Hospital’s Internal COVID-19 Pandemic Response Moves to Level Grey

In response to the increase in COVID-19 admissions to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and across the province, as well as the impact of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, our Hospital has moved its internal COVID-19 Pandemic Response Level from Red (Control) to Grey (Lockdown).

As part of this response, our Hospital has implemented new measures to protect the health and safety of staff, patients and the community such as testing all new admissions for COVID-19, ramping down clinical services and limiting access for Essential Care Partners (ECPs), contractors and vendors. Patients are allowed one ECP, with exceptions being vetted through unit managers to the Incident Management Team. “Hot zones” will only have ECPs that are essential to the care of patients, with exceptions being vetted through onsite unit leadership. Areas in outbreak will not be allowed to have ECPs, and will only be permitted under special circumstances. Any requests for exceptions will need to be addressed through unit managers. There is no change to ECP guidelines for palliative care and patients will continue to be supported as per previous guidelines.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are reminding all patients (inpatients & outpatients) and ECPs that wearing a procedure mask (level 3 or higher) is required while inside the Hospital. All patients and ECPs will be provided with a mask at either the Screening desk or outpatient area including the Emergency Department (ED), Labour & Delivery, and outpatient clinics in other buildings. Outpatients and all ECPs must wear a mask (level 3 or higher) at all times, and masks should be replaced when damaged, soiled or wet. All inpatients must endeavor to wear a procedure mask (level 3 or higher) during all interactions with Hospital staff, professional staff, learners and volunteers, when being transported out of their room and when physical distancing of two meters is not possible. Masks will be replaced daily or when damaged, soiled or wet.

Our ED continues to experience high-volumes. The public is reminded that due to the amount of cases of COVID-19 in the community, and to limit potential exposure by visiting the ED, if you think you have COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms or have mild symptoms, you may wish to call your primary care provider or TeleHealth Ontario for advice on managing mild COVID-19 symptoms at home. Our ED is not a COVID-19 testing centre, and coming in risks exposing vulnerable people and yourself to the coronavirus.

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