November 4, 2020

DRYDEN, Ontario – The health and safety of all staff, professional staff, patients, visitors, and the community is the utmost priority for the Dryden Regional Health Centre.  In response to the rise in COVID-19 cases across Canada, and most recently, the dramatic and concerning increases in Manitoba, travel restrictions have been updated at the Dryden Regional Health Centre reflecting public health recommendations to avoid non-essential travel to Manitoba.

Effective immediately, staff, patients, and visitors who travel outside of Northwestern Ontario to Manitoba within the previous 14 days and then present to the DRHC will result in a failed entrance screening to the hospital.

Visitors who fail the screen will not be allowed entrance. Patients attending the DRHC for urgent and emergent care from our Emergency Department will be required to follow strict hospital policies enacted for the safety of all.

Patients with scheduled appointments who travel outside Northwestern Ontario within the previous 14 days must contact the appropriate department to advise of their travel and to receive further instruction. Without prior contact for instructions, entrance to the facility will be prohibited. Patients who have travelled should be prepared for cancelled procedures, tests or treatments.

The recent explosion of positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Winnipeg and surrounding Manitoba communities is causing great concern for medical and health professionals in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.

“While COVID-19 confirmed cases have been low in our community and region, it’s critically important to remember that this virus is very contagious and doesn’t stay in any one area for long,” says Doreen Armstrong-Ross, President & Chief Executive Officer at the Dryden Regional Health Centre.   “We’re seeing the impact of the contagion in our neighbouring province. It’s vital that we keep up our guard and continue to follow Ministry and public health recommendations by practicing hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, wearing a mask, staying home when unwell and avoiding non-essential travel to Manitoba at this time.”

“We know that the COVID-19 virus has no boundaries and can very quickly overwhelm our hospital and further stress our resources.  It is evident that a great deal of reported infections are result of travel,” says Dr. Bruce Cook, Chief of Staff at the DRHC.  “Over the last 8 ½ months we have focused on doing everything we can to protect our patients, staff, medical staff, and community.  While we continue our efforts every moment of every day, we are asking that our community members to do their part as well. Please don’t travel outside of Northwestern Ontario unless absolutely necessary.”

“We’re pleading everyone to follow public health recommendations and help us in our efforts to avoid the spread of COVID-19,” implores Armstrong-Ross.

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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