Welcome to South Bruce Grey Health Centre

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Important Information for Patients & Visitors
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SBGHC is taking steps to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians as we respond to the COVID-19 situation. We have already begun to implement changes in the operation of our four sites, and more changes are anticipated over the coming days. The COVID-19 situation is evolving quite quickly, and we are working to ensure the information we provide to the public about the operation of the hospital is timely and clear.

 

Assessment Centre

As part of the COVID-19 response across Grey and Bruce Counties, the three hospital corporations (Grey Bruce Health Services, South Bruce Grey Health Centre and Hanover and District Hospital) have submitted plans to the provincial government to open assessment centres in Owen Sound, Hanover and Kincardine.

 

An Assessment Centre is intended to be a location away from regular hospital operations that will provide screening, assessment, testing and disposition management for mildly symptomatic and “worried well” members of the public who either self-present or are referred for assessment for COVID-19. The Centres will be in close proximity to the hospital Emergency Departments (ED), but will be separate and distinct from the ED.

 

The Assessment Centre at SBGHC will include both a drive through area (where persons do not leave their car for assessment), and a zone separated from our main hospital that will serve as a space for those that require further assessment or minor treatment.  If people require emergency medical care, or are coming to the hospital for reasons not associated with possible COVID-19 symptoms, they should continue to come to the Emergency Department as usual.

 

Patients who do not require emergency care, but who are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, can utilize the Assessment Centre where a staff member will determine the need for further assessment, testing, and/or provide information as to how to isolate and manage symptoms.

 

Please watch for future communications around the opening of these Centres, and their hours of operation.

 

SBGHC is also very pleased to be working closely with the Brockton Area and Kincardine Family Health Team to assist us in staffing these Centres. In addition, the Grey Bruce Health Unit will play an active role around surveillance and tracking at the Centres.

 

Active Screening, Limiting Visitors, and Suspension of Volunteer Programs

Early next week, SBGHC will moving forward with active screening which means that access at each of our four hospital sites will be restricted to one entrance. All visitors entering the hospital will be greeted by a SBGHC staff member who will proactively check for symptoms and ask about recent travel history and contacts. Staff and physicians will have a separate entrance.

 

SBGHC will also be limiting the number of visitors coming to see a patient to one person. We would ask that you respect this restriction as we are looking out for the health of your loved ones. However, our staff will be available to meet with families and caregivers around special circumstances.

 

We will also be suspending our volunteer and high school co-op programs. We value the important contributions of our volunteers and high-school students, and look forward to when we will have them back inside the hospital.

 

Separation of Waiting Room Space

The public will also begin to see changes in our Emergency Department waiting rooms. We are making changes to create designated waiting areas for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms. These changes will include both the construction of temporary walls, and the use of space formerly used for other purposes. We want to ensure the separation of people with and without respiratory symptoms.

 

Travel Guidelines for Staff

A notice has been issued to all staff that SBGHC is discouraging any travel outside of Canada. All international travel by staff must be registered with their manager, and Occupational Health and Safety will provide staff with monitoring requirements.

 

Implementation of Plan

As you can see, this is not business as usual. SBGHC is taking some extraordinary steps to protect our patients, staff and physicians in order that the hospital can continue to provide care 24/7 throughout the duration of this event.

 

With the majority of hospitals across the province already operating at near, full or over capacity, a significant surge in the number of patients can create serious capacity challenges for hospitals to care for those patients who need it most. And the challenges are not just restricted to physical space - we will also be challenged to ensure we have enough staff to operate the hospital if our workforce is ultimately impacted by COVID-19.

 

The implementation of these actions will require additional staff and resources. To ensure we have enough space and staff to respond to this situation, we will begin to take steps to reduce/suspend some programs and services in our hospital. Notification of these changes will be communicated to patients by the particular offices and agencies starting on March 16, 2020.

 

What can you do?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home from work if you are sick. 
  • If you are feeling ill and do not require hospital care, please do not visit the hospital.

 

Given that the situation with COVID-19 changes daily, and in addition to these practical health protection tips, the best advice is to stay informed. Read reliable sources of information to help determine your own risk, and the best methods for protecting yourself and your family. Visit Public Health Ontario for local advice, or the US Centre for Disease Control for international news on the virus.

 

Please note, our Emergency Department staff are not able to give health advice over the phone. If you are unsure about whether to come to the Emergency Department, please contact:

 

Telehealth Ontario

1-866-797-0000

 

If you have general questions regarding COVID-19, please contact:

Grey Bruce Health Unit.

Phone: 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456

Email: publichealth@publichealthgreybruce.on.ca

 

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