The recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in local communities has impacted patient care at Almonte General Hospital and Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital.

“There has been a lot of focus on ICU and other hospital beds filling up with patients when COVID strikes a community, but there is another very serious impact on the way we care for patients,” said Mary Wilson Trider, President and CEO.  “If a family member is required to isolate due to possible exposure, everyone in that household must also isolate. That can include hospital staff. Over the past several weeks we have experienced staffing shortages due to isolation requirements.”

AGH and CPDMH staff have stepped up to make sure the shifts are covered, working extra hours and impacting their own personal lives.  There are many examples of staff members who put patients first including an Emergency Department nurse who worked the day shift, went home to sleep for a few hours, and returned to work the night shift as some other nurses were in quarantine. A Diagnostic Imaging staff member worked seven days in a row when another staff member was unable to come to work due to COVID-19. The same DI Technologist also covered after-hours on-call during this period

To ensure patient safety, these situations are being monitored carefully. If there are not enough staff available, or they have worked too many shifts, patient services may be reduced.

“Our teams have been on the front line of the pandemic for more than a year. Workload pressure, caused by a large number of absences, adds to the stress they have been experiencing,” adds Jason Hann, Vice President, Clinical Care. “We ask everyone to follow the Health Unit’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.  We’re all in this together.”