COVID-19 GGH Update April 3

A heart of a different colour

The Foundation’s White Heart Project launched yesterday afternoon and in a few hours it’d already received 20 responses. These will be displayed in the staff entrance so you can look at them (at least six feet away from anyone else!) on your way out of the building. Hopefully this will help you leave your shift wrapped in a hug of community support. Here’s just one example:
Every time we’ve been to GGH, we’ve been treated with great care, professionalism and warmth. Thank you for working so hard to keep us all healthy – and for looking after us when we need care. I can only imagine how tough it is for you to be away from your own families, especially under these circumstances. Thank you, thank you, thank you – we see you, appreciate you, and support you!

Details now available for staff screening process starting Monday

The main lobby has been set up to accommodate staff screening while maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres. For all the details of the new screening process, click here.

Reporting on COVID-19 activity in staff and patients

Below are the numbers that will be reported with each GGH Update. Please note, the numbers change often as information is received from a variety of sources. As of today:

Total number of staff tested to date157
Total number of staff with a positive test result to date24
Total number of staff with a negative test result to date91
Total number of results pending42
Number of current in-patients who have tested positive 4

Important Update on Masks: Need to Conserve

To ensure staff safety, the hospital is doing everything possible to find new sources of valid healthcare grade masks. This goal is challenged by the world-wide shortage of masks and in particular medical grade N95s. In addition to sourcing more equipment, it is imperative to conserve the PPE we have available so that staff continue to have PPE they need when they need it.

Fortunately, we have been able to secure a supply of N95 masks. How long our stock of masks will last is dependent on how COVID-19 progresses and on how well we safely conserve. Every piece of PPE is needed and can’t be wasted! To find out about our current levels along with tips on how to conserve them, click here.

Free parking begins for everyone(!)

We appreciate this is a challenging time for our staff, physicians, patients and families. We hope to lessen some of the burden by temporarily waiving the cost of parking for everyone.  Effective immediately, entry and exit gates at our main lot and in front of 73 Delhi will be lifted.

Effective April 5, 2020, the hospital will implement free parking for all staff including professional staff. Please note, for professional staff who have pre-paid their parking, the hospital will establish a reimbursement process. Please be patient while the process is developed. 

This show of support is being made by all Waterloo Wellington hospitals. How long it lasts will depend on many factors.

Capacity Planning – both within and outside

Our team continues to do an amazing job in increasing capacity to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. All departments working together this week has resulted in:
· Increased capacity of 8-10 critical care beds
· increased capacity of medical beds by including the use of Same Day Surgery space

We thank all of you for preparing for our patients.

We are also working with our community partners and the Waterloo Wellington hospitals to develop innovative strategies to reduce the number of Alternate Level Care patients including the movement to retirement homes, exploring the use of hotels with home care support and planning for a field hospital if needed. This continues to evolve at a fast pace and we will continue to explore all non-traditional options at a regional level.

Temporary recruits begin to arrive

We have had strong response to our public hiring blitz with individual responses and support from partners like Linamar, the University of Guelph and Guelph and Area Ontario Health Team members. Approximately 10 new employees will start as soon as Monday in a number of roles. If you know of anyone who might be interested in temporary work with us, send them to Our typical hiring process is measured in weeks or even months – this has happened in days. Sincere thanks to those in the all the support departments who have made this possible.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre moving to a new location

Beginning Monday, April 6, the Centre will be located at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre at 151 Victoria Rd., N., Guelph.  The new location will provide increased accessibility and better parking. It will also facilitate capacity increases to the Assessment Clinic as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. The Centre will close Sunday at 4 p.m. in order to facilitate the move. For the media release, click here.

Foundation helping community identify what PPE to donate

Sourcing PPE continues to be a focus for Materials Management, supported by the Foundation when it comes to community donations. In addition to the hospital’s regular supply channels, over the last couple of weeks the Foundation has fielded more than 275 inquiries about PPE and other supplies and supports. Materials Management keeps a very close eye on supply levels, and the Foundation’s newly launched PPE page outlines what is needed. If an item is not listed, that’s because our supply is strong. If you know someone who is interested in supporting, please direct them to where they can find our PPE page.

What do I do if I feel sick and can’t come to work? 

All employees are to follow their normal absence notification process as per their department. If employees are experiencing any communicable disease symptoms and/or fever >38, new or worsening cough and/or difficulty breathing they are to contact Employee Health at the dedicated line ext. 3330. Please leave a message and indicate their name, department, symptoms and contact info. An Employee Health Staff member will return their call.