COVID-19 protocols to remain in place at Kingston Health Sciences Centre

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Kingston Health Sciences Centre won’t follow suit with the province in relaxing COVID-19 measures in public places.

The hospital says its approach is consistent with that of many acute care hospitals across Ontario.

It adds it’ll be monitoring data over the coming weeks to “shape the best response for our community and region.”

“We know that this cautious approach does not align with quicker reopening plans in other community settings, but as a hospital, it is important for people to understand that we cannot revise or remove restrictions as quickly as the community,” said Dr. David Pichora, KHSC’s president and CEO.

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“Our mission to care for the sick and vulnerable means we must carefully monitor the impact of reopening on COVID-19 prevalence, outbreaks and hospital capacity in order to determine what and when changes to our COVID-19 policies can occur.”

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Currently, the hospital says it is still dealing with large numbers of staff who are unable to work due to testing positive for COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is still with us and the emergence of the Omicron variant reminded us that the virus can evolve quickly,” said Dr. Gerald Evans, who is an infectious disease expert at KHSC and a professor at Queen’s University.

“We must continue to practise extreme caution against COVID-19 within our hospital walls and be ready to respond as we transition to the next phase of the pandemic. Our first priority will always be the safety of our patients, families, visitors, staff and volunteers.”

KHSC says current protocols will remain in place until at least the end of March.

Click to play video: 'Kingston residents react to end of vaccination passport on March 1' Kingston residents react to end of vaccination passport on March 1
Kingston residents react to end of vaccination passport on March 1 – Feb 27, 2022

The protocols include:

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  • mandatory proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • limited family presence
  • hospital screening and access points
  • masking and physical distancing

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of both our staff and the public as we work to ensure our doors stay open to provide the acute and emergency care that people in our region expect us to deliver every day,” Dr. Pichora said.

“We recognize that these policies, such as our current family presence policy, can be difficult for our patients and their families who want to be together while navigating their healthcare journey and we will relax these policies as soon as our expert teams determine it is safe to do so.”

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