Over the next few weeks, Renfrew County’s five hospitals will be transitioning to self-screening for everyone entering the facilities. Those entering will also be directed through signage to wash their hands and take a mask to wear for the time they are in the facilities.
This phased-in transition from active screening, where visitors are asked a number of questions prior to entry about their own health or possible exposure to COVID-19, to passive screening, where they are asked to self-assess their circumstances and return home if they are unwell, is the result of significantly reduced COVID-19 transmission both in the community at large and in the region’s health care facilities. However, active screening will continue to be in effect for the long-term care homes affiliated with the regional hospitals.
All updates to the hospitals’ pandemic response measures are based on guidance from the Renfrew County and District Health Unit.
Going forward, everyone entering the hospitals will continue to be required to sanitize their hands and take a new mask to wear at all times from a dispenser at the entrance.
Patients who feel unwell will be asked to ensure that the health care provider at their appointment is aware of their symptoms.
Additionally, those visiting someone in hospital will be guided to:
• Return home if they feel unwell or have symptoms of any illness that may be contagious.
• Wear all appropriate personal protective equipment (including masks) and strictly adhere to all health and safety guidelines.
While visitors will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination upon entry, it is hoped that everyone will have received all available doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect staff and patients from transmission of the virus and limit the risk of hospitalization and/or serious illness.
“COVID-19 continues to spread within our community. It continues to be important to use layers of protection, including vaccination, to protect those who are at higher risk of severe illness and death,” said Dr. Robert Cushman, Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Renfrew County and District Health Unit.
“Rates of infection, hospitalization and ICU admission continue to be higher among those who are unvaccinated compared to those who have received at least 2 doses,” Dr. Cushman said.
Visitors play an important role in the healing process and Renfrew County’s hospitals are very pleased to be able to ease some restrictions at this time thanks, in part, to the community’s cooperation and adherence to COVID-19 precautions during the pandemic.
The situation will be monitored closely, and hospitals will be ready to re-introduce infection control and occupational health measures should they be required.
For the most up-to-date information about a specific hospital and when this will go into effect at each facility, please visit their website or follow them on social media.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Heather Coughlin, Renfrew Victoria Hospital / St. Francis Memorial Hospital
Amy Joyce, Deep River and District Hospital
Carolyn Levesque, Pembroke Regional Hospital
Melissa McDermott, Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital