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As you may have heard, yesterday the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health ordered that healthcare workers, and those other staff working in patient care areas, are now required to continuously, and at all times, wear a surgical/procedural mask. This requirement also applies to any workers in a continuing care site that cannot maintain the required physical distancing in the fulfillment of their responsibilities.
This change in practice is based on emerging evidence that the wearing of masks can contribute to reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The date for implementation of the order is April 15, 2020, and dependent on the adequate supply of current inventory at the site level. AHS will be supplying additional masks to all continuing care site in the coming days.
The Brenda Strafford Foundation has assessed our inventory of masks and we have sufficient quantities to have commenced initiating this practice as of today.
We expect that some residents may get anxious with this change in practice and assume that this is a response to a positive case. We will make every effort to communicate the reasons for this change. If you are in contact with your loved one, we would ask that you also provide reassurance that this is a preventative measure.
You also may have heard in the same announcement yesterday, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has now issued a provincial order that healthcare workers can no longer continue to work at multiple healthcare sites. The purpose of this to limit the risk of inter-facility transmission of COVID-19 by healthcare workers. This order is to take effect no later than April 23, 2020.
As you know, The Brenda Strafford Foundation has already proactively actioned this directive as of March 26. Thank you for your support in the advocacy of this important matter.