VANCOUVER -- The president of Doctors BC has sent a message to physicians across the province, asking them to get in touch with their patients in an effort to get vital messages about containing COVID-19 through to the public.

In a letter sent to doctors and posted on the organization's website, Dr. Kathleen Ross asked members to email their patients and post information on social media: people need to self-isolate, and they must maintain physical distance of two metres when they do go out on essential trips, such as to get groceries.

"It is especially important as we continue to see some of our younger people congregating and socializing, putting not just themselves at risk, but their parents and grandparents," Ross wrote.

In addition to using email and social media, Ross suggested physicians could also speak to local news media and welcomed any other suggestions for getting the word out.

"Let's get hundreds of physicians in B.C. out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook this week using the hashtag #stay_home and #bcdocs," Ross wrote.

Ross also provided an email template to doctors to help them get started, acknowledging that "many of you are feeling overwhelmed."

This week, a group of doctors wrote a letter to B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, asking for more stringent measures and warning that "at our current rate of spread, our hospitals will be overwhelmed within a few weeks without drastic action."