Cian Hackett, a Rimbey doctor, who previously suggested small social gatherings were okay, said new information states small dinner parties and other social gatherings should be postponed until further notice or done virtually.
He also noted solitary walks are the best, but walking with a close family member is also allowed.
In the midst of the spread of the coronavirus a Rimbey physician is busy taking care of business as usual, but, for the most part, he is doing it over the phone.
Dr. Cian Hackett said Rimbey physicians are still seeing some patients, but 90 per cent of their visits are being conducted over the phone.
Hackett said this method is working very well and he encourages patients who may need prescriptions, such as blood pressure medications, renewed to simply call in to the clinic to request a telephone visit. Visits done by phone ensure patient and physician safety as well as providing needed medical service.
Hackett said there have been no cases of the coronavirus among patients of Rimbey doctors.
“There are lots of fears out there, but we are doing our best to help everyone and keep everyone safe.”
He said local physician are also preparing for the future which could change quickly. He noted that the Town of Rimbey has a large population of seniors.
“We have one of the (chronologically) oldest communities in Alberta,” he said. “And they are considered vulnerable (to this virus.)”
Hackett said doctors are working closely with the Rimbey mayor and representatives from Ponoka County to ensure the safety of the residents as much as possible.
He said visitations have been restricted at the hospital and at long term care.
People who are experiencing mild symptoms such as a runny nose or sore throat should stay home and contact their doctor if symptoms persist, he noted.
Hackett said, for the time being, walking with a friend and small social gatherings are acceptable, provided everyone is healthy, practices social distancing as much as possible and has not been in contact with an infected person.
However, he noted rules and regulations regarding the coronavirus could change quickly.
Hackett wants people to stay healthy, follow guidelines set out by Alberta Health, practice social distancing and contact their doctor for medical concerns.
“Run it (your concerns) by your doctor for sure,” he said.
The Rimbey Medical Clinic can be reached at 403-843-2256.