The Hay River Health and Social Services (HRHSSA) has been extremely busy providing testing, vaccine clinics and Covid-19 response and is operating at reduced services, said Erin Griffiths, CEO.

“Regular appointments and clinics have been postponed and rescheduled to a later date,” she said in an Oct. 25 email. “All other HRHSSA program areas are providing regularly scheduled services.

Griffiths said the health centre is equipped to manage capacity demands for increased cases of Covid-19 through the Territory Pandemic Response Plan for Health Services.

People showing signs of the virus will be cared for based on the level of severity they are experiencing, she added.

“If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms, they will be asked to self isolate at home and a member of our Public Health team will support them virtually or with in-person assessments as required,” she said.

“All patients with moderate or severe symptoms will be assessed in person.

“The Hay River Regional Health Centre is able to provide temporary support should a patient with moderate to severe symptoms require transfer to Stanton Territorial Hospital for further treatment.”

Flu shot season

Griffiths said that health care workers have been challenged in being able to provide regular flu vaccine services.

“HRHSSA staff have been redeployed to assist with the additional demands of the outbreak in addition to providing a clinic from October 25 to 29 to offer flu vaccines to residents,” she said.

“Our annual outreach visits to administer the flu-shot at local businesses and organizations are unable to take place this year, and all residents are encouraged to book an appointment through our Public Health department.”

Mental health and addictions support

The health centre is encouraging people to make use of the Community Counselling office in the case that they may be suffering from mental health or additions during this time.

“The pandemic has been, and continues to be, a very stressful time for everyone,” Griffiths said.

Residents can learn more about services offered by calling 874-8450.

Mayor Kandis Jameson said she has been impressed with the health authority’s work over the last week and is hopeful that the town will be able to rebound after the two weeks.

She said that it is key that people get tested as necessary and cooperate with public orders to ensure that health care capacity can be available.

“I work very closely with Erin and they are doing a heck of a job,” she said. “They’ve been testing, testing, testing tracing, and we know the key right test, trace and isolate. Hopefully our numbers dropping and things are good on the second of November when we can go back to a semblance of normal.

“The situation is not convenient for any of us and everybody’s got COVID fatigue, but we will plug through it and hopefully we can mitigate the worst.”

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa.. Simon can be reached at (867)...

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