The Hay River Regional Health Centre has been “putting in the work” to get ready for additional demands as a result of COVID-19.
So says Erin Griffiths, the CEO of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.
“There have been a number of changes made in the best interest of our clients, and to free up resources for response,” said Griffiths in written responses to questions from The Hub.
Some of the changes at the health centre and elsewhere in the healthcare system in Hay River include:
- Screening upon arrival at the Hay River Regional Health Centre.
- Monitoring of entrance doors to emergency services, which are still available with no change. Visitors and patients will require screening prior to entry.
- Visitation cancelled at the Woodland Manor long-term-care facility, Supportive Living Services and the dialysis unit at the health centre.
- Visitation to inpatients at the Hay River Regional Health Centre limited to one person per visit, who must be screened.
- Frontline staff and management ensuring protections and protocols are in place for workers and others within healthcare facilities to reduce the spread of the virus in those settings. That includes ensuring a sufficient stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers and testing supplies.
- Planning and preparation for a possible surge in cases that may affect regular delivery of health services.
“Our staff are routinely trained and orientated to infectious disease protocols and equipment such as donning and doffing of PPE, proper hand washing and mask fit testing,” Griffiths noted. “We recently reviewed our staff lists to ensure they are up to date with all requirements.”
The CEO noted that the health centre has the ability to treat people for COVID-19.
“The Hay River Regional Health Centre and its staff are equipped and trained to treat a wide variety of both chronic and acute medical conditions and emergencies, including respiratory diseases such as COVID-19,” she said.
The Hay River Regional Health Centre has two ventilators.
Griffiths added that Yellowknife and Edmonton hospitals would be able to fill in the intensive care gaps at a smaller, regional health centre like in Hay River.
The CEO said it’s all hands on deck on the frontlines against COVID-19, and staff are tirelessly working to prepare to support the health and wellbeing of the community and themselves in the face of a pandemic situation.