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Family and Community COVID-19 Update
Family and Community COVID-19 Update
Posted on 06/09/2021

Family and Community COVID-19 Update
June 9, 2021


Hope is in the air as we move into the summer months - daily cases are dropping and the healthcare system slowly recovering. The province will soon move to Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen and we are excited to be working on our own recovery plans at the hospital. 

The resumption of services does require extensive planning, and we must balance this with the ongoing needs of current patients and the ongoing possibility of future case surges. Some of the things we are working on include:

Improving the Patient Experience
With limited opportunities for visitors and the suspension of off-unit activities for most of the last year, the daily lives of our patients have been affected greatly. While our teams have been working tirelessly to make life on the unit as engaging as possible, having access to other opportunities will be welcomed. 

Patient Access and Flow
When the pandemic hit us, we had to suspend some programs and open others including an isolation unit in order to keep everyone safe. This planning will take into consideration what’s possible to meet the mental health care needs of our community while maintaining current infection prevention and control practices. 

Healthy Human Resources
Our team members have been wearing protective equipment like masks and face shields for long periods, faced difficult periods including two outbreaks, are working longer hours to cover shifts. Some have been redeployed to other units for extended periods of time. This work will focus on returning our staff to their home units, identifying new staffing resources, continuing to enhance our wellness supports, and working with the Patient Access and Flow group to support staffing requirements. 

This work is complex, but we are ready to take this on. Everyone is eager to get back to providing all of our usual services. 

We are pleased to be welcoming back limited visitors starting today. While this is not a resumption of open visiting, we value the presence of family and loved ones in the hospital and are regularly reviewing how we can expand this in a safe way. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, our teams are making every effort to facilitate video or telephone visits. Please speak with a member of the care team about visits. 

Vaccines continue to be one of the most important avenues out of this pandemic. A large percentage of our staff have had at least one dose of the vaccine along with most of our patients, and second doses are well underway. We are very optimistic about our vaccination rates; however, we must all continue to adhere to all infection and prevention control protocols including personal protective equipment. 

We continue to be inspired by our staff who rise to the challenge every day to provide exceptional mental health care to patients in these extraordinary circumstances. We will continue to do our part locally and provincially to get through this pandemic.

Lastly, we are honoured to be able celebrate two very important events this June: National Indigenous History Month and Pride Month – and we invite you to join us. 

Ontario Health Central and the Indigenous Health Circle are offering some wonderful sessions to learn about Indigenous history. This is an opportunity to learn more about the cultural diversity of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Click here for more information and the Zoom links

Waypoint is committed to being a safe space where everyone is welcome and free to be their true selves. We are proud to fly the Pride flag at both the hospital’s Penetanguishene site and at the Community Health Hub in Midland, and celebrate the diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and practice acceptance and love for all people. 

Resources for Families
Supports for families are available from our Spiritual Care Team, the Patient/Client and Family Council and the Patient Relations Office. More information can be found at the Patients and Families tab

Spiritual Care
Clinical Multifaith Chaplains and Traditional Healer
705-549-3181, ext. 2850

Patient/Client & Family Council
A peer-led organization committed to using personal experiences to improve mental health and addiction services
705-549-3181, ext. 2222

Patient Relations Office
Available to listen to your feedback, and work to answer your questions and resolve your concerns
705-549-3181, ext. 29