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OSMH implements additional precautions in support of declaration of community wide influenza activity

12/19/2012 12:00:00 AM

(December 19, 2012 - Orillia, ON) –  Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is stepping up its efforts to contain spread of the flu virus in response to today’s declaration of community wide influenza activity by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).


In addition to the hand hygiene stations at each of the entrances to the hospital, OSMH has provided a supply of surgical masks.  Anyone coming into the hospital, who hasn’t received the flu shot a minimum of two weeks prior, is being asked to wear a surgical mask while on hospital property.  They are also strongly encouraged to practice good hand hygiene before entering the facility, and before and after entering a patient room.


All staff has been encouraged to receive the influenza vaccine and we are happy to report that more than 50% of staff has been vaccinated. However, those that are not vaccinated are required to wear a surgical mask at all times while working as per hospital policy while the declaration remains in effect. 


“The influenza season started earlier this year and unfortunately the circulating strain is associated with more severe illness,” says Catherine Gardner, Manager of Occupational Health & Safety and Infection Prevention & Control at OSMH. “The good news is that this year’s vaccine is a match."


“Anytime there is community wide influenza activity, the hospital will see patients with the flu admitted to the facility.  Our focus is to ensure it doesn’t spread from patient to patient, which could potentially lead to the declaration of an outbreak within the hospital.” 


In addition to patients, Gardner points out that the hospital needs to keep staff, physicians and volunteers safe and healthy so they can continue to provide care.


Anyone with flu-like symptoms who doesn’t require the services of the hospital is strongly encouraged to stay home. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has developed an online self-screening tool for anyone with flu-like symptoms to help them determine an appropriate care plan. The tool can be accessed at www.ontario.ca/flu    


If you haven't received your influenza vaccination, there are still opportunities to get it.  A complete list of clinics available in Simcoe County is available on the SMDHUs website at www.smdhu.org


Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is located in Orillia, Ontario (just 114 kilometres north of Toronto) and serves more than 440,000 residents in North Simcoe Muskoka. OSMH provides a comprehensive range of programs and services, including medical, surgical and emergency care, dialysis, obstetrical and paediatric care, oncology, complex continuing care, mental health and rehabilitation services. For more information please visit our website at www.osmh.on.ca.



For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:


Terry Dyni, Director, Community Relations

Tel.: 705-327-9179

E-mail: tadyni@osmh.on.ca

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