Inpatient/Resident/Client Mask Use

October 15, 2020

(Message on Behalf of Manitoba Health, Seniors & Active Living, Shared Health Manitoba, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and Riverview Health Centre)

As COVID-19 is expected to be a part of the “new normal” in our community, and our facility, efforts are underway to find a longer-term balance between preventing the spread of this virus and making patients’/residents’ time at Riverview Health Centre as comfortable as possible.

To protect our patients/residents from the many viruses and germs that normally exist in any hospital setting, we kindly ask them to remain in their rooms as much as possible. We recognize there are times when it is absolutely necessary to leave their rooms, whether that’s to attend a medical test or appointment off the unit or to go outside for some fresh air. During these instances, effective Monday, October 19, 2020, all patients/residents are required* to wear a non-medical mask each time they leave their room.

As Designated Family Caregivers or Designated Visitors, we require the following:

1. Visitor/Designated Family Caregiver to please bring an adequate supply (at least 4-5, depending how often the person leaves their room) of non-medical masks and paper bags (used to store the masks between uses) on your next visit (before October 19, 2020). Non-medical masks are readily available for purchase online or at various retail stores, including our Riverview Health Centre Gift Shop, while supplies last.

2. For Hospital unit patients (4NR, 3E), you are also asked to please wash your loved one’s used masks as Riverview Health Centre is not able to launder these items for patients (non-residents). For residents of our personal care home and chronic care units (CD1,2,3,4, 3W, 2E, 2W), our RHC facility laundry services will label and launder residents’ masks with the rest of their personal laundry.

3. The Public Health Agency of Canada highly recommends non-medical masks made up of 2 or more layers of tightly woven fabric. Please see the “How to safely wear a non-medical mask” sheet attached for more information on do’s and don’ts click here.

4. If you are absolutely unable to provide a non-medical mask, or to assist you in appropriate care and laundering, please notify your nurse. If necessary, we will provide a disposable mask when needed as well as directions on its use. However, movement out of their room will be even more limited, as we must conserve medical masks for necessary health care use.

*Exceptions may be considered for those who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, cognitive reasons such as dementia, those who cannot put on or remove their masks on their own and for children younger than 5 years old. Please speak with your care team if you believe your loved one falls into any of these categories.

We ask that all residents/patients please keep their non-medical mask on the entire time they are away from their room, unless instructed otherwise by our staff in order to receive care. Even when wearing a mask, please remember it’s important to stay 6 feet apart from others and use the hand sanitizer stations or soap and water to clean your hands. Germs are everywhere and most are spread by hand contact or coughing and sneezing.

Thank you for the cooperation and understanding as we take every measure to protect you, your loved ones and our staff.

Sincerely, Riverview Health Centre Leadership Team

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