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  • Ron Davidson

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KAWARTHA LAKES: Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) continues to work with community, regional and provincial partners to respond to the progressing COVID-19 pandemic. “While the situation changes daily, we rely on our strong relationships throughout the healthcare sector, locally, and across Ontario. Our team is ready to help where needed and provides exceptional care for our patients,” stated Kelly Isfan, President and CEO.

Outbreak declared ‘over’ The COVID-19 outbreak on RMH’s Continuing Care Program (CCP1) unit has been declared ‘over’ as of May 7th. The hospital worked with Public Health to complete contact tracing and testing, and the outbreak remains limited to one patient and one staff member. “Our team quickly identified and contained the spread of COVID-19 on the unit, maintaining the safety of our patients and staff,” said Ms. Isfan.

Testing and support for long-term care and retirement homes RMH, in partnership with Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services and Public Health, continues to support our local long-term care and retirement homes with COVID-19 assessment and testing. This testing offers a ‘point-in-time’ indicator of COVID-19 in residents and staff, which can support the team in quickly containing the potential spread of the virus. The hospital is also helping these partners with additional Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) education.

Hospital services While many of the hospital’s elective procedures have been reduced, some care programs have moved to online and phone appointments. For example, our mental health, diabetes, and cardiac rehab teams are all staying in touch with patients virtually. Patients who are coming to the hospital are screened over the phone prior to their appointment and participate in additional screening at the hospital entrance. Their care team wears Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) throughout their appointment. The Province of Ontario has released a framework for reintroducing regular hospital services, including scheduled surgeries. RMH is in the planning phase to resume these services, using the criteria in the framework to guide decision-making. Hospitals cannot resume elective procedures and surgeries without regional approval, or while the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directive #2 remains in place. Our team is looking forward to resuming services and surgeries that have been postponed.

Don’t wait to seek emergency care “The Emergency Department has seen a significant decrease in visits, but this does not mean our community members are not experiencing medical emergencies,” explained Ms. Isfan, “Our team is here for you, and we don’t want you to delay a hospital visit if you need care.” If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please visit the Emergency Department: • Seizure or convulsions • A broken bone or wound requiring stitches • Chest pain or tightness in the chest • Difficulty breathing • Abdominal pain • Confusion and disorientation • Stiff neck and sensitivity to light • Continuous vomiting or severe diarrhea with signs of dehydration • Sudden severe headache, weakness, vision problems, numbness/tingling, trouble speaking, dizziness. Any infant under 3 months of age, with a fever over 38.5C/101F or has a fever and is difficult to wake, should be seen at the Emergency Department.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre The RMH COVID-19 Assessment Centre is available at 705-328-6217, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Testing is by appointment at the Lindsay Exhibition. The hospital continues to work with local paramedics to provide in-home appointments for those who cannot get to the exhibition grounds. They encourage community members to call if they are experiencing new onset of the following symptoms (even if mild): • Fever/chills • Cough • Shortness of breath • Sore throat • Runny nose • Nasal congestion • Difficulty swallowing • Unexplained fatigue • Unexplained headache • Joint/muscle aches • Loss of taste or smell Stay up-to-date. Positive cases continue to be reported on our health unit’s website at www.hkpr.on.ca.

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