Sudbury hospital continues to be open for all services and clinics despite COVID-19 outbreak

·3 min read

Health Sciences North said despite the coronavirus outbreak at the hospital and despite Sudbury being put into the Grey Lockdown mode as per provincial public health regulations, HSN continues to be a "safe place" for anyone needing to visit the emergency room, or any clinics or outpatient programs they are involved in.

It was revealed late Friday that an outbreak of COVID-19 was happening at the "COVID-19 hallway" of the sixth floor South Tower of the hospital. HSN said an outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases involving patients or staff within a specified area within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in the hospital.

HSN said the hospital's Outbreak Management Team has taken action to ensure safety of all HSN employees, physicians and learners, patients and designated care partners.

Admissions and designated care partners to the affected unit are restricted. Some patients are in isolation, being monitored for symptoms and have been tested. Follow up contact tracing has occurred and there are no patients who have tested positive associated with this outbreak at this time, said a statement from HSN Friday evening.

Additional infection, prevention and control measures are in place such as strict hand hygiene, heightened infection surveillance, additional use of personal protective equipment, laboratory testing and enhanced cleaning and disinfection.

Also, with the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the community and at the hospital and to reduce any risk of potential transmission, all adult inpatients at HSN will only be allowed one Designated Care Partner (DCP) as of Friday, March 12, 2021, said HSN.

"This measure is temporary and will be revisited in the coming weeks as the situation in the community develops. Children and youth, as well as those patients who are at the end of life will still be allowed to have two Designated Care Partners," said the HSN statement.

A SAFE PLACE

“Currently the outbreak is contained to the Covid-19 hallway of the 6th floor South Tower where COVID-19 positive patients are normally admitted. There is no evidence of ongoing transmission at this time. HSN remains open with clinics and procedures continuing as normal. HSN continues to be a safe place for patients, designated care partners, staff, learners and volunteers,” said Mark Hartman, HSN’s Senior Vice President of Patient Experience.

Mask wearing will also continue to be mandatory, said HSN. If you're visiting the emergency room and do not have a mask, one will be provided for you.

The hospital also reports that by the end of this week, all of HSN’s highest priority healthcare workers will have had the chance to receive their vaccine. Furthermore, over half of the very high priority workers will have been vaccinated. Thanks to the diligent work of our vaccine team, more than 56 per cent of HSN’s staff will have been vaccinated in just three weeks, said the HSN report.

The hospital has also reported that the demand for testing at HSN’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre has increased greatly in the last week with recent outbreaks in Sudbury.

"This demand has lead to an increase in wait times for testing. HSN asks everyone to please be patient and kind with our staff who are doing all they can to process requests as fast as possible. It is important that more people use the online booking tool to book their appointment. It’s quick, convenient and easy to use. Furthermore, it means you don’t have to sit on hold waiting to speak to someone," said the HSN statement.

Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com