By Don Crosby
Although there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is now known, in the region, the head of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre is confident the hospital’s four sites are ready for any eventuality.
“We have not had anyone present with the symptoms, or travelling from an infected area coming to the hospital,” said Mike Barrett, CEO and president of SBGHC.
He told the centre’s board of directors that the hospital is making sure staff and equipment are prepared. That means having the proper protective equipment, such as gowns, gloves, masks and face shields in place.
“When you wear a mask, you have to make sure it fits properly so there is no chance of contamination coming in,” said Barrett.
Barrett said a mask fitting blitz is being carried out at all four sites to make sure the staff have properly fitted masks. The current compliance rate is 70 per cent, but Barrett expects that number will in increase in the coming days.
Negative pressure rooms are also being inspected by the maintenance staff. Such rooms would be a place where someone with an infection is held and the air from the room is exhausted to the outside, so there is no circulation of the air back into the hospital.
Barrett said the preparations for COVID-19 is in keeping with past preparations for SARS and Ebola several years ago. At that time, hospitals had to make a number of changes to respond to those emergencies.
“Now those are all in place. We have screening processes in place, we have the personal protective equipment that we need, so really this is just ramping it up a bit to make sure that we’re prepared,” said Barrett.
By Don Crosby