Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) continues to evolve its pandemic response with several changes to its COVID-19 practices. According to a release from the hospital agency, the changes aim to balance ease of access and patient, family and staff safety, and align with the direction of other peer hospitals across the province.
KHSC provided the following details about the changes:
- Self-Screening: As of Nov. 14, all outpatients and visitors will be expected to self-screen for symptoms of infectious illness (e.g., fever, cough, chills, sore throat) consistent with signage posted at hospital entrances. Active screening—where those entering are asked questions about their health or possible exposure to COVID-19—and the online pre-appointment screening tool will be discontinued.
Patients who have any symptoms will be asked to report them to the registration or clinical staff, who will also be screening patients when they arrive at their clinic. Visitors who do not “pass” screening cannot enter. Before proceeding into the hospital, all patients and visitors must sanitize their hands and put on a hospital-issued mask from the supply of masks provided.
- Re-opening of patient/visitor entrances: KHSC will re-open additional public entrances at the Murray Building (HDH site) and at GIDRU Level 1 off George St. (KGH site). Both are accessible entrances that will be open from Monday to Friday during daytime hours. Both have close proximity to busy clinics, which means patients and families attending those clinics can benefit from these safe and convenient points of entry.
- KHSC is changing how it reports COVID-19 data to the public. As of Nov. 14, KHSC will report COVID-19 information exclusively through its website. Members of the public and media who are looking to find up-to-date information and data (COVID-19-positive patients in the hospital, units with a COVID-19 outbreak, etc.) must visit www.KingstonHSC.ca/COVID19. This page will be updated every weekday by 10 a.m.
According to the release, KHSC will be carefully monitoring and assessing the above changes as they unfold. All critical infection control measures such as mandatory masking, vigilant hand hygiene, physical distancing and limited family presence remain in place at KHSC.
“We ask families and visitors to help us keep their loved ones and our staff safe by not visiting or accompanying patients if they are sick or symptomatic with COVID-19 or other viruses that circulate during the respiratory illness season,” KHSC stated. “KHSC also encourages all individuals to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and influenza.”