A cluster of patients with symptoms of enteric infection has been identified on NHH’s 2A medical/surgical unit
Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) is working closely with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit to restrict the further spread and to communicate information. The following control measures have been put in place:
- • Contact precautions – All identified patients are being isolated and cared for with appropriate contact precautions. Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is required.
- • New admissions to the affected unit will be restricted – New 2A admissions will be limited to beds that are not in close proximity to the patients exhibiting symptoms and staff will be cohorted as needed; patient transfers to and from other units will be postponed for the time being.
- • Strict adherence to thorough hand hygiene practices – Scrupulous hand hygiene is one of the most important infection prevention and control practices to stop transmission of gastrointestinal illness and other infectious diseases. Strick adherence to thorough hand hygiene will continue to be reinforced.
- • Visitor restrictions to 2A – Visitor restrictions have been put into place for 2A patients for the time being, with special exceptions evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Visiting is not currently affected in other parts of the hospital, outside the requirements of the COVID-19 Visitor Policy.
- • Enhanced environmental cleaning – Increased cleaning of the unit and increased cleaning of equipment shared between patient rooms has been implemented.
- • Monitoring – Any patient who develops new on-set of any of the following symptoms (nausea, diarrhea and vomiting) will be placed on contact precautions.
- • Proactive communication – Public notices have been placed on all appropriate hospital entrances as well as to the doorways within/leading to 2A to promote awareness, with reminders regarding hand hygiene requirements. A Backgrounder detailing Visitor Tips for Minimizing the Spread of Infections is available here on www.nhh.ca
NHH remains fully operational, with programs and services across the hospital operating as normal. Please be diligent in practicing appropriate hand hygiene and infection prevention and control practices when visiting the hospital at any time. Frequent handwashing, particularly before and after patient contact, is mandatory and vital to reducing healthcare-associated infections.
Updates will be provided as new information is available.
Editor’s Note: Enteric diseases are caused by micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause intestinal illness.