Alberta Health Services has implemented new screening measures at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Access to the hospital, for patients and visitors, will only be permitted through the main entrance – open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. – and through the emergency department after hours.
This is being done to protect the health of patients, staff and physicians, an AHS statement said Tuesday.
“Limiting access points will enable us to better screen patients and visitors coming to the site to help limit the risk of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 travelling within the hospital,” the statement said.
Public access to the underground parkade will be closed as well.
All visitors and patients not arriving for urgent/emergency care will be screened before they are allowed to proceed to appointments or inpatient units. This screening does not pose a risk to those coming to the site.
Staff and volunteers will assist those arriving and provide personal protective equipment to those who need it. They will also enforce social distancing practices among anyone who may be waiting to be screened.
Anyone who is showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be isolated immediately for further assessment.
“Measures like this are being implemented at hospitals across the province, in some shape or form, as part of our efforts to protect those we care for and our staff and physicians on the frontlines during this pandemic. Additional screening protocols for staff at clinical sites are also being implemented.”
This work is being done in conjunction with the measures already in place in the community, which are designed to limit transmission of COVID-19, and “flatten the curve” to minimize impact on the health-care system.
No individual who is ill will be permitted to visit a patient in any AHS facility. This includes patients ill with known or suspected cases of COVID-19, or any other illness.
AHS will allow only one visitor at a time, for the duration of a patient’s stay at an acute care facility. Families are being asked to co-ordinate visiting schedules that allow for one person to be at the hospital at a time.
Exceptions will be reviewed and approved by unit manager or nursing staff on a case-by-case basis. No children will be allowed to visit.