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 a respiratory virus such as COVID-19 in many units of our hospitals. This means there may be someone with a respiratory virus on your unit. Infection Prevention and Control standards are in place to reduce the spread of respiratory illness; 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, patients may be asked to 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 between yourself and others. Your hospital may need to implement service reductions if a patient care unit or a department has an outbreak of a respiratory illness. 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. Helpful Family Resources for Dealing with Coronavirus (COVID-19) Donations 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. 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. For more general information related to patients and visitors, click here.