RMH preparations during COVID-19 pandemic
KAWARTHA LAKES: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Ross Memorial Hospital’s leaders, physicians and staff are grateful for the incredible community support we have received. We hope that many of the plans we’ve put in place will not be required if our efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ have been successful. COVID-19 Assessment and Testing Our COVID-19 Assessment Centre continues to provide assessments over the phone, and referral for further assessment and testing if needed. Our assessment team has provided 1607 assessments and 434 tests since first opening on March 15th. Positive cases continue to be reported on our health unit’s website: www.hkpr.on.ca With the testing capacity in Ontario increased, our hospital is now sending tests daily to Kingston General Hospital’s lab, and we’ve consistently received test results back within 24-48 hours. The backlog in tests throughout the province has reduced significantly. The provincial government has also launched a new, user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their test results, available at ontario.ca/coronavirus. Care and Capacity We have established a dedicated unit for the care of patients with probable or positive COVID-19. We are currently providing care to three inpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19. By working together with government, community partners, patients and families, we have been able to discharge many patients who do not require acute care, whether to home with community supports, long-term care or retirement residence. These efforts have resulted in 55 empty beds available for a potential increase in inpatient cases of COVID-19. If needed, the Hospital is able to open an additional 48 beds by May, by repurposing several clinic spaces that are currently closed. Should the demand exceed the in-hospital bed capacity, the hospital would implement plans, currently in development with community partners, to open an off-site care setting. Carefully managing our supplies and equipment We continue to follow the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s directives for proper P.P.E. usage for the care of probable or positive COVID-19 patients. Ontario Health has asked hospitals to not discard N95 and surgical masks, as evidence supports there are methods of reprocessing and reusing P.P.E. Ontario Health will release guidance on sterilization of N95 masks in the coming days. Our government has secured a stock of P.P.E. and has managed its distribution at a provincial level. RMH has received a delivery from the provincial supply, including procedure/surgical masks and gowns. All health care providers have been ordered to provide daily inventory reports to the province to enable provincial resource management.
How you can help We continue to accept donations of unopened/unused surgical masks, N95 respirator masks, gloves, and waterproof gowns to support our front-line workers. Please contact Marc Sorensen, by email at email@example.com or phone at 705-324-6111 extension 8952, to arrange your donation during regular business hours. Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation has established a special fund, called Heroes at Heart, to support urgent equipment and technology needs as the Ross responds to the pandemic. To support the COVID-19 response at RMH, please give to our Heroes at Heart fund by phone at 705-328-6146, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at www.rmh.org/foundation. While homemade masks are not being accepted for healthcare workers, they are an option for patients who are leaving the hospital and heading home. If you sew and would like to donate a homemade mask, please visit our Foundation’s website to learn more. Please continue to follow the advice of government and public health officials by staying home. Up-to-date information is available at ontario.ca/coronavirus. Information specific to RMH at rmh.org/covid-19.