The emergency department at Campbellford Memorial Hospital reopened on Sunday night (October 30) after being temporarily closed for three days due to capacity and staffing challenges brought on by a COVID-19 outbreak in the hospital’s inpatient unit.
The hospital closed the emergency department on Thursday after the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit declared an outbreak on the inpatient unit following confirmed cases of hospital transmission. The outbreak affects two of the three wings on the inpatient unit that accommodate both the four-bed special care unit and 30 acute care beds.
Because of the size of the COVID-19 outbreak, the hospital temporarily repurposed its day surgery wing as an inpatient care area to help alleviate capacity pressures, with staff from other departments redeployed to assist with patient care on the inpatient unit.
While the emergency department reopened at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, the hospital’s capacity to admit new patients is still affected by the outbreak.
“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak on the inpatient unit, we are only able to admit patients to the day surgery area, which has been temporarily repurposed to accommodate inpatient beds,” the hospital states in a media release. “This creates a significant constraint on our capacity for admissions, and those attending the Emergency Department who need admission may be moved to another hospital.”
“We continue to work with public health in regards to our infection control practices as we continue to have a relatively large number of patients admitted with COVID, As the outbreak stabilizes, we hope to be able to open additional areas of the inpatient unit to further admissions.”
All visitation to the inpatient unit remains restricted to patients in the hospital for end-of-life care.
“We would like to thank our health care partners, in particular our neighbouring hospitals and EMS, for their support these past few days,” the hospital states. “We acknowledge all health service providers are operating well beyond their capacity and sudden closures of this nature put additional strain on an already strained system.”