Niagara Health recognizes being COVID-free for first time since March

The team at Niagara Health is recognizing an important milestone – as of Wednesday morning, there are no hospitalized patients being treated for COVID-19.

The final two cases of COVID-19 were declared resolved earlier today. This marks the first time since March that there have been no COVID patients in hospital. One of our patients became Niagara’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 12.

Between then and now, the Niagara Health team has cared for 129 patients with COVID-19.

“Over the course of this pandemic, our team has shown great dedication to patients and each other,” said Lynn Guerriero, president of Niagara Health.

“They have provided outstanding care and committed themselves to our infection prevention and control practices to keep everyone safe and minimize the spread of this highly contagious virus. We’d also like to recognize Niagara residents for their support. This has been a true community effort.”

“However, the pandemic is not over, COVID-19 is still circulating in the community, and the possibility remains that we will need to treat more patients in the near future. Therefore, we must remain vigilant with our safety protocols to keep the hospital safe for everyone,” added Guerriero.

Dr. Karim Ali, Niagara Health’s director of infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship program, said maintaining a bundled approach to safety is key to minimizing the spread of the virus.

“It is critical that everyone continues to keep a safe physical distance from others, wear a mask, and clean their hands regularly. As it stands today, there is no vaccine for this coronavirus so these measures give us the best chance of controlling the spread of infection,” said Dr. Ali.

Niagara Health operates three COVID-19 Assessment Centres where members of the public can be tested for the virus. Located in St. Catharines, Welland, and Niagara Falls, the centres have performed over 26,500 tests since opening in March.

The hospital is currently in Stage 2 of its recovery planning and clinical activity is currently operating between 25-35 per cent of normal volumes. There are a number of measures in place to support the safety of all patients, visitors, staff and physicians, including:

  • Screening everyone entering the hospital for COVID-19;
  • Implementing a universal masking policy for everyone entering the hospital;
  • Limited visiting hours to control the amount of traffic coming in and out of the hospital;
  • Encouraging physical distancing through signage and seating arrangements, and;
  • Regular hand hygiene

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