Letter to our community - Responding to recent media re: personal protective equipment at the hospital (en anglais)
Letter to our community - Responding to recent media re: personal protective equipment at the hospital (en anglais)
Posted on 04/17/2020
Letter to our Community - Responding to recent media re: personal protective equipment at the hospital

We feel it is important to respond to recent media reports about personal protective equipment and use of masks at our hospital.

As a hospital, we are very concerned about patient and staff safety and are sensitive to the feelings of our staff during this time of uncertainty. It is a priority for us to be continuously looking at all ways to enhance safety during this unprecedented pandemic. 

Amid a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), Waypoint and every hospital in Ontario are following provincial directives relating to the use, conservation and stewardship of these supplies. The duration of this pandemic is unknown, and we must ensure we are doing everything we can to conserve supplies for our hospital and the broader health care system.

The hospital is participating on provincial and regional committees to ensure we have the most up to date information for both use and conservation of PPE. Conserving PPE and other safety supplies such as hand sanitizer is a priority in the event that the pandemic surges and there is increased need or an extended time that these items are required.

We are adhering to provincial directives with full PPE being worn in our isolation unit where there are patients with symptoms and new admissions who are awaiting COVID-19 test results, as well as our geriatrics program. Masks and PPE in these areas are only used once as per provincial directives. Staff are not re-using or storing PPE for more than one use in these areas.

As an additional precaution beyond adhering to the provincial directives, surgical masks are being worn in areas and on programs that do not have any patients with symptoms. Staff are asked to use these personal masks only until they are wet, soiled or damaged, or up to five shifts if they last that long. Staff are also not required to store any wet, soiled or damaged PPE in their lockers.

As things evolve and we receive new directions from public health organizations and the province, these practices may change. Please be assured we are focused on patient and staff safety during this time. We will endeavour to keep our patients, staff, volunteers and community updated on important issues related to COVID-19.