COVID-19 Bulletin (No. 4 • March 23, 2020)

Message from Mr Gilles Lanteigne, President and Chief Executive Officer:

“Thank you to our New Brunswick heroes.”

For nearly two weeks now, we have been in a real race against time to be able to defeat an invisible enemy that is threatening us. I am taking some time to stop and say “thank you” to all Vitalité Health Network employees and physicians from the bottom of my heart. Your unprecedented mobilization over the past few days clearly demonstrates your devotion for the wellness and safety of our patients and communities. Our work is far from over, but for the people of New Brunswick, you are already our heroes. Thank you!

Health of our employees

The Network is putting in place a series of measures to preserve the physical and mental health of its employees. In this unprecedented crisis period, we are making constant efforts every day to ensure that our recommendations are safe and based on reliable infection prevention and control sources. The Network has namely issued guidelines for health care workers who believe they are infected with COVID-19, for self-isolation of staff and regarding preventive measures in the workplace for health care workers who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

N95-type masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE)

The Network is making every effort to ensure that the right level of personal protective equipment is used by its entire staff during the COVID-19 crisis. To that effect, the Network is following the guidelines issued by Health Canada and by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of New Brunswick regarding the use of N95-type masks. These guidelines state that an N95 mask must be worn when performing certain types of aerosol-generating medical procedures on people under investigation for COVID-19. Health care workers who risk being exposed to an individual presenting signs and symptoms and meeting exposure criteria compatible with COVID-19 must use precautions against contact and droplet transmission. This includes the appropriate selection and use of personal protective equipment, including a surgical or procedure mask. Following these guidelines will help us maintain sufficient inventories of N95-type masks to meet our needs.

Calling retired physicians

The Network is calling all retired physicians who would be interested in giving us a hand and going back to work. We invite the general public to talk about this to people around them and to spread the word. Retired physicians can contact the Medical Services offices in each of our zones: (Beauséjour: 1-506-862-4957, Northwest: 1-506-739-2360, Restigouche: 1-506-789-5041, Acadie-Bathurst: 1-506-544-2701).

Calling retired employees of the health care system

The Network is also asking for the help of retired employees of the health care system, from all areas of activity. We ask our retired employees who would be willing to lend a hand in this pandemic period to contact our Human Resources Department as soon as possible at 1-833-249-2003 or by e-mail at emplois.jobs@vitalitenb.ca.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment

The provincial government has developed a self-assessment tool to determine if you must be tested for COVID-19. The tool is available online, and you can use the assessment for yourself or for someone else who cannot do it on their own.

Patient services

Services deemed nonessential are suspended. You can check the list of cancelled services on the Network’s website.