What to expect when going to the hospital amid Coronavirus anxiety

Medical Centres Across the Region Taking Added Steps at the Door

With two confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus now confirmed in Ontario, health professionals are taking added steps when patients come through the door.

In Barrie, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is telling patients and visitors to expect some new protocols at the front door, including:

  • Enhanced screening measures: Patients are already screened at entry points of care such as the Emergency Department and outpatient clinics. This includes questions about flu-like symptoms, cough and travel within the past two weeks. Patients with a travel history to high-risk areas in China, or those who have had contact with anyone who travelled to China and is unwell, will trigger additional screening, protection and care in a negative pressure room. RVH has 11 negative pressure rooms.
  • Patients with symptoms or travel history will be masked and cared for in an isolation, negative pressure room by staff wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including contact, droplet and airborne precautions.
  • Updated signage at facility entrances, with patients and visitors being asked to don a mask if they have symptoms or have travelled from China recently.
  • More frequent and enhanced cleaning in our busy areas.

In Orillia, Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital also has added similar precautions in place for patients and visitors to the medical centre. Hospital officials tell Barrie 360 that, in addition to enhanced screening measures, supply levels are being assessed to make sure the medical centre is well-stocked. Patients with symptoms and travel history will be masked and cared for in isolation.

Alliston’s Stevenson Memorial Hospital says its front line staff are being given added information about the disease, in order to know what to look for. “All patients that are registering at the Hospital have an Infection Control Screening that addresses the potential for infectious diseases, such as 2019-n-CoV,” reads a statement from the hospital. “Staff at Registration have been provided information related to the criteria for a potential Person Under Investigation (PUI).  If a person at Registration is identified, the person would be requested to put a mask on, and would be guided to the Emergency Triage area.”

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has additional protocols in place for when patients or visitors enter the hospital, including:

  • Enhanced screening measures: Patients are already screened at entry points of care such as the Emergency Department and outpatient clinics. This includes questions about flu-like symptoms, cough and travel within the past two weeks. Patients with a travel history to high-risk areas in China, or those who have had contact with anyone who travelled to China and is unwell, will trigger additional screening, protection and care in a negative pressure room.
  • Patients with symptoms and travel history will be masked, placed in isolation and cared for by employees wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including contact, droplet and airborne precautions.
  • Updated signage at entrances that ask patients and visitors to don a mask if they have symptoms and have travelled from China recently.

Georgian Bay General Hospital in Midland says while the risk of infection in our region is low, added screening measures have been added, while the hospital says it continues to work closely with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.