COVID-19 GGH Update May 6

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Action/must read (0)
What’s New? (2)
Resources and Supplies (3)
Staff Support (3)
Policy Changes (0)

Starting with the positive

Thanks to World’s Finest Chocolates and their Chocolate for Heroes campaign, along with hundreds of sewers in our communities, there’s chocolate and a cloth mask for everyone! The chocolates and masks will be delivered via Directors over the course of the week. There have been staff requests for cloth masks for use outside the hospital for a while, but we needed to wait until we knew how many we had and how they were being distributed to patients and visitors. Last week, we had a single donation of more than 1,200, so now we are good to go! Note that the cloth masks are for use outside the hospital only and that they have not yet been washed (but have been ‘quarantined’ for at least a week).

Reporting on COVID-19 activity in staff and patients

Total number of staff tested to date254
Total number of staff with a negative test result to date217
Current number of staff with a positive test 3
Number of staff results pending8
Number of staff who tested positive and are now recovered26
Total number of staff with a positive test result to date29
Number of current in-patients who have tested positive9

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Action/Must read

What’s new?

Future planning within a COVID-19 environment
Over the past many weeks, significant work has been spent to successfully increase capacity for the COVID-19 pandemic patients. Creating that capacity has impacted many aspects of our operations and at some point in time we will be expected to gradually reintroduce services in the future. It is critical to note we cannot ramp up services without a Ministry Directive.  

Over the next 12-24 months we anticipate services will be reintroduced in stages and perhaps in a series of starts and stops as we adjust to Government direction. The reality is, services will return to a new normal and we will need to think and plan very differently than we have in the past.

We are at the beginning phase of developing plans to reintroduce services with processes that allow us to operate in a safe environment for our staff, patients, and visitors. To see the nine planning principles for ramping up services, click here. These plans will first be developed by each clinical department. The process will engage front-line staff, professional staff, and leadership, with the support and facilitation of Lisa Bellon and Erin Landry-Baker. 

A leadership team will be formed to review all of the plans and develop one coordinated, hospital-wide plan considering all of the principles and issues.  Membership will include Senior Leadership, Infectious Disease, IPAC, Directors, and Professional Staff. In addition, our Patient and Family Advisory Committee will be consulted.

Decision making regarding which service activity should be prioritized for ramping up will consider:

  • Ministry Directions
  • Ethical framework
  • Impact on all hospital resources and departments
  • Impact to and/or the need for other department resources and external resources
  • Alignment with regional programs

The planning will be supported by strong communication every step of the way. As provincial directions are received and plans are developed, they will be shared in many ways including through these updates as well as from Directors at huddles.

Local hospitals secure use of RIM Park as a field hospital location if needed
Our region of Waterloo Wellington was asked to plan for a field hospital should one be needed. It would only be necessary if regional hospitals were approaching maximum capacity. For more information, the media release can be found here.

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Resources and Supplies

Masking Emergency Department patients
It is recommended all ED patients receive procedure masks for the following reasons:

  1. Majority of patients will have tests/procedures that would necessitate they wear one for travel
  2. We are still using hallway beds at times which means we cannot always maintain social distancing
  3. The homemade masks vary in quality
  4. Patient relations have received complaints that patients in the ED are not masked
  5. Masking all ED patients brings us into line with other EDs.
  6. Patients arrive will a variety of illnesses including COVID. There’s a risk especially while waiting in the triage area.

Staff wearing masks in non-clinical areas
There have been many questions as to why some staff are wearing masks in public areas and others are not. As a reminder you must wear a procedure mask in all clinical areas at all times and in non clinical areas when you cannot maintain 2 metre physical distance.

Homemade masks
These generously donated masks are being given to patients as they are discharged for wearing in the community. They are also available for the few visitors being allowed. Also, the Foundation has begun handing out these masks to units for staff to take home.

Staff Support


The next group of COVID-related “What’s on Your Mind” questions are now posted
This time around there’s 11 questions and one comment. The topics include; getting a sick note when physician offices are closed, testing all staff, more payday payouts, making inpatient TV free, N95 mask reprocessing and other topics of interest.

Please remember, “What’s on Your Mind?” is hosted on our Intranet and only viewable within the organization.

Next Homewood Wellness Webinar tonight
COVID-19 – Calming Your Mind in Challenging Times, is tonight at 7 p.m. For all the details and how to register, click here. Please note, unfortunately due to copyright, these webinars cannot be recorded.

Staff Feedback survey wrapping up Friday
So far, 330(!) staff have filled out the survey. There’s only a few days left to share your thoughts about how well the hospital is doing with supporting you through the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is anonymous and short. Click here to complete the survey today! If you have any questions about the survey, please email

Policy Changes

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