Over the past week, we learned several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. It may not be the last time this happens. As a result, measures need to be put in place to both reduce the possibility of transmission and to clearly track it should it happen. These measures where developed by Dr. Murdock, GGH’s Infectious Disease Physician, and IPAC with input from staff. As always, staff and patient safety remains paramount..
1. Signing in and out of Hospital units
To assist COVID-19 contact-tracing procedures, starting Monday there will be a tracking sheet on each unit. All staff will sign in and out of each unit visited.
2. The creation of a COVID-19 Unit
With input from staff, a decision has been made to create a COVID-19 unit in the hospital. Other than those needing to be in an ICU bed, the 4 East unit will house confirmed or suspect COVID-19 patients as well as those patients who may have been exposed to COVID-positive staff. Should more beds be required, 4 West would be the next unit designated.
3. Personal Protective Equipment
As a reminder, to reduce potential spread from asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic health care workers, a procedure mask is to be worn at all times in clinical areas. Continue to adhere to recommendations regarding appropriate use of PPE for Droplet/Contact precautions. N95 masks for COVID-19 should only be used for aerosol-generating medical procedures.
4. Staff screening to begin
Starting early this week, staff will be screened when entering the hospital. More details to follow as we work out how to do this while maintaining social distancing.
5. Cancelling food donations It’s clear our community wants to support us in any way possible. However, donated food presents a risk as staff gather around the donations and to eat. As an alternative, the community will be encouraged to send gift cards for restaurants or food delivery services which we will distribute to staff.