Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay shares its COVID-19 pandemic preparations

Hospital has freed up 55 beds for potential increase in patients, with another 48 beds possible in May

The emergency dapartment team at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay with a message for the community: "We are here for you, please stay home for us." (Photo courtesy of Ross Memorial Hospital)
The emergency dapartment team at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay with a message for the community: "We are here for you, please stay home for us." (Photo courtesy of Ross Memorial Hospital)

Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) in Lindsay has shared the current and future steps it is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre continues to provide assessments over the phone, and referral for further assessment and testing if needed. RMH’s assessment team has provided 1,607 assessments and 434 tests since first opening on Sunday, March 15th.

With the testing capacity in Ontario increased, the hospital is now sending tests daily to Kingston General Hospital’s lab, with test results received within one or two days. The backlog in tests across the province has been significantly reduced.

As of Monday (April 7), a total of 82 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the City of Kawartha Lakes by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. Not all of these positive cases were tested at RMH.

RMH has established a dedicated unit for the care of patients with probable or positive COVID-19. As of Sunday (April 6), the hospital is providing care to three patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Team members from the medical north unit at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay with messages for the community: "We're here for you, please stay home for us." and "We're all in this together."  (Photo courtesy of Ross Memorial Hospital)
Team members from the medical north unit at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay with messages for the community: “We’re here for you, please stay home for us.” and “We’re all in this together.” (Photo courtesy of Ross Memorial Hospital)

The hospital has also been able to free up 55 beds for a potential increase in COVID-19 patients. This was done by working with government, community partners, patients, and families to discharge patients who do not require acute care at the hospital — either to home with community supports or to long-term care facilities or retirement residences.

If needed, RMH will be able to free up an additional 48 beds by May, by repurposing several clinic spaces that are currently closed. If the demand caused by COVID-19 patients exceeds the hospital’s bed capacity, the hospital will implement plans (currently in development with community partners) to open an off-site care setting.

In terms of personal protective equipment (PPE), RMH has received delivery from the provincial supply including procedure and surgical masks and gowns. Ontario Health has asked hospitals to refrain from discarding N95 and surgical masks, as evidence supports there are methods of reprocessing and reusing these types of PPE.

RMH is continuing to accept donations of unopened and unused surgical masks, N95 respirator masks, gloves, and waterproof gowns to support front-line workers. If you have items to donate, contact Marc Sorensen at msorensen@rmh.org or 705-324-6111 ext. 8952 to arrange for a donation during regular business hours.

While the hospital is not accepting homemade masks for healthcare workers, they are an option for patients who are leaving hospital and heading home. If you sew and would like to donate a homemade mask, visit foundation.rmh.org/foundation-news-releases/community-support-for-urgent-needs-greatly-appreciated.

The Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation has established a special fund, called Heroes at Heart, to support urgent equipment and technology needs as the hospital responds to the pandemic. To support the COVID-19 response at RMH, you can donate to the Heroes at Heart fund by telephone at 705-328-6146, by email at foundation@rmh.org, or by visiting foundation.rmh.org.

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