The City of Williams Lake is purchasing four iPads to loan Cariboo Memorial Hospital in case a COVID-19 patient and family would like to use one to be able to communicate. (File photo)

City of Williams Lake purchases four iPads for COVID-19 patients in hospital to use if needed

The iPads will be on loan to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

The City of Williams Lake has purchased four new iPads if COVID-19 patients staying in Cariboo Memorial Hospital need them to stay in contact with family.

Chief administrative officer Milo MacDonald presented the proposal to city council for approval as a “gesture of good will and compassion to enable patients to communicate with loved ones,” during a time when visitors will not be permitted.

He noted in a report to council that local physicians and Thalia Vesterback, clinical operations director, Interior Health, identified the need for an iPad supply.

“While the pandemic has not yet critically impacted Cariboo Memorial Hospital, it is extremely likely that there will soon be patients who are admitted to intensive care who would benefit greatly from a way to communicate with their loved ones,” MacDonald said.

Read more: COVID-19: City of Williams Lake issues reminder for residents to keep socially distant

During the regular council meeting Tuesday, April 7 it was confirmed the new tablets have not been used to date.

Through a poll of city council members on March 30 and 31, 2020, approval was given to purchase the iPads at an estimated $549 each plus tax.

Coun. Marnie Bremner who works at Cariboo Place said staff are using tablets with residents there as well.

“Let’s pray the residents of the South Cariboo continue their due diligence to socially distance, stay at home and take all other precautions recommended by our public health officials thus eliminating any such discussion of iPads for hospitals,” said 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall.

“However, should our current situation change and an identified need arises in our local hospital I am fairly confident Council would positively respond to any needs the District has the ability to assist with,” he added.

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