Read new visiting guidelines and other COVID-19 updates here.

Hamilton Health Sciences Home
March 15, 2020

COVID-19 Update

This situation is evolving rapidly. We will update this information regularly.

All HHS sites are open and continuing to offer care

  • It’s safe for patients to come to their appointments. If a patient’s care is changing as a result of COVID-19, they will be notified by their care team.
  • Only patients who were directly in contact with the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre physician who tested positive for COVID-19 need to self-isolate (see below).
  • All washrooms, consultation rooms, offices and rooms frequented by patients and visitors are cleaned regularly following provincial standards for cleaning in healthcare settings.
  • It’s safe for service providers and contractors to keep their normal routine at all our sites for the time being.
  • Visiting guidelines have been updated as a result of COVID-19.
  • We are in the process of a phased implementation to wind down non-urgent, elective surgeries, and non-urgent, ambulatory programs and services. Some programs have already paused service, including the Autism Program, Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation, as well as some elective surgeries and cancer screening.

Positive Cases

On March 10, Hamilton Health Sciences received confirmation of a positive test result following testing of a physician from the Juravinski Cancer Centre on March 9. HHS is implementing a host of actions aimed at ensuring the safety of staff, physicians, and patients.

Please check Hamilton Public Health Service’s website for further updates on cases in Hamilton.

 

How do I know if I should be tested for COVID-19?

Self-assessment

The Ontario Ministry of Health has created a new tool to help people self-assess for COVID-19. Unless you are experiencing an emergency, please use this tool before seeking medical help for possible COVID-19.

Self-assessment tool: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment

Public Health

Visit Hamilton Public Health Services’ website to learn more about testing. You can also call (905) 546-2424 ext. 7970 to speak with their Infectious Diseases Program staff or send questions to phscovid19@hamilton.ca. Only patients who meet provincial criteria will be tested for COVID-19.

Please follow all public health advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Screening and delays

We are proactively screening patients at all of our sites.

What does that mean for you? Upon registration, staff will ask patients about travel and symptoms, particularly respiratory symptoms, and contact with others. If you meet the current case-definition (a combination of symptoms, contact, and/or travel) for COVID-19 staff will begin a special infection-control protocol.

These added measures, while important, may increase delays in our already busy hospitals. We appreciate your patience and encourage you to visit needadoc.ca to determine the most appropriate place to seek care for your medical needs.

Hamilton Health Sciences is providing protective gear to prevent the spread of infection to staff and doctors, and making infection prevention and control staff available 24/7 to provide round-the-clock advice. Protective supplies are in high demand, and it is important that patients and families do not take hospital supplies home with them unless specifically instructed to do so.

Keeping you informed

  • We will continue to communicate with staff and the public about this situation as developments, if any, occur.
  • Hospital staff are instructed to stay home from work if they are feeling ill.
  • Hospital staff are instructed to avoid international travel, and work remotely if possible.
  • HHS is doing all we can to minimize the impact of this situation for staff and for our patients.

Updates will be shared frequently to ensure everyone has the information required to remain safe.

Juravinski doctor tests positive

The physician recently returned from a trip to Hawaii and started experiencing symptoms during her workday on Monday. She attended the emergency department at Juravinski Hospital where she was tested for the new coronavirus. Proper infection control measures were taken and personal protective equipment was worn by staff and physicians who provided the care and testing.

She has since been in self-isolation at home. However, she was working at the Juravinski Cancer Center the afternoon of March 9 and saw patients and interacted with colleagues and staff. Those individuals are being contacted.

Since becoming aware of this situation, HHS has been working closely with Public Health to determine and implement the most appropriate response.

The risk to people working in the clinic or who had contact with this physician is low. The risk to others working, receiving care, or visiting the Juravinski March 9 is very low.

Resources

Public Health Agency of Canada COVID-19 information
Government of Canada Travel Advisory
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care COVID-19 information
Halton Public Health, including Burlington
Hamilton Public Health
Niagara Public Health