Tuesday, June 2, 2020
COVID-19 Status as of 11:20 am:
Tests performed yesterday (Assessment Centre and in Hospital) = 273
Performed total (Assessment Centre and in Hospital) = 4970
Presumptive Cases in Hospital = 52
Total Positive Cases in Hospital = 2
Positive Cases in ICU = 0
Patients in COVID-19 Care Unit = 7
Hospital Occupancy = 80.1%
Thank you to all staff and professional
staff for your responses to the possible COVID-19 outbreak currently under
investigation at our Hospital. Since the pandemic began, staff and professional
staff have demonstrated extraordinary dedication, a willingness to go above and
beyond the call of duty, and working outside of comfort zones. Yesterday’s news
of the possible outbreak disappointed many of you, and that is understandable.
Many of you have shared your feelings of anger, fear, sadness and support. All
responses are valid, and all are appreciated. You are heard, and together, we
will work through this.
Since yesterday, activities have been implemented in response to the possible outbreak. There has been communication with everyone who was traced to the contact. Impacted patients and many staff have been tested, with more testing to take place today. Roving COVID-19 test carts will visit areas of high priority today, including the cardiac cath lab and OR. Any staff who wishes to be tested is encouraged to schedule an appointment by contacting Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) at email@example.com or 684-6240. Thank you to those who have already booked tests. Your patience is appreciated as appointments may be scheduled for a few days from now.
Terminal cleaning of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is in progress. A large portion of the terminal clean was completed yesterday, including the nursing stations. The highly professional performance of the Housekeeping staff is appreciated.
Patients have been contacted to postpone non-essential appointments previously scheduled for this week. Many leaders and staff acted quickly to implement a pause on clinical activity, which was required to limit unnecessary visits to the Hospital. Thanks to the efforts of many, most patients were contacted prior to arriving to the Hospital.
Several people have asked why a physician is allowed to come from outside of Northwestern Ontario to provide care at our Hospital. The answer is that there is a shortage of specialized physicians here. Patients in our region depend on physicians who live elsewhere to provide critical services. For the first months of the pandemic, the Hospital restricted any travel from outside the region, including for physicians. The increased demand on local physicians, who worked extended hours to provide care, caused exhaustion and could not be sustained.
As a result of our dependency, specific measures are in place for physicians who come from outside of Northwestern Ontario. Physicians must sign a strict protocol, which prescribes use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while at our hospital. All essential physicians from outside Northwestern Ontario are screened prior to arrival to this region. Those who develop COVID-19 symptoms or have suspected exposure are tested. While working at our Hospital, they must wear a mask and gloves during patient interactions. Physicians who have worked in “hot zones” in other health care facilities are not permitted to work here. While screening is mandatory, isolation for 14 days prior to coming to or upon arrival in Thunder Bay is not feasible for most physicians who are willing to travel to meet our critical care needs.
The protocol is under review for immediate improvement opportunities. A new screening tool is in development, which requires that testing for COVID-19 occurs upon arrival in Thunder Bay and prior to entering the Hospital as an extra precautionary measure.
Staff are asking good questions and providing important input. This is most welcome and helps to understand your valuable perspectives, and the various ways in which you are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, developments and decisions. Please do not hesitate to bring forward your comments, questions and ideas. We are in this together.
Finally, thank you for respecting physical distancing when possible, and wearing masks when it is not. These efforts protect you, and prevent the spread of infection to others. If you see a colleague who is not practicing physical distancing and not wearing a mask, please provide a respectful and friendly reminder to them.
All previously issued COVID-19 Daily Situation Reports are available at https://comms.tbrhsc.net/covid-19-information/past-daily-updates/.
Please forward any questions/concerns to your supervisor.
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/