Surgeries rescheduled at Sudbury hospital after COVID-19 outbreak

·2 min read

Health Sciences North has decided to slow down its surgery schedule as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak that was declared at the hospital on the weekend.

It was Saturday that Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Health Sciences North’s Ramsey Lake Health Centre affecting two hallways of the sixth floor, South Tower. Specifically, the outbreak was contained to hallways J and K in that part of the hospital.

Public Health is actively working with the hospital to investigate the outbreak and ensure patients and staff are protected. Currently, the outbreak has been contained and there is no evidence of ongoing transmission, the hospital said.

Public Health or Health Sciences North will directly contact anyone identified as a close contact and provide further direction, said a notice from the hospital.

In a news release Sunday evening, HSN said it is postponing all 55 non-urgent elective surgeries that have been scheduled for this week (Feb. 8 to Feb. 14). These are surgeries that would have required patients to have an overnight stay.

"This will bring HSN’s surgical activity to approximately 80 per cent of historical volumes. Patients will be contacted by the hospital if their procedure has been rescheduled. There is no need to call the hospital," said HSN.

The same release also revealed that surgeries had been running at a 105-per-cent rate compared to historical volumes since October when it was decided to ramp up procedures in order to catch up with the many surgeries that had been cancelled in the first wave of the pandemic, almost a year ago.

Since the current outbreak was declared on Saturday, HAS said it has taken a number of measures to deal with it. Admissions and designated care partners to the affected unit are restricted. Patients are in isolation, being monitored and tested for symptoms. 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, said HSN.

In the meantime, the hospital 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 the news release.

Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,