Campbellford hospital extends emergency department closure due to COVID-19 outbreak

Outbreak on inpatient unit means emergency department will now remain closed until Sunday evening

Campbellford Memorial Hospital is located at 146 Oliver Road in Campbellford. (Photo: Campbellford Memorial Hospital)
Campbellford Memorial Hospital is located at 146 Oliver Road in Campbellford. (Photo: Campbellford Memorial Hospital)

Campbellford Memorial Hospital is extending the closure of its emergency department until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday (October 30) due to capacity and staffing challenges brought on by a COVID-19 outbreak in the hospital’s inpatient unit.

On Thursday, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit declared the outbreak on the inpatient unit following confirmed cases of hospital transmission, according to a media release from the hospital. The outbreak is affecting two of the three wings on the inpatient unit that accommodate both the four-bed special care unit and 30 acute care beds.

Due to the size of the outbreak, the day surgery wing is also being temporarily repurposed as an inpatient care area to help alleviate capacity pressures and staff from other departments are being redeployed to assist with patient care on the inpatient unit.

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On Thursday, the hospital announced the emergency department would be closed effective 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (October 27) “until at least” 8 a.m. on Saturday. On Friday afternoon, the hospital announced it would be extending the closure until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“The ongoing high volume of COVID cases and the capacity challenges of our aging facility have meant we continue having to repurpose non-traditional spaces to properly care for our patients and redeploy staff from other areas of the hospital to assist,” the hospital states in a media release.

With the emergency department temporarily closed, the hospital is advising patients requiring emergency care to call 911 or to attend the closest hospital that offers emergency services, including the Northumberland Hills Hospital (1000 DePalma Drive, Cobourg), Quinte Healthcare Corporation – Trenton Memorial Hospital (242 King Street, Trenton), Quinte Healthcare Corporation – Belleville General Hospital (265 Dundas Street East, Belleville), or Peterborough Regional Health Centre ( Hospital Drive, Peterborough).

“We anticipate the situation to stabilize over the next 24 to 48 hours allowing us to return to normal operations at which time we will be in position to reopen the emergency department,” the hospital states.

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Because of the outbreak, all visitation to the inpatient unit has been restricted except for patients in hospital for end-of-life care.

“Virtual visitation is still available and encouraged, and family members can reach out to Caitlyn Payne at 705-653-1140 ext. 2212 to set up a virtual visit,” the hospital states.

The hospital is also reminding the community that, while most public health restrictions have been lifted, “COVID-19 is still prevalent in the community and case volumes are rising in our area.”

“Best practices such as physical distancing, wearing a mask in indoor public settings (masks are mandatory at CMH), staying home when you’re feeling unwell and getting your fall COVID booster are essential in slowing the spread within high risk settings like hospitals and long term care homes,” the hospital states.

For the most recent updates on hospital policies and procedures as they relates to COVID-19, visit www.cmh.ca/covid-19.

 

The original version of this story has been updated with the most recent information from the hospital about the temporary closure of the emergency department.