Plexiglass shield put up at clinic in Thompson hospital removed because it was a safety issue: NRHA

A makeshift plexiglass shield put up at the front desk of the Northern Consultation Clinic in the basement of the Thompson General Hospital to protect workers from possible exposure to the novel coronavirus was taken down after only a few days because it was a safety issue, the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) said.

A March 28 Facebook post about the shield said a doctor had it installed the previous weekend but when hospital management found out about it on March 25 it was removed by the following day.

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A statement from the NRHA said it “does not encourage or support individuals acting on their own to modify our facilities, particularly in areas outside of the area of their expertise.” It was also noted that by the time members of the public arrive at the Northern Consultation Clinic front desk, they have already gone through at least one COVID-19 screening, or even as many as three.

The NRHA also says that it has always been committed to the health and safety of its staff and that the COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened that commitment. 

“We continue to assess our needs for staff protection as the COVID situation unfolds,” read the NRHA statement. “At present, we are confident we have the right types and quantities of protection equipment available and we continue to work with and train our staff to ensure they can make the most effective use of those items to ensure their safety.”

Manitoba chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said at an April 1 news conference about the COVID-19 pandemic that health care staff arriving at acute and long-term care facilities will be given a screening including a temperature check and asked to answer questions about any symptoms, travel history and exposure to possible coronavirus cases they may have had in response to health care workers at three different sites in Selkirk and Winnipeg testing positive for COVID-19 over the previous few days.

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