Level Orange (Restrict) and Essential Care Partners
by Raiili Pellizzari
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) has had a significant rise in the number COVID-19 positive cases over the last several weeks. This has resulted in an increased number of admissions to both the medical/surgical units and critical care. In order to protect our patients, staff and visitors we have moved our internal COVID-19 Pandemic Response Level to Orange (Restrict) as of Friday, August 5th.
As reflected in our Essential Care Partner (ECP) guidelines, in Response Level Orange, ECP access is reduced to two ECPs per day with only one at bedside at a time. Please note that children or siblings under the age of 16 are not permitted to act as ECPs or attend inpatient/outpatient areas. We appreciate that this restriction may require you to make childcare arrangements for siblings, and we thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. Under special circumstances there may be a consideration for exception for an additional ECP. In circumstances where imminent death is anticipated or possible within seven days, the patient may have unlimited ECPs and Care Partners (CPs) (two at a time), 24 hours/day. For COVID-19 positive patients, an ECP Risk Consent must be signed. In a unit with an outbreak of COVID-19, there is no ECP in-person access within the affected area unless exceptional circumstances have been determined through the Unit Manager or designate.
ECPs who become COVID-19 positive, experience COVID-19 symptoms or who have had contact with another person with COVID-19, should not attend the Hospital.
ECPs must be oriented and demonstrate proper personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols including hand washing, putting on and taking off PPE and adhering to all Hospital guidelines. The Care Partner Liaison can be reached at (807) 684-7865 to arrange ECP orientation and answer any questions.
We recognize the importance of family, friends, community and cultural practices in supporting well-being for our patients, so we are offering other methods to stay connected. Tele-visitation offers a real time, face to face, secure video connection between the patients and visitors, regardless of where the patient is located. The patient can be located on any inpatient unit including ICU, or outpatient areas such as Renal Services, Emergency Department or TBaytel Tamarack House. Contact a Care Partner Liaison for assistance in coordinating a virtual visit or connecting you with your loved ones by phone messaging, etc. between 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., seven days a week. A request for Tele-Visitation form ( https://bit.ly/TeleVIsitationForm-TBRHSC ) can also be completed and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been a long and overwhelming two years, and for some people, tolerance for COVID-19 precautions is wearing thin. As an acute care facility, we must remain diligent in protecting our most vulnerable and our staff at all times. In order to protect our vulnerable patients and our staff, and to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, it is necessary for us to limit the number of people entering our facility. This means limiting the number of ECPs and CPs who are present at any given time. We ask for your support and patience and to treat our dedicated team of nurses, physicians, staff and volunteers respectfully, as they continue to provide unparalleled care to our community.