A Letter to Our Community – April 11, 2020
We recognize with the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation this is a very difficult and uncertain time for millions of people throughout the world.
We want to reassure you the dedicated team at Georgian Bay Georgian Hospital (GBGH) is working around the clock, with all hands on deck, to ensure the safety of our patients, physicians, nurses, healthcare team and everyone in our community.
Please know that we are doing everything we can to address the evolving situation and that we are committed to keeping you informed of the latest updates as they become available.
To date, GBGH has had one COVID-19 positive case in an inpatient. The result was confirmed April 5, 2020. The patient has been discharged home. GBGH also had one COVID-19 positive outpatient case. The patient was screened and swabbed in the Emergency department. The result was confirmed April 3, 2020. All necessary infection and safety protocols were taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit currently has well over 100 confirmed cases in our region. They are advising that we are seeing cases caused by community transmission, which means the virus is spreading in the community from person to person and is not linked to travel. This means that we can expect to see a growing number of cases in the next days and weeks in our region.
GBGH has already taken many steps to prepare for the growing pandemic, including establishing the COVID-19 Midland Assessment Centre in partnership with Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care and Chigamik Community Health Centre. We have also cancelled non-urgent procedures, implemented visitor restrictions, and are finalizing thorough plans to re-deploy staff and other resources to critical areas as needed.
In planning for our hospital’s pandemic preparations, we carefully review provincial and regional case projections to determine what we need to continue providing safe, exceptional care in a surge situation.
We are currently in the process of increasing our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity; we will care for potential COVID-19 patients in our existing ICU and create a separate ICU surge space for non-COVID patients. This means equipping this area with five additional beds, 20 additional IV pumps, five additional patient monitors, two Pyxis machines (locked medication dispensing carts), a mobile medication cart and a call bell system. We are also purchasing an additional mobile medication cart and 30 vital sign monitors to be used wherever needed most throughout the hospital.
In total, this critically needed equipment will cost well over half a million dollars. Which is why, if you are able, we’d ask you to please consider making a special gift, of any amount, to our Foundation to help in the fight against COVID-19 today.
Though these are very trying times, it makes us incredibly proud to see how our community has been coming together to care for one another and help each other.
Please know that we see you and we appreciate you. Our Foundation is doing an incredible job of supporting the hospital and our donors are stepping up in every way possible, even though this pandemic is affecting all of us, in so many ways.
We are so grateful for the food that has been so generously donated by local businesses to keep our tired staff going through long shifts. We appreciate every individual and business who gave Personal Protective Equipment and we are thankful for the many generous donations and words of encouragement being sent in online or on our social media channels through #TheFrontStepsProjectMidland, #AllHandsOnDeck and #HeartfeltThanksforGBGH.
To help our team meet the challenges ahead we ask you to please keep the kinds words, inspiring thank you messages and much-needed donations coming. Thank you for standing by our side and helping your hospital and your community. We are stronger together.
Please be safe and stay healthy,
Gail Hunt Dr. Vikram Ralhan
President and CEO, GBGH Chief of Staff, GBGH