The following seasonal message has been received from St. Francis Memorial Hospital:
As we plan for Covid Christmas 2020, aka “the bubble Christmas,” St. Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH) would like to provide the following advice and guidance. Above: Unit Clerk Brenda Guinther accepts a Christmas gift from grateful patient Rita Gauthier and daughter Anne Porath (photo supplied)
- Plan ahead and make use of alternative resources for non-emergency situations to minimize the strain on the ED and help keep the service accessible for those who need it the most.
- Make a note of your doctor’s holiday hours. Many physician offices will have special hours during the holidays.
- Confirm that your family’s prescriptions are up to date and check medical equipment. Make sure to have enough medications, both prescription and non-prescription, on hand to last throughout the holidays. Remember items such as needles and alcohol swabs, and check inhalers, respirators, oxygen, glucose, and testing equipment.
- If you are visiting the ED, ensure that your medical information is up to date, and take a list of all medications along with any other important information such as allergies.
While normally the Christmas season brings lots of visitors, treats and activities to SFMH, this year patients, families and visitors to SFMH are asked to respect the guidelines endorsed by SFMH and Renfrew County Public Health to support keeping patients and staff safe from Covid-19 and ensuring the safe recovery of those most vulnerable. Those guidelines include:
- 1 visitor per patient per day for the Inpatient Unit (exception is palliative care); children must be accompanied by an adult.
- No visitors in the ER, except with a minor or an individual with a disability/impairment.
- All visits must occur in the patient’s room and not a common area.
- Visitors must be screened at registration, DO NOT visit if you have any symptoms (even if mild).
- Visitors must be wear a mask and practise hand hygiene frequently.
- Visitors are not permitted to remove their mask during the visit and are not able to eat or drink when visiting; this is identified as a high risk activity resulting in transmission of virus; food enjoyed by the patient cannot be shared.
- No food or drink should be brought in for a patient unless packaged and prepared in a commercial kitchen.
- Gifts will be stored for 72 hours by the hospital before delivery to a patient.
- Please respect our no scent and no latex policies (this includes poinsettias due to severe allergy).
- If clothes are being brought in as a gift, they should be washed and bagged immediately after having been labelled.
As SFMH prepares for 2021, we cannot wish you a Merry Christmas without thanking you first. Our communities have gone above and beyond helping all local healthcare agencies. When we put out the call for PPE supplies, the community responded. When we asked for hand sewn masks and head coverings, the community responded. When we delayed non-urgent outpatient tests and offered phone visits instead of in-person, the community understood. Our staff at SFMH and Rainbow Valley CHC could not have continued to be “essential,” had it not been for the unwavering and essential support of the communities.
Finally, we would like to thank our staff, Board, volunteers and physicians. This past year has tested us as an organization. What has never wavered is the continued dedication of all our staff to do what is needed to provide the best care for our patients. We are very proud of them and our community.
Happy Holidays to everyone!
St.Francis Memorial Hospital(2020,Dec.18) Christmas Season at St. Francis Memorial Hospital [media release]