Southwest Saskatchewan is experiencing a wave of both respiratory and enteric illnesses early in 2013, with seven health care facilities in the Cypress Health Region now under outbreak status.
Visiting restrictions are now in place at:
Shaunavon Hospital - On outbreak status as a result of an unconfirmed respiratory illness.
Cypress Regional Hospital (west wing of the Medical/Surgical department) - An unknown enteric illness has been identified among patients on this unit. Visitor restrictions have been implemented on this ward. In effect since January 4.
Prairie Health Care Centre, Cabri - Currently there are three long term care residents who have been identified as having Influenza ‘A’. In effect since Jan. 4.
Leader Hospital - three outpatients have been identified as having signs and symptoms of an unknown respiratory illness. Leader Hospital has been placed on ‘outbreak status’, in effect since Jan. 4, in an attempt to control the unknown illness. Emergency outpatient services will remain available at the Hospital for individuals who are facing urgent and/or emergent health situations.
Palliser Regional Care Centre has had visitor restrictions since Jan. 2 after 13 residents of the long-term care facility became ill with what has been identified as Influenza A.
Gull Lake Special Care Centre was placed under outbreak status on Jan. 3 following the outbreak of an unidentified enteric illness. Two residents and three staff members were experiencing symptoms of the illness.
Swift Current Care Centre residents have tested positive for Influenza A.
The Cypress Health Region’s management team and emergency preparedness committee met on Saturday morning to develop plans in response to the numerous outbreaks. Health Region officials highlighted a pair of priorities to address the situation, as they are now aiming to reduce the risks for the spreading of illness within our facilities and in the communities, with Patient/Resident and staff safety emphasized in the implementation of their strategies.
The following additional measures have been implemented.
- Informational tables will be set up by the front entrances of all facilities throughout the region –signage (attached) will be displayed and instructions for any visitation that is available.
- In the applicable facilities, visitors will be asked to wear isolation masks as provided, portable handwashing stations will be provided (where available), visitors will be asked to wash their hands upon entering and leaving the facility and/or use Avagard when handwashing sinks are not readily available.
- Anyone experiencing signs and symptoms of illness are being asked to stay away from the facilities. This request is being strongly emphasized by the region as a main objective to reduce the risks of bringing community illness into a facility or transferring facility illness into the community.
- Clients who are scheduled for a community services appointment and are experiencing signs and symptoms of an illness will be asked to reschedule their appointments.
- Additional usage of isolation masks in facilities will be available.
Cypress Health Region officials are reminding the public to do their part in reducing the risks of transferring illness to their families and others around them. Everyone should be mindful of washing their hands frequently and properly, staying home when ill, and increasing cleaning efforts in houses and businesses.