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COVID-19 activity is increasing in the hospital

Posted Apr 19th, 2022

A reminder of the importance of a safe work environment for our staff, physicians and volunteers.

There are currently 90 inpatients at Niagara Health who have tested positive in our care, including five in our ICU. Since Thursday, April 14, seven patients from the Niagara region who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. Our teams are currently managing eight outbreaks at our Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland sites and in our Extended Care Unit (ECU) at the Welland Site. In addition, 372 Niagara Health staff and physicians are currently self-isolating.

We would like to reinforce the importance of wearing face masks and following other public health recommendations to protect against this highly contagious virus. We are working closely with regional and provincial partners to coordinate our efforts and provide safe, quality care to our communities.

There are no changes to our services at this time. Unfortunately, our staff and physicians are experiencing an increased number of disrespectful behaviours directed towards them. Every member of our community has been impacted by the pandemic. People are exhausted and discouraged, and this includes our staff and physicians who continue to provide care for those in need.

With these latest pressures on the healthcare system, including in our Emergency Departments, now more than ever, our staff and physicians need our community’s support and kindness and to work in an environment where they are safe and respected. Just as the Niagara community has pulled together and supported each other over the last two years, we look forward to bringing an end to this pandemic and moving towards recovery together.

If you are coming to the hospital to visit or support a loved one, please note the following:

  1. Our visitor guidelines changed last week to maintain a safe environment for patients, families, staff and physicians. One visitor or Essential Care Partner is permitted at the bedside for inpatient units. Patients coming to same-day appointments, the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centres can bring one person to support them.
  2. Anyone entering the hospital must pass COVID-19 screening.
  3. Face masks must be worn at all times in the hospital. Food and drink are not permitted in patient rooms.
  4. Visitors and Essential Care Partners are not permitted in units that are in outbreak or if a patient is in isolation due to COVID-19. Check with the patient’s unit ahead of your visit to see if your loved one can have a visitor or if an exception should be considered.

Vaccination remains our best defence against COVID-19, and with cases rising again, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated with available boosters to stay safe and well.

Please see our website for additional information.

Niagara Health System