It’s been a busy couple of days in our area for breaking COVID-19 diagnoses, but the latest news hits Guelph General Hospital hard as two members of staff there have tested positive for the virus. The leadership of the hospital says that they’ve got things under control, but recent events should show the whole community that COVID-19 is here, and we need to take it seriously.
In a statement released to the media on Tuesday afternoon, Guelph General said that two healthcare workers at the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the workers was at home when they stared to feel symptoms, and the other was on the job when they started feeling ill. Both employees are now self-isolating at home.
According to the Hospital’s President and CEO, staff have been self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms for the last several weeks, and that they’ve increased cleaning, restricted visitations, and conducted active screenings at one central entrance at Guelph General. In other words, they’ve been prepared as they can be, and in spite of the situation, there’s still no reason to be concerned.
“Keeping staff and patients safe is our top priority,” said Marianne Walker. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 is now in the wider community and everyone, including our staff, need to be extremely vigilant and follow Public Health’s directions. At GGH, we’ll continue to explore ways we can do even more to keep people safe.”
The news follows some recent reporting by the CBC, who said that nurses at Guelph General Hospital were being told that they don’t need the highly valued N-95 face masks to be able to do their jobs, and, in fact, those masks were being kept behind locked doors by management.
That complaint was from the Ontario Nurses Association, who also recently called out St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener for exposing 50 staff members, including nurses, to a COVID-19 patient unprotected.
“This is a difficult and challenging time for everyone,” Walker added. “The commitment and professionalism of our staff continues to humble me. And, we so appreciate all the support we’re receiving from our community.”
This news follows on the announcement Monday night that there’s been a confirmed case of COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, and two days after Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health diagnosed the first case of COVID-19 in Wellington County at Louise Marshall Hospital in Mount Forest.
Back at Guelph General, Walker noted that this was a teaching moment, and that everyone needed to take enhanced precautions against catching COVID-19.
“Even with this new development our message to our staff is the same as it is to the community we serve,” Walker added. “Wash your hands often. Practice social distancing. Self-monitor for symptoms such as a fever, new cough or shortness of breath. If you are sick, stay home and self-isolate. We are thankful our staff are following this protocol.”
If you have any questions for concerns about COVID-19, you can call Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-265-7293 extension #7006 anytime from 9 am to 8 pm weekdays, and from 9 am to 3 pm on weekends.