COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

If you suspect you have COVID-19, you can simply walk-in to the Assessment Centre between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., every day of the week. Please see the COVID-19 Assessment Centre information section below for more detailed information.

RESTRICTIVE ENTRY IN PLACE
As part of our restrictive entry policy, there are no visitors allowed in our Emergency Department unless under exceptional circumstances (pediatric, vital signs absent, trauma).

These are unprecedented times, please do your part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety and health of our patients and front line workers.

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Visitor Information

Restrictive entry policy

As part of our restrictive entry policy, there are no visitors allowed in our Emergency Department unless under exceptional circumstances (pediatric, vital signs absent, trauma).

Please do your part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety and health of our patients and front line workers.

COVID-19 & Pregnancy at NBRHC

NBRHC is screening for symptoms

NBRHC announced it will be screening all patients and visitors and restricting access at the 50 College Drive location in North Bay, until further notice.

Patients and visitors will be screened before entry for respiratory illnesses (including COVID-19). Active screening is necessary to keep our patients, staff, and physicians safe while also identifying those individuals with symptoms and travel history or possible exposure to a COVID-19 positive case. Click here to read more.

Entry restrictions

Public access to the 50 College Drive location will only be available at the Emergency Department entrance.

Staying connected to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

While we have restricted visitors to the hospital, we want to ensure that you stay connected with your loved one who is in the hospital during this time.

Below are are some ways you can stay connected.

Telephone calls:

There are no fees for local calls on bedside phones.

Internet access:

There are no fees for internet access at the bedside.

Free Wi-Fi:

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we are pleased to be able to provide free basic Wi-Fi internet access until further notice, to help everyone stay better connected with family and friends.


COVID-19 Assessment

Confirmed positive COVID-19 in our district

With the news this week of the first confirmed positive COVID-19 in our district, we wanted to share a look at the COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre currently located at the North Bay Regional Health Centre.

Patients are referred to the Assessment Centre by the Health Unit where they are seen by a healthcare team including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, paramedics, clerks and environmental services.

Thank you to all the NBRHC staff and physicians, the North Bay Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, Ontario Health and the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit for partnering with us to develop and operate this clinic.

Assessment Centre information

Our assessment centre is here for those that need testing

If you suspect you have COVID-19, you can simply walk-in to the Assessment Centre between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., every day of the week. You can also be referred through the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 extension 5229 or your primary care physician.

Did you know our Health Centre opened and staffed one of the first Assessment Centres in the province?

So far, we have tested almost 1100 people through our COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre and we’re not done— our Assessment Centre is here for those that need testing.

We’ve now been testing for over 69 days—first in a temporary COVID-19 Assessment Centre outside of our Emergency Department, then moving to our permanent location on the west end of our Health Centre.

Our Outreach Team tested 1239 people in four long-term care homes and next week the team will begin testing another 500 staff and residents at our local retirement residences.  Testing of high risk individuals in group homes, shelters and our frontline essential workers will follow over the next few weeks.

“We want to remind our community that we are here for them,” says Dr. Ian Cowan, Medical Director of COVID-19 Assessment Centre. “Our assessment centre is here to test anyone with concerns about COVID-19 exposure or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.”

Our Assessment Centre is located in a self-contained area of the Health Centre—there is a separate entrance on the west end of the building, as well as free outdoor parking close to the entrance.

We still rely on swab tests that detect the virus in the nose. It takes 3 to 5 business days for the results to be reported and a website is available for individuals to check their own results using their health care number.

Self-assessment tool

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool can help you determine if you need to seek further care.


About the virus

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Joint aches

How can I protect myself?

Physical distancing is an important measure we must take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This means: stay home. Do not go out unless you have to, such as to get groceries once per week.

If you must go out (e.g. for your weekly grocery haul), keep a six-foot distance from others. That’s about the maximum distance that droplets from a person’s cough or sneeze can travel, which is one of the ways the virus is spread.

If you are ill (even with mild symptoms) it is especially important that you stay home to prevent the risk of spreading your illness to others. Ask someone to purchase groceries for you, or use a delivery service.

Other ways that we can prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Hand washing: Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help prevent exposure to, and transmission of, illness.
  • Practising proper cough and sneeze etiquette: By coughing/sneezing into a tissue, or into your sleeve or arm (and immediately washing your hands afterwards)
  • Not touching your face: A virus’s port of entry is your eyes, nose, mouth
  • Cleaning your hands before eating/drinking
  • Cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces: Like bathroom sinks, kitchen counters, etc.

For vulnerable populations (people who are immunocompromised, seniors and pregnant women) should extra precautions be taken to protect myself from this illness?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a concerning time for our community, and in particular for those who are immunocompromised, elderly or pregnant. Researchers are still studying this novel coronavirus and how it affects people who are vulnerable.

NBRHC’s Infection Prevention and Control team has these reminders to help reduce your risk of catching this or other infectious illnesses:

  • Do during the COVID-19 pandemic what you routinely do to protect yourself: wash your hands, keep them away from your face, stay away from people who are unwell.
  • Practice physical distancing: We’ve been hearing this a lot. It means limit your close contact with others, stay away from crowds, and keep 2 m physical space from others. Stay at home as much as possible. This helps reduce the spread in the community, thus protecting you further.
  • Carry hand sanitizer if you must go out, and clean your hands frequently.
  • If someone in your home is ill with a fever, cough, cold or other infectious illness, spread out if possible. Designate some space for each of you. Sleep separately if you don’t already and you have the space to do so. The person who is sick with cough, cold, fever, etc. should wear a mask when they are with you.
  • Wipe down high-touch surfaces daily.
  • Physicians in Ontario are encouraged to move to virtual visits. Ask your doctor if that’s possible for your next appointment.
  • And lastly, have a conversation with loved ones and friends about what they can do to protect you and how important it is: wash their hands, keep their hands away from their face; stay home when unwell; practice physical distancing — this means stay home as much as possible.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Research shows that the COVID-19 virus is spread through close contact with an infected person.

This close contact can occur in two ways: droplet and contact.

Droplets means respiratory droplets produced by an infected person’s sneeze or cough. These can travel up to 6 feet (1.8 metres). A person becomes infected when droplets from a cough or sneeze directly enter the body through the eyes, mouth or nose.

Contact means touching a person or object directly, such as door handles, that have droplets on them from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. Unwashed hands contaminated with COVID-19 can introduce the virus to your body when you touch your eyes, mouth or nose.

Washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face are two very important ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What exactly is a pandemic?

When we talk about a pandemic, we’re talking about a new virus spreading across the globe and across countries affecting a high proportion of the population. It’s important to remember that “pandemic” is not related to the severity of an illness, or the number of fatalities associated with an illness.


Resources


North Bay Regional Health Centre is safe for all patients
Please don’t postpone essential care because of the pandemic

April 21, 2020 – If you are sick and need help, the North Bay Regional Health Centre is here for you.

Staff and physicians at NBRHC want our communities to know we are still available to patients for urgent health care needs and emergencies unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NBRHC Emergency Department Manager Joan Brazeau says that while our communities are doing their part to support our health system as it prepares to respond to COVID-19, patients shouldn’t hesitate to seek treatment at the hospital.

Medical emergencies like heart attacks, strokes, and broken limbs still happen during a pandemic,” Brazeau says. “Please don’t delay receiving care because you are worried about COVID-19. Our Health Centre is prepared to safely provide care to all our patients.”

That’s also the message from Nipissing Paramedic Services. Manager Stephen Merkley says if you have an emergency and need help, please don’t hesitate to call 911. Merkley says they are asking the community to be open and honest about their symptoms when calling 911 for the safety and protection of paramedics and first responders.

“To make sure we can safely provide care, we ask that you let us know if the person needing help has a fever, new onset of cough, or difficulty breathing,” he explains. “We also need to know if the person has been a close contact to anyone with an acute respiratory illness or a COVID-19 suspected or probable case in the last 14 days.” In saying that, still call if you need us—this information will help the teams safely prepare to care for you.

If you have an emergency please don’t hesitate. Call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.


NBRHC is prepared and closely monitoring COVID-19

Health Centre has been using this time to prepare facility for possible surge

Extensive planning and mobilization has been underway at the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) to respond to COVID-19.

Community members may be most familiar with the decision made a month ago to restrict access to the facility, the scaling down of non-urgent clinical activities and only allowing visitors in exceptional circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic being declared on March 11.

These are just a few of the many measures implemented at the Health Centre to prepare for COVID-19. For over a month, the Health Centre has been sharing regular (almost daily) COVID-19 Updates to keep staff and physicians updated about the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on the Health Centre.

“The changes implemented over the last few weeks have all been carefully considered to ensure NBRHC can create the capacity it requires to safely care for all our patients,” says Tiz Silveri, Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “Elements of our pandemic plan have been put in place to include additional education and simulations, working with partners, screening, monitoring key supplies, reconfiguring space, and enhancing protocol—all with a focus of protecting our patients, staff, community and each other.”

Surges are common in health care and NBRHC successfully implements an influenza surge plan every year, but a compounding factor when preparing for the pandemic is the constant and sustained bed pressures facing our Health Centre for the last two years—forcing our organization to operate above the capacity for which we are designed and funded.

“We want our community to know that we are still here for you during COVID-19—although it may look a little different than you are used to,” Silveri continues. “Our staff and physicians may need to wear masks and gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when providing care.” This is important so that they can remain safe and well and provide to care for you.

The majority of the early planning involved the physical spaces in the hospital and how they might be changed to safely care for all patients; how to reorganize our staff; and ordering supplies. Some examples include:

  • Emergency Department: divided into a respiratory and non-respiratory section—patients will now see the waiting area with a new glass wall that creates clear separation between areas
  • Specific unit for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients: unit includes three negative pressure rooms (one that remains vacant and dedicated to high risk procedures) and can increase to 13 negative pressure rooms and a plan to increase number of beds (if needed)
  • Critical Care Unit: divided into COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 areas with a specialized team to do all airway procedures on COVID-19 positive patients
  • Operating Room (OR): dedicated one operating room specifically for the treatment of COVID-19 patients: all safety protocols in place to safely operate and recover patients

One of the many people at NBRHC closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 was Dr. Jennifer Mihill, Head of Anaesthesia and the COVID-19 Critical Care Preparedness Lead. Dr. Mihill says for weeks, multiple committees at the hospital were meeting almost daily to plan for what might be coming.

“Our number one priority is the safety of everyone involved—our patients, health care workers, and physicians—both the COVID-19 positive ones and the ones who aren’t,” Dr. Mihill says. “It’s also important for our community to know that we are preparing for this, that we do take it seriously, and that we do have a plan.”


“I want to assure our community that your hospital is ready. All the steps we are taking are being done to help create capacity for us to be able to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue to provide the best care possible for those who need us most.”

Watch North Bay Regional Health Centre President & CEO Paul Heinrich participate in the COVID-19 Community Update held on March 17th here: 


NBRHC Restricting Visitors to the Health Centre Effective Tonight
Hospital scaling down non-urgent clinical activity

Effective tonight at 8:00 p.m. (March 16), visitors will no longer be permitted access to the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) unless under exceptional circumstances as approved by the manager (or designate) of the respective department or unit.

Any visitors that need to be here under exceptional circumstances must be 18 years or older and pass the screening at our Emergency Department entrance. Visitors could be turned away at the unit level if they do not meet the criteria for exceptional circumstances.

Patients attending our Emergency Department may bring a maximum of one adult support person.

NBRHC has no positive cases of COVID-19 at our hospital.

The Health Centre is working through the details of scaling down our non-urgent clinical activities and will provide further information when it is available over the next 24-48 hours. Patients with existing surgeries and appointments will be contacted directly by the hospital.

Help keep our emergency room resources available for trauma and emergent care patients. Call the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 extension 5229 to speak to public health nurse, or call your health care provide if you suspect COVID-19 exposure.

PDF version here: NBRHC restricting visitors, scaling down non-urgent activity


The North Bay Regional Health Centre is closely monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

In an effort to keep our hospital safe, today (March 13) NBRHC announced it will be screening all patients and visitors and restricting access at the 50 College Drive location in North Bay. Effective March 13 at 8:00 pm, and until further notice, public access to the 50 College Drive location will only be available at the Emergency Department entrance.

Patients and visitors will be screened before entry for respiratory illnesses (including COVID-19). Active screening is necessary to keep our patients, staff, and physicians safe while also identifying those individuals with symptoms and travel history or possible exposure to a COVID-19 positive case. Click here to read more.

On March 12, 2020 the North Bay Regional Health Centre asked visitors to postpone visits to NBRHC if they are unwell. Click here to read the PSA.

Help keep our emergency room resources available for trauma and emergent care patients. Call the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext 5229 to speak to public health nurse, or call your health care provider if you suspect COVID 19 exposure. Read more News Release: Health Unit Update on COVID-19


Link to map for patients returning to the Maternal Newborn Clinic.


Update on COVID-19 cases in Ontario

For up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 cases in Ontario, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health’s website.

North Bay

50 College Drive,
P.O. Box 2500
North Bay, ON
P1B 5A4
Tel: 705-474-8600

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Sudbury

680 Kirkwood Drive,
Sudbury, ON
P3E 1X3
Tel: 705-675-9193
Fax: 705-675-6817

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Visitors Guide

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