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COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

For the most recent provincial information on COVID-19, including symptoms and the status of cases in Ontario, NHH recommends Ontario’s dedicated COVID website: ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus . For local updates on the number of confirmed cases in Northumberland County and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit area, see the Health Unit website: hkpr.on.ca

Additional Information for NHH Patients, Families and Visitors

[Updated October 18 2021, 11:00 am – this information is subject to change.]

As COVID-19 continues to evolve, hospitals, paramedics, primary care providers, public health units and other partners are working together to ensure safe practices in our communities. The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to identify the risk to Canadians as high, with an increased risk of more severe outcomes from COVID-19 for older people (age 65+), people with underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart or chronic lung disease), and individuals with compromised immune systems. Locally, the HKPR District Health Unit reports local COVID-19 data on their website here, with a total of 1,022 confirmed cases identified to date among Northumberland residents, 5 of which are not yet resolved and another 21 currently considered 'high risk contacts'. In addition to recommending the provincial information and related links on Ontario’s COVID website, NHH will continue to update the following News and Frequently Asked Questions section to further support local information sharing.

News

NHH COVID-19 Assessment Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 Where can I find current information regarding vaccine clinics?

The latest provincial information about COVID-19 vaccines and the phased rollout of these vaccines across Ontario is available on the province's COVID-19 webpage, https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario. Ontario is now in Phase 3 of its rollout plan, meaning vaccines are widely available from a range of sources, including mass vaccination clinics, primary care providers, pharmacies and mobile/pop-up clinics.

Provincial booking system

Booking may be done online through the provincial COVID-19 booking system at www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine or by phone at 1-888-999-6488. NEW: as of August 3, 2021, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) is cancelling all second dose appointments from the provincial booking system made in August, September, October and November at its COVID-19 vaccination clinic sites in Minden, Cobourg, Fenelon Falls and Campbellford, and encouraging 'walk-in' appointments to these sites at earlier dates instead. For a complete listing of the local walk-in vaccination options operated by the HKPRDHU please see the Vaccination Clinics section of their website here: www.hkpr.on.ca/2021/03/12/vaccination-clinics/

Pharmacies

Eligible Ontarians can also register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating pharmacy. Some pharmacies are accepting walk-ins, others require an appointment. Hours of availability vary by pharmacy. For a current list of all participating pharmacies, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario

Primary care providers

Some primary care teams and/or providers are offering vaccination clinics as well. Reach out to your primary care provider directly for information, or monitor their website and social media feeds for updates.

Local Mobile/Pop-Up Vaccine clinic options

NHH is proud to be part of the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland which is bringing Mobile Pop-Up Vaccine opportunities to locations across our region on a walk-in, no appointment required basis. For the latest information on these local mobile clinic options, please see the News and Notices section of the OHT-N website, www.ohtnorthumberland.ca, and be sure to follow the OHT-N social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook. Updates are shared as information becomes available.

Q. 2. Will I still need to wear a mask after I receive a vaccine?

Yes. Until a vaccine is widely distributed it is recommended that we all continue to follow the public health rules for our region and take the simple everyday actions to help stop the spread of the virus: maintain physical distancing from those outside our household, wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene and stay home when we are ill.

Q. 3 I have heard that Ontario is introducing a new vaccine certificate, to help individuals quickly show proof of vaccination. How do I get one?

Yes. As announced on October 15, the Ontario government is now making an enhanced vaccine certificate with official QR code and the free verification app, "Verify Ontario," available for download. Download your enhanced vaccine certificate, with a QR code, by following the prompts here. You will require a green photo health (OHIP) card. You may also call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have your enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to you directly. The system will allow you to save the electronic version of your vaccine certificate with a QR code to your phone or print a paper copy. Businesses must accept both electronic and paper version. The original vaccine receipt without a QR ode will remain valid and will continue to be accepted, but the province is encouraging individuals to download the enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code as soon as possible as an easier, more secure and convenient way to have your proof of vaccination verified. As in the past, Ontarians will need to be prepared to show a piece of identification with their name and date of birth along with their proof of vaccination when visiting select businesses and organization.

Q. 4 Is NHH still accepting donations to support the COVID-19 response effort?

Offers of support have flowed in to NHH in many ways throughout this prolonged pandemic. Thank you, Northumberland. We are extremely grateful. Please see below for information on how you can best help us channel these acts of kindness at this time:

Q. 5 What can I do to minimize my risk of getting (or spreading) COVID-19?

Following public health advice remains critical. We can all help to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to:

To minimize the risk of spreading viruses to others, you should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue handy, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or arm. Stay home when you are ill and avoid contact with those outside your immediate household through physical distancing, particularly those who may be more vulnerable.

Q. 6 What should people in Northumberland County do if they think they have COVID-19 symptoms or may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19?

The Ministry of Health COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms is updated regularly. It includes the latest listing of typical and atypical symptoms, including: 

For the most recent list of symptoms, please refer to the latest version of the Reference Document on the Ministry of Health COVID website here.

Northumberland residents who believe they may have had exposure to COVID-19 or require screening for other purposes, now have a number of options, all of which are supported by the collaboration of the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland partners.

OR use this online self-assessment tool to help determine if you need to seek further care.

COVID-19 testing is always available on an emergency basis via the Emergency Departments at both Northumberland Hills Hospital and Campbellford Memorial Hospital. If symptoms are severe, call 911 and alert the dispatcher to the potential concern regarding COVID-19 so they can be appropriately prepared.

Q. 7 I called the NHH COVID-19 Assessment Centre and was told to come in for assessment and testing? Where do I go and what should I expect?

NHH's COVID-19 Assessment Centre is located outside the hospital in a dedicated trailer immediately beside the Emergency Department entrance.  Individuals who are directed to present to the Assessment Centre at NHH for physical assessment will be asked to wash their hands and answer a series of pre-screening questions prior to entry. Your temperature will be taken at the entrance, and those wearing latex gloves will be required to remove them prior to entry to ensure completion of hand hygiene. All patients entering the Centre will be asked to put on a mask. Please find details of our Universal Masking Policy here. COVID-19 visitor restrictions remain in place. These are subject to change, but the current Visiting Guidelines will be found on our website here. The Assessment Centre team will administer the test, which consists of a swab, inserted into the throat and nasal passage. It is not painful, but many report that it is briefly uncomfortable. Following the test patients are directed on next steps as required.

Q. 8 Are results available immediately?

The majority of patients under investigation for COVID-19 have mild symptoms and do not require hospital admission. Patients under investigation for COVID-19 are discharged home on self-isolation when it is safe to do so, to await laboratory test results. See this helpful document from Public Health Ontario for details on the follow-up instructions. Circumstances vary, but it may take between 24 to 48 hours to receive your results. Patients who require admission to hospital will be admitted and treated as required, either at NHH or at a regional centre, depending on their clinical needs. NHH’s team, including Infection Prevention and Control, continue to work closely with local Public Health and area primary care providers to help guide decision-making and follow up on a case-by-case basis.

Q. 9 Are visitor restrictions still in place at NHH?

Visitor and family presence is integral to patient safety, the healing process, the patient's medical and psychological well-being, comfort and quality of life. While NHH had an open visiting policy prior to COVID-19, traffic within the hospital is presently restricted with in-person visits limited to essential visitors only, namely visitors to a patient that is dying or very ill; a support for a delivering mother; a parent/guardian of a child or primary family caregiver for an individual with specific needs. Please see the latest information on visitor restrictions on our website here. NHH's Virtual Visiting program continues to be available. Hundreds of these visits have been coordinated since the Program launched in April. Virtual visits are available weekdays by contacting the hospital's Virtual Visiting Team at 905-372-6811, ext. 3146 or by email to virtualconnections@nhh.ca  Note: to protect patient privacy, the patient's full name should not be included in the email. Read more about Virtual Visiting, including how to request a virtual visit, here.

Q. 10 Are screening procedures still in place at public entry ways?

Yes. NHH continues to actively screen incomers at all open public entrances to assess for symptoms and to support the visitor restrictions as noted above. As well, the wing used by patients to access both Dialysis and Cancer and Supportive Care Services remains restricted to minimize traffic near this vulnerable patient population. At any time, if you have a clinic appointment, test or other procedure scheduled, and have any of the following symptoms, please call your clinic to see if you should still come to the hospital.

Symptoms to watch for include:

Q. 11 Are there any changes to patient services at NHH or other supports, like the cafeteria?

Through June and July 2020 services have steadily ramped back up at NHH. Guided by a multi-disciplinary Service Continuity and Planning Working Group, this includes:

 NHH's cafeteria, the Main Street Bistro, remains closed to the public.

Q. 12 A member of my household has been directed to self-isolate. Do I have to isolate too?

Public Health Ontario has developed a very helpful Self-isolation: Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts.  It has specific guidance for 'close contacts' on how to care for or live with someone who has the virus.

Q. 13 Are there specific mental health supports you can recommend?

The emotional and psychological impact of COVID-19 and the change and uncertainty it has brought to our lives is significant. Reach out if you need to speak with someone. Free supports are available locally and from a range of provincial resources. Below are just some of the options available.

For individuals in crisis:

For more information on mental health resources see the Ontario mental health, wellness and addictions support summary on the province’s COVID-19 website here.

Resources