March 12, 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) has just declared COVID-19 a pandemic. But the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has been preparing for this for months.
As of March 12, 2020 Saskatchewan currently has one presumptive case. And our Emergency Operations Centre has a plan.
At the top of our list is ensuring staff safety. Please follow the precautions listed in this Safety Talk when caring for a patient with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. We want and need all our staff to stay healthy to deliver the care to all of our patients, including those who come down with the virus.
We are mobilizing our plan for increased testing in the community; you’ll hear more details about this in the next few days. This is part of our plan to keep those who need assessment away from the vulnerable populations in our acute care centres and emergency rooms while awaiting their results.
We have spoken a lot lately about the overcapacity situation in our tertiary hospitals. However, part of our planning to address COVID-19 is meeting the demands we anticipate we will face. We know how to do it; we’ve done it before. A guiding principle will, as always, be delivering the right care to the right people at the right time. We may need to make some hard decisions such as delaying non-urgent care.
To my fellow physicians – we are focusing much of our efforts on communicating with you, and ensuring you have the information, tools and supports you need to deliver care wherever you are in Saskatchewan. Check the Government of Saskatchewan website regularly for updated materials – those that are updated are easily identified. If you’re seeing a gap somewhere, please speak out and share your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the World Health Organization stated earlier this week, this is the first pandemic in history that we can control. We can slow this virus down, and prevent infections. Thank you for your commitment to ensuring the safety of all.