Update on H1N1 activities

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Posted Oct 29th, 2009

Controlled Entrances at all Sites

Niagara Health System will reduce the number of entrances at each of its sites beginning on Friday, October 30, to control the flow of people through the hospital buildings and ensure everyone complies with good hand hygiene.

Entrances to the Ontario Street Site in St. Catharines will be reduced effective October 30, with the other six sites taking similar measures throughout the weekend and early next week. Details are provided in the attached Appendix. 
The site entrances will be staffed by greeters, who will provide directions, hand out H1N1 information sheets, provide education, and ensure everyone who comes into the building uses the hand sanitizers at the entrances before moving through the site. Masks will also be available for those who require them.

“We need to restrict the number of access points into the buildings so we can reach everyone who comes into the hospital,” says Bala Kathiresan, Chief Operating Officer. “We are beginning with the Ontario Street Site, since it will be the location for the first flu assessment centre.”

Visitors’ Policy

“In addition, to help prevent the spread of influenza-like illness, we are also enforcing our visitors’ policy, which limits the number of visitors to two per patient at any one time,” says Bala.

Members of the public who are feeling ill are asked not to visit patients. Close family members and friends are welcome if they are feeling well and have not been in contact with someone who has had flu-like symptoms in the last week.
Hospital staff will be asking visitors to leave if they have any respiratory ailments or other obvious symptoms.

Postponement of elective surgeries

Elective pediatric surgical cases are being postponed over the next two weeks due to an increasing number of children being admitted to the hospital’s pediatric units. Up to 31 pediatric cases will be postponed and are in addition to the adult elective surgical cases being postponed at our three large sites over the next several days due to the impact the high influenza-like activity is having on hospital services and staff. Nurses in the Operating Rooms affected are being redeployed to assist their colleagues.

Flu Assessment Centre

An Assessment Centre will open Monday, November 2, in the former Emergency Room and Physiotherapy area of the Ontario Street Site. Entry will be located on Yates Street at the back of the building. Following the lead in other communities, such as Kingston and Burlington, we are setting up the Assessment Centre for patients presenting with flu-like illness. Patients who require treatment will be redirected to the Urgent Care Centre or to the ER depending on their condition. Staff planning is now underway, as are hours of operation and other protocols.

For more information, contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113
cwiley@niagarahealth.on.ca

Appendix

St. Catharines General Site 

Emergency Entrance 24 hours, 7 days a week
Main Rotunda of Queenston Street 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week
Schmon Building Access to Day Care only
Foundation Entrance (Back of Community Wing) 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week
Norris Wing 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week

St. Catharines Ontario Street Site

Urgent Care Entrance 06:30-22:00 hours, 7 days a week
Ambulance Entrance 06:30-22:00 hours, 7 days a week
Main Front Entrance 06:30-20:00 hours, 7 days a week
Patient Entrance Beside Receiving 06:30-19:00 hours, 7 days a week

Welland Site

Woolcott Wing - North Entrance 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week
Dialysis Entrance 05:00-19:00 hours, 7 days a week
ECU 06:00-22:00 hours, 7 days a week
Main Front Entrance 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week
McLean Building 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week
Emergency 24 hours, 7 days a week
Stores/Receiving 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week

Port Colborne Site 

Urgent Care Centre 24 hours, 7 days a week
Staff Entrance-Rear Parking Lot Park Side 05:30 to 20:00 hours, 7 days a week

Greater Niagara General Site  

Emergency Entrance 24 hours, 7 days a week
Allied Health Entrance 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week
Visitor/Scheduled/Patient/Main Entrance 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week

Douglas Memorial Site 

Urgent Care Centre 24 hours, 7 days a week
Visitor/Staff/Main Hospital Entrance 05:30-20:00 hours, 7 days a week

NOTL

Parking Lot Entrance 06:00-20:00 hours, 7 days a week

Niagara Health System