COVID-19 Bulletin (No. 2 • March 19, 2020)
Message from Mr Gilles Lanteigne, President and Chief Executive Officer:
We are still in a pandemic situation. It has been proven that social distancing is one of the best preventive methods to flatten the famous growth curve and therefore provide some relief for the health care system. This is why this method is widely disseminated in the media and across all social networks. However, people go on with their social activities, take part in birthday parties and wander about in stores as if COVID-19 was nothing more than the product of someone’s wild imagination. The virus is very real however, and it will keep spreading if people continue to minimize its extent. Please help us help you and follow preventive guidelines. Self-isolate and keep your distances. By doing so, you too will be saving lives.
Access to hospitals
In an effort to curb the spread of the virus and protect the safety of patients and staff, access to all our hospitals is now strictly monitored. Staff members are controlling access points, and members of the public must justify the reason for their visit before being allowed to enter. Employees are no longer allowed to use main entrances in hospitals.
Two new screening clinics were added today, namely one at the Grand Falls General Hospital and one at the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Joseph de Saint-Quentin. This brings the total number of screening clinics to eight across Vitalité Health Network.
Services deemed nonessential, such as elective surgical procedures, ambulatory clinics and imaging services, are suspended. We ask patients who have a requisition for blood tests to only come to the hospital if this is an emergency. If you are uncertain about the urgency of your blood tests, please contact your family physician. You can check the list of cancelled services on the Network’s website.
List of the most recently cancelled services
Phlebotomy services (blood tests) in the following health centres are cancelled:
- Haut-Madawaska Medical Clinic (Clair)
- Dr.-Chanel-Dupuis Health Centre (Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska)
- Jacquet River Health Centre
- Chaleur Health Centre (Pointe-Verte)
- St-Isidore Community Health Centre
- Miscou Health Centre
People whose appointments have been cancelled will get a call from the health centre over the next few days. People who have a requisition for walk-in blood tests can go to the hospital in their area, but only if this is an emergency. If you are uncertain about the urgency of your blood tests, please contact your family physician.
Walk-in clinics at the Lamèque Hospital and Community Health Centre and the St. Joseph Community Health Centre (Dalhousie) are closed to the public. However, non-urgent consultations will be provided by phone (Lamèque: 344-3414, Dalhousie: 684-7110).
All Network physicians have received directives as to the importance of not closing their offices or walk-in clinics, but rather to transform their service delivery (through phone triage or through selection of in-person visits), to maintain access to frontline medical services for their patients and prevent them from visiting emergency rooms.