Thursday January 19, 2017
In response to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) declaration of community wide influenza activity as of January 16, 2017, Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) is stepping up its efforts to contain spread of the flu virus
In addition to the hand hygiene stations at each of the entrances to the hospital, SMH has provided a supply of surgical masks. Anyone coming into the hospital, who hasn’t received the flu shot a minimum of two weeks prior, is being asked to wear a surgical mask while on hospital property. They are also strongly encouraged to practice good hand hygiene before entering the facility, and before and after entering a patient room.
All staff has been encouraged to receive the influenza vaccine and we are happy to report that to date, more than 50% of staff has been vaccinated. For those that have not been vaccinated, they will be required to wear a surgical mask at all times while working while the declaration remains in effect.
Local Emergency departments have been experiencing a high number of visits from patients with flu-like symptoms. The community is being asked that for anyone with flu-like symptoms who doesn’t require the services of the hospital to please stay home.
The focus is to ensure influenza doesn’t spread from patient to patient, which could potentially lead to the declaration of an outbreak within the hospital and to also keep staff, physicians and volunteers safe and healthy.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has an online tool for anyone with flu-like symptoms to help them determine an appropriate care plan. The tool can be accessed at www.ontario.ca/flu and includes an interactive map to find a pharmacy near you that has flu shots available.
Public Health has stated that the circulating influenza type appears to be a good match to the vaccine. If you have not had your flu shot yet you are strongly encouraged to get it now.