The Sault Area Hospital is adapting as some of its staff are absent due to COVID-19.
“As of this morning, we have 44 employees who have been released due to a positive test for COVID-19 and a number of others have been isolated due to a positive family member,” said Brandy Sharp Young, SAH spokesperson in an email Friday.
To address staffing challenges, SAH has created large and critical staffing plans for every department in the hospital and its teams are moving resources and relocating staff elsewhere within the organization.
“The reintroduction of Guideline 2, which earlier this week suspended all non-emergency operations to create more capacity, helps us address these challenges,” said Sharp Young.
Healthcare professionals at SAH are considering moving in-person visits to virtual visits or telephone appointments or moving in-person visits to a later date, if necessary, to support staff relocation.
“We understand that the impact of canceled surgeries and procedures and changing appointments is difficult for patients. These changes will be made with care and consideration for the needs of all patients. All urgent and emerging surgeries and procedures will be performed,” said Sharp Young.
SAH has had 10 COVID-19 admissions since Friday. Two admitted patients are in the ICU.
“We are confident that this will increase,” said Sharp Young.
The situation at SAH is not unique as other hospitals report staff shortages due to the outbreak of COVID-19 within their teams.
SAH is asking the public to follow public health guidelines, get vaccinated and, if eligible, receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.