NBRHC responding to Omicron variant
The North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) is taking increased measures to protect and preserve our hospital’s capacity to provide care where it is needed most.
The increasing community spread of the Omicron variant is being felt at NBRHC. Currently, the following factors are affecting our ability to operate smoothly:
- An increase of patients coming in through our Emergency Department (ED), and many presenting with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Sustained bed pressures with patients occupying non-traditional spaces.
- Staffing challenges with 180 health care workers currently off work, because they have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
To help address our COVID-19 pressures and to preserve bed and human resource capacity, the Health Centre is taking the following measures:
- Temporarily pausing all non-urgent procedures and surgeries in line with provincial Directive #2. This will allow us to divert resourcing to areas of greatest need. Care teams will identify which scheduled elective procedures will be postponed on a case-by-case basis. We will continue to provide time-sensitive care, such as trauma and cancer. Unless they hear otherwise, patients should assume their surgery is proceeding—patients impacted by this change will be notified by the hospital or surgeon’s office.
- Monitor staffing levels and deploy health care workers to support ED and inpatient care, if necessary.
- Continued prioritization of PCR testing for health care workers to enable expedient safe return-to-work.
- Early next week the Health Centre will begin enhanced assessments for patients with moderate or worsening COVID-19 symptoms. This clinic will support non-urgent COVID-19 patients who cannot safely manage their symptoms at home, without having to go to the Emergency Department.
NBRHC President and CEO Paul Heinrich says the hospital’s health care workers have been working tirelessly for nearly two years, and need the community’s support to keep going. “I know this is not where anyone of us wanted to be at this stage in the pandemic, but we need everyone to help slow the spread,” Heinrich says. “Please continue to follow public health guidelines, get vaccinated or boosted if you haven’t already, and stay home if you have mild COVID-19 symptoms that can be safely managed at home.”