COVID-19: Patient and Visitor Information Whether you are preparing for surgery, attending an appointment, accessing health care or visiting a loved one – it all looks a lot different than it did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Horizon has more precautions in place to keep patients, clients, families and health care workers safe. The following information will help you know what to expect when you arrive at a Horizon facility, regardless of what brings you here. We are caring for patients with COVID-19 in many units of our hospitals. Because of the high volume of patients with COVID-19 and limited number of beds and staff to care for them, this means there may be someone with COVID-19 on your unit. Infection Prevention and Control standards are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19; despite this, the Omicron variant is extremely transmissible, and our hospitals and health care workers are not immune to this virus.To further help reduce transmission, all patients must now wear a mask when interacting with health care workers in a Horizon facility. As well, patients are reminded to clean their hands regularly, and, whenever possible, keep a physical distance of two metres (or six feet) between yourself and others.Your hospital may need to implement service reductions at times in order to be able to care for patients that require urgent and emergency care. If your surgery is impacted, a member of your health care team will contact you.To help patient flow, we are making every effort to have all patients discharged by 11 a.m. This will allow for proper cleaning protocols to happen and the bed to be ready for our next patients requiring medical care. We are also working with physicians to provide you with advance notice (when possible) of your discharge date. Please ensure you have travel arrangements in place for 11 a.m. on the day of your discharge.As a reminder: At this time there are NO SOCIAL VISITORS ALLOWED in our hospitals. Some exceptions to these visitor restrictions are in place for patients who are eligible for a Designated Support Person (DSP). Helpful Family Resources for Dealing with Coronavirus (COVID-19) Respecting the privacy of our patients and staff Donations Debit/Credit Card Payment for Cafeteria and Parking Services Things change quickly in the world of COVID-19. Change can be hard to navigate, and it can have a big impact on our mental health. Heidi FitzGerald is a psychologist who works with Horizon as clinical coordinator for the Child and Youth team in St. Stephen. She shares helpful tips for families to improve their mental well-being during this stressful time. Read her blog HERE. We understand this is a stressful time for adults, teens and children. You may have unanswered questions and children may be curious about all the Coronavirus talk. We’ve developed some helpful tips for talking to kids about COVID-19. 1. Be truthful. Telling the truth at the child’s level of understanding is important. If your children are young, read appropriate news to them, only telling them what they need to know. Thinking adults are hiding things can cause anxiety in children. Answer their questions honestly. 2. Be aware of your anxiety and take care of yourself. Feeling anxious is completely normal, and it is necessary to take care of yourself. In times of anxiety, leave the room and return when you have a chance to calm your nerves. Yoga, meditating or going for a walk are all wonderful ways to help your mental health. 3. Help eliminate misinformation. Ensuring children and teens are consuming their information from trusted sources is key. Try to encourage breaks in screen time and provide resources that will eliminate rumors passed through social media. 4. Maintain a routine. Although it is difficult, try to maintain a routine with your children. Chat with your friends about ideas and activities. Encourage your children to have a say in their routine and hold them responsible for putting it into practice. This can be fun for them and allows familiarity among the uncertainty. 5. Explain Why. Helping children understand the precautions are in place for their safety and the safety of others is important. Let them know the importance of protecting their communities. Horizon’s Child and Youth and Addictions and Mental Health teams are available if you require support. Find more information by clicking HERE. Horizon’s primary focus during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is to ensure the health and safety of our patients and clients, staff, physicians and communities. We are committed to ensuring all of our care environments respect patient, client, visitor, employee and non-employee privacy, dignity and confidentiality. COVID-19 Assessment Centres To ensure the privacy of our patients and staff is protected, staff and patients are asked to avoid going to our COVID-19 Assessment Centres, unless they have a legitimate health-related or work-related reason to be there. Pictures of each site are available on our website and you can also take a virtual tour of a centre here. No Recording Without Consent When you take a photo, video or audio recording in a health care environment, you could be capturing somebody else’s private information. As a visitor to one of our facilities or as a health care provider, you have the right to your privacy – and we ask you to respect that right of others. What does this mean? Posting photos or videos on social media about your visit or other patients could be an invasion of privacy. Please respect the privacy of others and remember: no recording without consent. Homemade cloth masks (community masks) Horizon appreciates the outpouring of support and generosity of donations of homemade cloth masks. For the health and safety of our patients, clients and visitors, we no longer accept donations of community cloth facemasks. This decision is based on the organization’s ability to assess and meet new Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) guidelines regarding community cloth facemasks (non-medical masks and face coverings). Horizon is grateful to members of the community, for their generosity in donating more than 7,500 community cloth facemasks over the last several months. These facemasks were distributed to visitors and outpatients. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 Respirators There has been a lot of recent discussion in the public discourse and in the media about how N95 respirators are being used, how they function and whether health care organizations have enough of them on hand. While we appreciate the outpouring of support we’ve received from members of the public who have been willing to donate homemade personal protective equipment (PPE), the best way for the public to support our staff at this time is by staying home and practicing physical distancing. Any certified manufacturers wishing to supply New Brunswick’s health care system with PPE can contact Service New Brunswick by emailing SPsuppliers@snb.ca or fournisseursAS@snb.ca. Baby Monitors Horizon appreciates the public’s generosity and interest to donate equipment to our hospitals during this current pandemic. We are currently unable to accept donations of baby monitors. We understand that the intent behind the donations is to assist staff when caring for patients who may require isolation. Baby monitors may present issues with safety, security and privacy, therefore we ask that members of the public refrain from dropping off baby monitors at our hospitals. Horizon is currently exploring safer and more secure options to enhance what already exists. Providing an easy and simple option to handling cash is important to protect the health and safety of patients, visitors and staff. Currently there are several Horizon facilities where cafeteria and parking services operate as cash only. We are pleased to offer the option of cashless payment, using debit or credit card, across all of our Horizon facilities. Locations where debit and credit card payments will now be available are: Cafeteria Services Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital Miramichi Regional Hospital Oromocto Public Hospital Sackville Memorial Hospital Saint John Regional Hospital: Cafeteria Saint John Regional Hospital: Fast Break St. Joseph’s Hospital Stan Cassidy Centre The Moncton Hospital Upper River Valley Hospital Parking Services Saint John Regional Hospital The Moncton Hospital Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital For more general information related to patients and visitors, click here.