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Alternative Health Facility (AHF) Opens at Collingwood Legion to help CGMH with Capacity Challenges

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) has opened its Alternative Health Facility (AHF), which has been set up and on standby at the Collingwood Legion since the spring, following a sudden surge in admitted patients to the hospital over the past few days.

The 18 bed AHF will care for patients who require transitional care or an alternative destination of care whose acute care needs have been met, but may require transfer to rehabilitation, long-term care, a retirement home or other post-acute care services. The AHF will not care for COVID positive patients. Patients at the AHF will be cared for by an interprofessional care team of physicians, nurses and personal support workers, in conjunction with dietary, environmental services, and support from the Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner.

"CGMH continues to work hard to preserve access to surgical services, as we resume the backlog of surgeries, resulting from the spring ramp down," says Norah Holder, CGMH President and CEO, adding, "One of the set criteria from Ontario Health is a capacity level of no more than 100 per cent. By opening the AHF we are able to continue to provide top notch care to all patients, while working hard to keep surgical procedures in progress."

The hospital's Emergency Department remains a safe place to come to for those requiring acute care, along with the Hospital's Diagnostic Imaging department, outpatient clinics and those coming in for surgical procedures.

"Hospital employees and physicians are all wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), appointments are safely spaced out so that patients have more space in the waiting room and hallways, as they move through the hospital, and there is more time allowed for the cleaning of patient areas between appointments. Additionally, everyone entering the hospital is actively screened for symptoms, prior to starting their shift on a daily basis," says Holder. Noting employees or patients with even mild symptoms are encouraged to stay home from work or reschedule an in-hospital appointment.

At the same time, designated visitor restrictions were proactively rolled back this week to essential visitors only at this time, to further protect patients, employees and physicians. CGMH employees will work with families on a one-on-one basis, if it is felt an essential designated visitor or alternate caregiver is required to support an inpatient, or an outpatient appointment. Exceptions are in place for children under the age of 18, birthing partners, those with special circumstances and end of life patients. CGMH continues to work with patients and families on virtual friendly visiting Zoom calls, in order to keep patients connected through these challenging times.

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