COVID-19 WAVE 2 CHANGES at ESHC: New Tiered Visitor Policy & Directives
November 21, 2020
ATTENTION:ESHC Moves to “No Visitor Policy” Reinstated at ESHC – Effective 12:01am Wednesday December 2nd, 2020
Based on rapidly rising case rates for COVID-19 and active outbreaks at Windsor Regional Hospital and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Erie Shores Healthcare has consulted with the local Public Health Unit and is reinstituting a NO VISITOR POLICY, effective 12:01 am, Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020.
This difficult decision is intended as a precaution to keep patients, families and our health care teams safe as transmission rates rise across Windsor Essex and Chatham Kent.
High patient volumes throughout our system and reduced bed capacity is challenging the entire regional health care system and we must do what we can to limit the opportunity for further spread of the COVID-19 virus.
There are LIMITED exceptions to the no visitors policy in place.
Nearly nine months into this pandemic, ESHC is now facing our most significant challenge – wave 2.
Windsor-Essex County has seen a steady and concerning rise in COVID-19 cases.
Erie Shore HealthCare (ESHC) has been at the forefront providing oversight and support in several areas over the past two weeks.
Including in Long Term Care and Retirement Home’s, the Agri Sector and in congregate settings. In addition, ESHC has been involved in many regional and provincial tables in the planning for Wave 2.
Within the last 24 – 48 hours, we have now experienced an increase in the number of individuals presenting to our Emergency Room and COVID Assessment Centre with symptoms of COVID-19, which in turn has resulted in admissions to hospital and capacity challenges.
On Friday, the province moved Windsor-Essex County from “Yellow” to “Orange”. As expected our local Public Health Unit has included additional more stringent directives to Code Orange to minimize the community spread.
How do these directives affect our hospital on a move forward:
1.) Visitors and Spiritual Care
During the first wave, we noted that eliminating visitors and spiritual care was detrimental to the well-being of our patients. We do need to balance allowing visitors with minimizing the foot traffic throughout the hospital.
Effective Monday, November 23rd the visitor policy will be amended to reflect a new tiered approach that aligns with the new provincial colour-coding system.
2.) Non-Essential Workers
Enable, as possible, work from home options for employees. We have identified several groups as able to have alternative work plans.
3.) Internal Practice Measures
a.) Plexiglas dividers will be set up in the cafeteria and in lunchrooms that remain open.
b.) All office workers (managers, directors, physicians, human resources, patient advocate, etc.) will have their office doors closed and signage indicating that they are in, please knock before entering to allow them to be able to don a mask.
c.) No in-person meetings.
These directives and measures are not meant to be harsh, but meant to protect our patients and our team members in the months ahead.
Like the first wave, we will get through this as a team and as a community – together.
Updates on the COVID-19 situation will be made as needed on ESHC’s multiple social media platforms.