FAQ - NICU OUTBREAK
- What’s being done to ensure that there are no more infections?
- All patients and new parents have been moved from the NICU into a satellite unit and are being monitored closely. SPH’s NICU is currently being cleaned and decontaminated. We are taking extra steps to make sure our environment and our people are safe, including:
- 1. Enhanced cleaning of the space
- 2. Enhanced PPE protocols and COVID-19 precautions
- 3. Following the directions of Public Health
- Is it safe for our patients to deliver here?
- St. Paul’s NICU and maternity units are separate units. As such, it is still safe to deliver in St. Paul’s. If NICU care is needed after delivery, a clean satellite NICU has been set up to care for these babies.
- I was working in the Maternity Department during the July 10 - 14 exposure; do I need to quarantine?
To date there has been no known staff exposure, as all NICU staff who cared for the family have been confirmed to have been wearing masks and eye protection and practicing hand hygiene throughout the encounter.
This means that there are no staffing restrictions within the Maternity unit and staffing plans and assignments will continue as usual. Staff do not need to quarantine; but as we have been communicating since the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff are required to self-screen for symptoms before every shift.
- I was working in the NICU during the July 10 - 14 exposure; do I need to quarantine?
All NICU staff who cared for the family have been confirmed to have been wearing masks and eye protection and practicing hand hygiene throughout the encounter, so we believe the risk of staff exposure is low.
Only when these infants are discharged and the Medical Health Officer approves, will these staff return to caring for the rest of our patients and families.Out of an abundance of caution, only the NICU staff who cared for the COVID-positive family will continue to care for the one potentially exposed infant currently in care in the alternate NICU.
- I’m a Maternity nurse who works at multiple sites - can I continue to do this?
For the duration of the outbreak, all nursing staff who work within the NICU and Maternity units will be limited to working at a single site.
- I’m a midwife - am I expected to work within a single site?
- No, medical staff such as midwives, physicians and OB/GYNs are not limited to a single site.
- When will the regular NICU reopen?
- The main NICU will be reopened by order of the Medical Health Officer when the IPAC team has completed their assessment, decontamination, and cleaning process and we are able to staff it appropriately.
- What do I tell parents-to-be who are concerned about giving birth at St. Paul’s?
The Maternity unit at St. Paul’s is open and safe for expectant families to come deliver their babies. The most up-to-date information for the public and families is available at: http://www.providencehealthcare.org/st-pauls-hospital-neonatal-intensive...
If you need to reach PHC’s Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPAC), please call local 69357. Do not contact individual IPAC team members.