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COVID-19 Media Release #3 March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020


March 25, 2020

The Kirkland and District Hospital / Englehart and District Hospital are continuing to provide key health care services to our communities in light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation. The current environment has been rapidly changing in response to the volume of increasing COVID-19 cases across the Province, including a confirmed case within Timiskaming District as announced yesterday by Dr. Glenn Corneil, the Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Timiskaming Health Unit. Our hospitals are working closely with our local community partners, health unit, and Provincial Government authorities (Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario) as we continue to prepare for an expected increase in COVID-19 testing and patient needs.

Our hospitals are very focused on the safety of our patients and our staff, and we are taking measures and precautions to limit risk and exposure at both hospital sites, including:

Increased Visitor Restrictions:

A complete visitor restriction is now in effect at both hospital sites. All inpatients and their families have been contacted to advise of this heightened visitor restriction. Exceptions will be considered in certain cases involving trauma or palliative care situations. Our hospitals are supporting "virtual" visiting options for inpatients where possible. Our hospital cafeterias are also closed to visitors and the general public.

Out-Patient Service Reductions:

As noted previously, the hospitals have cancelled the following outpatient services until further notice: Physiotherapy, Respiratory Therapy, and Occupational Therapy.

Effective immediately, all other outpatient services (including Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging) are moving to a scheduled appointment basis for essential tests until further notice. Patients will not be able to access outpatient services unless it has been scheduled by appointment in advance. No "walk-in" testing is available. Please contact your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns about the nature or requirements for any tests you have been prescribed.

The Dialysis and Oncology Treatment Programs at Kirkland and District Hospital will continue to operate in the usual manner according to existing appointment schedules. All patients presenting for these treatments should identify themselves while being screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the main entrance.

Hospital Access & Active Screening at Entrances:

Access to our hospitals is being controlled for all emergency department, visitor (when permitted) and outpatient services. COVID-19 screening is being done at all entrances and any person presenting that does not meet the screening criteria or has flu or cold like symptoms will not be permitted entry and referred to their primary care provider.

At both Englehart and District Hospital / Kirkland and District Hospital, access to the emergency department continues to be available 24 hours a day / 7 days per week. Our emergency departments are focused on providing urgent medical care and performing COVID-19 testing. We are requesting that individuals with non-urgent or administrative needs (i.e.: doctors notes, test results, etc.) contact their health care provider or the local Family Health Team / Centre De Santé for assistance.

At Kirkland and District Hospital, access through the main entrance is possible for visitors (when permitted) and scheduled outpatient services, between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm.

At Englehart and District Hospital, access for all services is through the emergency department entrance.

Restrictions for Elective / Non-Urgent Surgeries:

Elective and non-urgent surgeries have been cancelled at Kirkland and District Hospital. Affected patients have been contacted to defer their procedures to a later date.

As a community hospital in Northern Ontario, we are asking all residents in Timiskaming District to please keep well informed from credible and factual sources on the proper COVID-19 precautions (including self-isolation, social distancing, and self-monitoring for symptoms) that will greatly assist us with managing patient volumes and care! For additional and up-to-date COVID-19 related information please contact the Timiskaming Health Unit: Kirkland Lake at 1-866-967-9355 or Englehart at 1-877-544-2221 (website: www.timiskaminghu.com).

If you need immediate medical attention, please call 911, and tell first responders about your symptoms and any recent travel, so that appropriate precautions can be put in place.


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