MEDIA RELEASE

March 16, 2020

Dryden Ontario

CANCELLATION OF ELECTIVE AND NON-ESSENTIAL SURGERY, PRIMARY CARE & OUTPATIENT APPOINTMENTS

The Dryden Regional Health Centre has activated its pandemic plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of patients, their families, staff, professional staff, and visitors continues to be our priority.

Elective/Non-Essential Surgery

To help prevent the risk of spread of COVID-19, we have begun cancelling/postponing elective and non-essential surgeries at the hospital, effective Monday March 16, 2020 until further notice.

Primary Care and Outpatient Services

Non-essential medical and outpatient appointments at the Dryden Regional Health Centre, Dryden Area Family Health Team, and Dingwall Medical Clinic are being cancelled and medical visits are being conducted by telephone as much as possible.

If individuals are in need of emergent medical attention they should present to the DRHC. All patients presenting to the DRHC will be screened before entering.

Visitor Restrictions

To help prevent the risk or spread of COVID-19, visitors are not permitted at the Hospital effective immediately and until further notice. One care partner, designated by the patient, is welcome at all times and will be provided with a Visitor Identification Band. A care partner supports and participates in the care of the patient and is a valuable member of the care team. Limited exceptions to the number of care providers permitted may apply to end of life, paediatric, or Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) patients, as well as other extenuating circumstances. Any exceptions are to be determined by the Nursing Supervisor.

Screening

All patients or visitors who visit the Dryden Regional Health Centre, Dryden Area Family Health Team, and Dingwall Medical Clinic will be screened for respiratory illness, including COVID-19, before entry to the building is permitted.

Active screening is necessary to keep our patients, staff, and physicians safe while also identifying those individuals with symptoms and travel history or possible exposure to COVID-19 positive cases.

If you have travelled within the last 14 days and have a new or worsened cough, shortness of breath or fever (>38 degrees Celsius) please:

  • Do not come to the Hospital
  • Self-isolate (stay home, limit the number of visitors to your home, avoid contact with others, keep distance, cover coughs and sneezes, wash your hands) and self-monitor (monitor for    symptoms for 14 days, avoid public spaces).
  •  Contact the Northwestern Health Unit (223-3301) or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000).
  •  If you are having difficulty breathing, come to the Emergency Room.

Please be advised that at this time there are no confirmed cases in our community and these are precautionary measure to protect our vulnerable patients and staff. Further restrictions may be implemented as the situation develops.

To protect yourself and others from illness causing germs, please ensure you follow these everyday precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Practice proper respiratory etiquette (covering your nose/mouth when coughing or sneezing)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are ill
  • Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness
  • It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community
  • Seek medical care if required and disclose any recent travel history

The safety of our patients, staff, and volunteers is our number one priority. We need the public’s understanding and support and apologize in advance for any inconvenience during this challenging situation.

Please continue to call the Northwestern Health Unit (807-22-3301) for more information on COVID-19 screening.

Reliable information on COVID-19 is available at:

http://www.nwhu.on.ca

http://www.publichealthontario.ca

http://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

For further information, please contact:

Doreen Armstrong-Ross

Chief Executive Officer

Dryden Regional Health Centre

Box 3003, Dryden, Ontario P8N 2Z6

Telephone: (807) 223-8201 Extension 2260

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