St Josephs Healthcare has notified staff that they have a plan in place that will deal with any surge in new COVID cases that require hospitalization. The memo sates that St Jos has
• bed movement plans that will allow it to quickly create COVID-positive locations, and there are matching plans to decrease or realign services as necessary to accommodate those beds.
• developed a COVID-response visitor policy which provides direction on triggers to decrease visitors to the hospital as needed. Recognizing the importance of caregiver partners to help patients, and the hospital will work to keep them involved as long as it is safe.
• region-wide systems developed to watch and secure supplies of PPE, and to monitor COVID-positive patient bed needs on a regional level.
• Safety protocols are in place to continue screening of staff, physicians, patients and visitors.
• a dramatic increase in virtual care visits in many areas of the hospital which ensure care can continue through hospital changes in the pandemic. Those systems are now built and active.
The hospital took advantage of the July-August lull in new infections to address the backlog of elective surgeries created when the hospital was forced to move to urgent and emergency surgeries during the early weeks of the pandemic. These surgeries will continue as long as the situation remains stable. If it becomes necessary St. Joes has a plan to reduce elective surgeries as required.
The hospital has put another call out to the community to try to fill staff vacancies.