Tuesday April 14, 2020
testing update: As of yesterday (Monday, April 13) 689 tests have been
performed at our Assessment Centre and in our Hospital. 54 tests were completed
yesterday. Currently, our Hospital team is providing care to two confirmed
cases and 34 presumptive cases.
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at our Hospital will perform priority COVID-19 testing of health care workers as well as emergency responders as a priority group. This protects the health and safety of our essential workers, and the community members they serve. Testing of these groups will enable monitoring of those who frequently come into contact with community members and supports confirmation of front-line staff status sooner following exposure to the virus. The Assessment Centre is designed to expand services to meet the needs of the community as the local situation evolves.
Yesterday, the COVID-19 Care Unit became operational with the transfer of the first patients from other areas. This achievement represents a remarkable of amount of planning, expertise and learning. This is only the beginning, and learning will continue as new circumstances arise and the COVID-19 situation evolves. The unwavering dedication to safe, quality care of staff and professional staff assigned to this unit is a true testament to their professionalism and strength.
You may have heard that some Hospital staff are self-isolating as a result of possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Although the risk is considered low, this precaution is in place for the protection of patients, staff and professional staff. In this instance, exposure is associated with a patient who, through the course of admission, moved through several areas of the Hospital. The patient recently developed symptoms associated with COVID-19, has been tested, and is therefore considered a presumptive case. Self-isolating staff include those who had exposure to the patient prior to the onset of the patient’s symptoms. The patient is considered to have low clinical suspicion of COVID-19. Self-isolation of staff will be discontinued if/when the patient’s COVID-19 test result is returned negative.
In addition to the staff identified above, over 60 more are self-isolating as a result of not passing the Hospital’s screening (for example, they have two or more of the listed symptoms). Staff who do not pass screening follow the guidance of Occupational Health & Safety, which may include acquiring a swab test or remaining at home until free of symptoms for 48 hours.
This pandemic is unprecedented in modern history. Navigating these unchartered waters may be the most challenging crisis most of us will ever encounter. At this challenging time, it is normal to be facing feelings such as fear and anxiety. The health and safety of our staff and professional staff remains our utmost priority. Anyone who is feeling overwhelmed is encouraged to reach out for help and access the variety of resources available to you as an employee at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.https://comms.tbrhsc.net/covid-19-information/staff-wellness-resources/
Our community is demonstrating gratitude for and support of our Hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have received donations of equipment, supplies, food and monetary gifts to assist our efforts, and we are enormously appreciative. To support clarity for those who want to contribute, there will now be a single point of contact. All donations will go through Tanya Niederer at 252-2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tanya will direct offers of donations to the appropriate lead, depending on the nature of the offer. For example, offers of food donations will be directed to Volunteer Services. This process ensures all donations are vetted, collected, stored, recorded, distributed and acknowledged.
For questions about COVID-19 testing criteria, please contact the TBDHU’s Infectious Disease Program at 807-625-5900 or toll free at 1-888-294-6630.
Local COVID-19 case status: https://www.tbdhu.com/coronavirus
Provincial COVID-19 case status: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-0
Canada COVID-19 case status: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
COVID-19 Daily Situation Report videos: http://tbrhsc.net/covid-19-information
All Hospital COVID-19 updates are available on the iNtranet at https://comms.tbrhsc.net/covid-19-information/