COVID-19 Bulletin (No. 7 • April 24, 2020)

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

It is said that sometimes great misfortune can have unexpected positive consequences.  While it is true that the COVID-19 pandemic is tragically disrupting the lives of many people in our country and province, it can also be a force that will bring about lasting and beneficial transformations in the health care system.  With its partners, Vitalité Health Network is working to develop a recovery plan that will maximize the system's existing capacities and take advantage of the lessons learned during the pandemic.

Our intention is to capitalize on research, innovation and data to transform and adapt health care delivery in this new pandemic reality and in the post-pandemic period. For now, let's all continue to follow Public Health guidelines and maintain the practices of physical distancing and good hand hygiene!

New directives on the continuous use of surgical/procedure masks 

The Pandemic Task Force issued directives on the continuous use of surgical/procedure masks by health care workers (HCWs). Theses directives are issued in response to the emerging evidence that asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic or minimally symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19 and are aimed at preventing transmission of COVID-19 by HCWs to their patients and co-workers.

Health care workers: All HCWs working in patient care areas who have direct or indirect contact with patients or visitors must wear a surgical/procedure mask continuously, at all times and in all areas of their workplace when a physical distance of two metres cannot be maintained and a physical barrier (i.e.: plexiglass) is not in place to prevent transmission of droplets. Directives have also been issued for HCWs who do not work in patient care areas.

Patients and visitors: Masks must also be worn continuously by ambulatory care and emergency department patients, as well as visitors (in the units / services where visits are allowed) when present in one of Vitalité Health Network service points. A surgical/procedure mask will be given to them at the entrance.