The Department of Health and Wellness has updated and reissued guidelines for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings even as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
According to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, “Health centres, hospitals and other healthcare facilities remain an area of high vulnerability as patients with respiratory symptoms will come for care.
There is also an increase risk of exposure and transmission of COVD-19 in these situations.
Vulnerable people frequent these establishments and are at increased risk of exposure, while healthcare workers, if infected, can also transmit to the vulnerable population.
The ministry has therefore issued guidelines that all people visiting health facilities must wear masks; follow hand washing and sanitizing protocols and physical distancing rules.
Healthcare workers should also apply standard infection prevention and control precautions in all situations and should wear masks and other personal protective equipment as necessary in all healthcare settings.
At the same time, healthcare facilities should maintain the triage process for patients with respiratory symptoms.
Dr McKenzie added that “it is essential to screen all people at the first point of contact followed by immediate isolation.
All individuals who become ill should self-isolate and patient management should be guided by clinical management and isolation protocols.