'They've dropped the ball,' Campbellton mayor says of Vitalite, public health
CAMPBELLTON, N.B. -- The spread of COVID-19 in New Brunswick's Zone 5 region has shut down the emergency department and all non-emergency services at the Campbellton Regional Hospital to prevent further contamination.
Staff members from Vitalite Health Network gathered for a virtual meeting Wednesday to discuss the recent closure of the Campbellton Regional Hospital.
"We made the hard decision to close the emergency services and that decision was made because we wanted to ensure the contamination was inside the hospital," said Gilles Lanteigne, the CEO of Vitalite Health Network.
The decision, made Saturday, is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Zone 5.
This means the ER is closed, visits are prohibited, and all non-urgent outpatient care is suspended until further notice.
"I'm very disappointed in Vitalite, public health and the government," said Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart. "I feel they've dropped the ball."
Wednesday's stats on the Campbellton Regional Hospital show there are 154 beds, eight intensive care beds, one COVID-19 patient in the ICU, one patient on the COVID-19 unit, 10 employees with COVID-19 in isolation at home, 31 employees in isolation at home as a precaution, and 930 employees and doctors screened since Saturday at both the Restigouche Hospital Centre and the Campbellton Regional Hospital.
Vitalite is now looking to hire staff from outside of the Campbellton region.
"At this stage, what we've done is what we call, it's a voluntary 'call to all,'" Lanteigne said. "That means internal to Vitalite, but we've also looked at our ex-employees or employees that have retired."
The mayor of Campbellton says she believes the spread is largely to due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
"When they're moving their patients ... and the guy coughs, well they don't feel very much protection with those little surgical masks that they have, so I know an issue is N95,"said Anglehart.
Vitalite staff say they're waiting on test results from employees before any decisions are made on the future of reopening the hospital.
In other news, another health-care worker is New Brunswick's newest -- and only -- case of COVID-19 reported on Wednesday.
New Brunswick Public Health said the person is in their 20s. They work and were exposed to the virus in Zone 5 (the Campbellton region) but they live in Zone 3 (the Fredericton region.)
The person is self-isolating and being monitored by Public Health.
This increases the number of confirmed cases to 164, but 133 of those people have recovered, included 12 of the people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the latest outbreak in the Campbellton area.
Two people have died and the number of active cases is 29. Four patients are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit. As of Wednesday, the public health workers have completed 38,714 tests since the pandemic began in March.
"It is important to understand that COVID-19, just like many other chronic illnesses and diseases, has not impacted all people in the same way," Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health said in a news release. "Due to societal factors, some populations are significantly more susceptible and affected by this disease and by the public health measures put in place to try to prevent the spread of the virus. When it comes to COVID-19, we are all only as safe as those members of our community who are most at risk; we are all in this together."
Information on public health recovery phases, measures and guidelines is available online.