In an effort to keep staff, patients, visitors and the community as safe as possible, staff with the Dryden Regional Health Centre have introduced more strict screening measures at the main entrance.

The DRHC says with the dramatic increases of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba and specifically the Winnipeg area, as well as the Northwestern Health Unit’s direction to avoid non-essential travel to Manitoba, travel restrictions have been updated to reflect this.

Effective immediately, staff, patients and visitors who travel to Manitoba within the previous 14 days will result in a failed entrance screening, and will not be allowed inside. If it’s for emergency care, patients will be required to follow strict policies.

“While COVID-19 confirmed cases have been low in our community and region, it’s critically important to remember that this virus is very contagious and doesn’t stay in any one area for long,” says Doreen Armstrong-Ross, President & Chief Executive Officer at the Dryden Regional Health Centre.

“We’re seeing the impact of the contagion in our neighbouring province. It’s vital that we keep up our guard and continue to follow Ministry and public health recommendations by practicing hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, wearing a mask, staying home when unwell and avoiding non-essential travel to Manitoba at this time.”

Patients with scheduled appointments who must travel outside of northwestern Ontario within the 14 day period must contact the hospital department to advise of their travel.

“We know that the COVID-19 virus has no boundaries and can very quickly overwhelm our hospital and further stress our resources. It is evident that a great deal of reported infections are result of travel,” says Dr. Bruce Cook, Chief of Staff at the DRHC.

“Over the last 8 ½ months we have focused on doing everything we can to protect our patients, staff, medical staff, and community. While we continue our efforts every moment of every day, we are asking that our community members to do their part as well. Please don’t travel outside of Northwestern Ontario unless absolutely necessary.”

The Province of Manitoba lists the Winnipeg Metropolitan Area as a Critical outbreak, and the province as a whole is under Restricted guidelines. Manitoba is reporting 6,751 cases with an 8.5 per cent positivity rate, with 3,772 active cases, 140 current hospitalizations and 87 deaths.

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