A New Threat


Patients and visitors with respiratory problems are encouraged to wear surgical masks when entering Brockville General Hospital as part of protocols to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The hospital said this week that it is reinforcing its infectious disease screening processes, including asking people with coughs, shortness of breath and fever to take special precautions. Those precautions include masks and sanitizing their hands before entering the hospital.

In a statement, the BGH also said that patients into the Emergency Department are screened for travel history. Signs are posted at the Emergency Department, main entrance and other points of entry to the hospital informing visitors of the precautions.

"To protect all of our patients and staff, we are also working with our health system partners to determine how we can best screen, assess, test and treat patients who are suspected of having the novel coronavirus," said Nick Vlacholias, president and chief executive officer at BGH. "At this time, these are only precautionary efforts." BGH officials said they are working closely with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit to monitor the three reported cases of coronavirus in Canada and adhere to any new directives from the provincial health ministry. He added that BGH staff, doctors and volunteers.

The health unit urges these precautions:

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

Keep frequently touched surfaces clean, such as handles, doorknobs, armrests, phones)

If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.