michael Law
There’s magic and colourful history at Penticton’s largest and oldest book store

The Book Shop, like so many businesses, is wanting to turn the page to the end of this pandemic

The Oliver Fire Department had to put out a fire on their own training ground, and it wasn’t one they set. (Facebook)
Vehicles torched at Oliver Fire Department training grounds

This suspected arson comes after the cars were vandalized earlier and suspicious fire the night before

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Spallumcheen councillors (from left) Todd York, Gerry Popoff, Christine LeMaire, John Bakker, Joe Van Tienhoven and Andrew Casson join Mayor Christine Fraser (fourth from left) in helping to proclaim the township open for business with new signage off Highway 97A. (Township of Spallumcheen photo)
Being open for business paying dividends for Okanagan township

Spallumcheen wins provincial award, new business and building starts increase

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Mathieu Bourgault (13) tries unsuccessfully to deflect past West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick during the Warriors’ come-from-behind 7-6 BC Hockey Leaguje pod shootout victory Saturday, May 8, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors rally to edge Salmon Arm in shootout

Warriors overcome three significant deficits to post 7-6 BCHL pod win in Vernon; Silverbacks finish pod 9-7-2-2

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Most Read