KHSC returns to masking across all areas of hospital sites
September 28, 2023
Kingston, ON – Sept. 28, 2023 – In response to rising COVID-19 prevalence in southeastern Ontario, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has re-introduced mandatory masking for patients, staff and visitors across all public facing areas of Kingston General Hospital site and Hotel Dieu Hospital site, effective immediately.
Mandatory masking is also required in non-public facing departments where physical distancing between staff is not possible, such as clinical laboratories, shared offices or break rooms.
Throughout the pandemic, KHSC’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team has monitored local COVID-19 community prevalence markers including COVID-19 test positivity, outbreaks in congregate living settings, and wastewater detection. Current regional data indicates that test positivity has risen to from 10.1% to 21.5% in the past ten days, however, wastewater evidence suggests that this could be a short-lived rise in COVID-19 cases.
At this time there is no change to the family and visitor presence policy, which currently allows for two visitors to a patient’s bedside at any time. Further control measures will be re-introduced should local COVID-19 markers continue to rise in Kingston. Monitoring and escalating control measures continues to be part of KHSC’s respiratory response plan.
“We understand that these can be challenging decisions, however, we must ensure a safe environment for every person who comes here to receive care, work, volunteer, or learn,” says Dr. Gerald Evans, Medical Director of Infection Prevention & Control at KHSC.
To help reduce the risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19, KHSC encourages everyone who is eligible to get a shot of the updated COVID-19 vaccine, get an annual flu shot, practice regular handwashing, wear a mask when appropriate and stay home when sick.
For more information visit www.kingstonhsc.ca
Providence Care returns to masking across all areas of the organization
In response to rising COVID-19 and respiratory illness prevalence in the region, Providence Care is escalating additional control measures effective Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. This includes re-introducing mandatory masking across all public facing areas (lobbies, hallways, cafeterias, etc.) of our hospitals and community sites for those who work, learn, volunteer or visit Providence Care. Masking is also required in non-public facing departments where physical distancing between staff is not possible.
Effective Oct. 2, mandatory masking will be in place for staff, students, volunteers and visitors at Providence Care Hospital (PCH), Providence Transitional Care Centre (PTCC) and community sites. At Providence Manor, staff, students, volunteers and visitors will continue to wear a mask at all times on and off resident home areas. As per Ministry of Long-Term Care guidance, visitors at Providence Manor may remove their mask when alone in a resident room.
Providence Care has escalated measures due to an overall increase in community prevalence in our region. Control measures will continue to be evaluated in a manner that balances ease of access and patient, client, resident, family and staff safety.
To help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, Providence Care encourages everyone to receive an annual flu shot, COVID-19 booster vaccine if eligible, practice diligent hand hygiene, wear a mask and stay home when sick.
- Effective Oct. 2, 2023, Providence Care is implementing mandatory masking throughout the organization as part of its tiered response plan to address the resurgence of viral respiratory infections.
- Providence Care’s COVID-19 protective measures will continue to be evaluated in a manner that balances safety and ease of access.