Patients with COVID-19 sometimes wait alongside others in the emergency room, confirms Health PEI.

Health PEI confirmed on Friday that there have been times when COVID-positive patients or those with symptoms could not be separated from others in emergency room waiting rooms due to a lack of space.

There has been an increase in COVID-19 cases in Prince Edward Island this summer, along with crowded emergency rooms due to a shortage of family doctors and healthcare workers.

Tara Ferguson, provincial manager of infection prevention and control for Health PEI, says that once screened and admitted, patients with COVID-19 are separated from patients who don’t. don’t have the virus, although they may be in the same unit.

« We do the same in the ER, » she said. « It’s just that we don’t always have two physical[ly] different rooms.

« However, we can have the respiratory ones on one side and the non-respiratory ones on the other. So basically we’re doing the same thing. We just don’t have the physical walls to show the barrier between them. »

“We are screening every patient daily for symptoms of COVID. We test when they become symptomatic. We put them in isolation as soon as they become symptomatic,” says Ferguson. (Getty Images)

Additionally, she said, people awaiting care are encouraged to wear a mask. In some cases, Ferguson said dividers are placed between patients or chairs are placed far apart to allow people to be physically distanced.

And while COVID-19 is spread through airborne droplets, Health PEI said its infection control protocol appears to be working.

“We have not linked any transmissions to any of our emergencies,” Ferguson said. « Most people come with or [we are] we found it during our admissions exam, but we didn’t link anything to our ER waiting rooms. »

She said that since the removal of specialized COVID-19 units, positive cases are grouped together and treated together in units.

Ferguson noted that it’s almost inevitable that some patients will contract COVID-19 while hospitalized.

« We’re in healthcare; we have that risk. However, I think we’ve done a really good job with our screening protocols, our testing protocols to prevent that from happening, » she said. declared.

“So we screen every patient daily for symptoms of COVID. We test when they become symptomatic. We put them in isolation as soon as they become symptomatic.”

Ferguson said Health PEI has updated its infection control protocol since its introduction more than two years ago. She said decisions are made based on reducing risk while trying to maintain a health care system that works for Islanders.


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