After details of a COVID-19 exemption order in place for certain groups of people in work and delivery wards at Alberta hospitals came to light, a doctor says precautions have been taken to prevent any danger.
Back in July, Alberta’s top doctor, Dr. Deena Hinshaw an emergency order for “significant support personnel” for obstetric patients who gave them access to a hospital facility even if they were symptomatic or tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Stephanie Cooper, a high-risk obstetrician at Foothills Medical Center in Calgary, says she understands how people may be concerned about the document as it is written.
However, she says the protection that Alberta Health Services has put in place is effective in preventing problems from occurring.
“As written, I can understand and believe that this means that COVID-positive support is allowed to come up to the work and delivery unit and be present there as well as in the postpartum unit like, in general, the rule – as the norm,” said she to CTV News in an interview Sunday. “That’s not really what’s happening.”
Cooper also said the idea of COVID-19 patients sharing a room with postpartum COVID-negative patients is not true either.
She says she also recently received a letter emphasizing the fact that “extraordinary circumstances” must exist before a dispensation is granted.
“They would require high-level approval from infection, prevention and control, as well as site administration.
“So it actually says there’s a possibility, but in my experience I have practically not seen that happen, except in one exception.”
Cooper said it happened when a patient was delivering at the hospital. While hospitalized, they developed symptoms, were plastered, and were found to be COVID-positive.
“The support person is not being sent home at that time, even though they are considered to be in close contact with someone with COVID.”
‘VERY ROBUST’ HEALTH PROTOCOLS
Cooper says staff in her field are “overly cautious” when it comes to the symptoms of COVID-19 that occur in patients on the device.
If someone even develops a fever, it is assumed that the support person and everyone in the room automatically have COVID, and that room becomes an isolation room, she said.
“The support person must not leave the room and then we are waiting to get the cotton swab back,” she said. “After this time period – 18 plus months – we have very robust PPE requirements in the sense of doffing and donning, that if we go in and take care of a COVID person, the staff will take off their personal protective equipment and will not take it from it. one room to the next. “
However, there is a possibility that unvaccinated families are in the same room as vaccinated families, Cooper says. They could also be in close contact with each other in common areas throughout medical facilities.
“It happens, but not if someone is symptomatic. If someone has symptoms or is known to have COVID, they are placed in isolation rooms.”
Cooper says the exception was also drafted several months ago before the fourth wave hit Alberta.
“The reason Deena Hinshaw wrote this letter probably came about weeks before it before even the delta was on the horizon.
“In early July, we saw cases that were very few in the community, and we had not really recognized how contagious the delta was, and delta makes people sicker, especially postpartum women.”