Effective May 14, universal masking is in effect at the Deep River and District Hospital and North Renfrew Family Health Team. The enhanced protection measure means that all staff, patients, visitors, and persons in the building will be required to wear a mask at all times.
Previously, clinical staff or those interacting with the patient environment were wearing masks. Before today, not all patients or visitors have been required to wear a mask.
All persons entering the organization will be screened as before, however, they will now be provided with a mask to wear for the duration of their stay. Individuals are encouraged to wear their own mask from home to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by health care workers at higher risk. A mask will be provided to any individual who does not have one at the point of entry, or who requires a higher level of protection than the mask they arrive in.
"The implementation of universal masking was done based on a proactive assessment of risk. As the health care industry begins to plan to resume more clinical services, and as the province progressively lifts restrictions, masking of all individuals across the organization assists in minimizing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to our essential health care workforce,” said Janna Hotson, VP Clinical Services and COVID-19 Response Team Lead.
Health Canada has sanctioned and encouraged the use of cloth masks by the public, for ‘outward protection’, i.e. to protect others from the possible germs of the wearer. The goal of the public wearing masks is to reduce overall transmission of the virus, therefor protecting all of us.
Everyone is reminded that Public Health recommends maintaining a distance of 2 meters from others at all times, even when wearing a mask. Hand hygiene and proper use of masks are also essential to maintaining safety. Before a mask is put on, if the mask is touched, adjusted, or removed, hand hygiene should be performed.
The organization has received a number of hand-sewn cloth masks from members of our community, and we are so grateful for the support. If there are additional volunteers willing to donate cloth masks using their own materials, we will gladly accept them. Donated masks can be dropped off in the blue bin located outside of the Emergency Department entrance. Thank you for helping us continue to provide excellent, compassionate health care in the safest way possible.