COVID-19: Vapour barrier wall being added to pharmacy in Williams Lake

Pharmacist David Shand says daily measures are being added to protect staff and public

New walls are going up in the entrance of a pharmacy in Williams Lake in efforts to create a vapour barrier and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Kornack and Hamm’s Pharmacy owner, manager and pharmacist David Shand said the measure will help meet some of the challenges they are facing with COVID-19 pandemic risks.

“We have been implementing measures daily for the last week and a half,” Shand told the Tribune Monday. “We are also adjusting the HVAC system so there is a positive pressure system on the other side of the vapour barrier in the hopes the droplets will stay out rather than coming in through the little openings to protect our staff and the public.”

Many of the patients using the pharmacy are high-risk so efforts are being made to protect them while continuing to keep open, he said.

“This pandemic could last months as far as we know. Along with all the other cleaning and hygienic techniques, we hope this will help.”

Additionally, increased demand for medications and supplies has resulted in longer than usual wait times for some prescriptions.

As he asked customers to be patient with pharmacy staff, Shand said they are working as hard as they can to ensure everyone is taken care of.

He suggested ways people can help all pharmacies are to order prescriptions 24 hours ahead if possible, let pharmacy staff know of urgent needs and stay home if sick or feeling unwell.

“It is especially important for you to stay home if you have a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing. Please ask your prescriber to phone or fax your prescription to the pharmacy, and ask a healthy friend or family member to pick it up for you. You may also contact the pharmacy for delivery.”

Customers can phone the pharmacy to let staff know that they are outside in a vehicle as well and someone can bring the prescription out to them.

Read more: B.C. reports 3 new COVID-19 deaths but 100 people have recovered, Henry says

He also said pharmacies have been in contact with drug wholesalers and manufacturers regarding any potential drug shortages and are implementing strategies to ensure a stable and adequate drug supply.

Shand gave some suggestions for people to keep immune systems functioning as well as possible by getting enough sleep, managing stress levels, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and staying well hydrated.

Some key nutrients for the first response part of our immune system are Vitamins D, C, B6, B12, folate, zinc and iron, he said.

“At the moment there is no definitive statement on the safety of NSAIDs such as Advil (ibuprofen), Aspirin (ASA), and Aleve (naproxen) during COVID-19 illness, but there may be some patients who should be avoiding these medications so please ask your pharmacist,” he added.

Read more: A letter from Williams Lake doctors on COVID-19: ‘Lives depend on your actions now’

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Konak & Hamm’s Pharmacy owner pharmacist David Shand said they’ve been making adjustments daily to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shared some ways customers can help all pharmacies. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

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