I suspect many of you have started to do this already, but now is the time to stop all non-essential non-clinical work. Each of us have 100 things on the go, but we need to focus our resources and energy on getting through the next roughly 8 weeks.
A big part of that focus needs to shift to communicating with and supporting our front-line staff. They have been on the forefront, collecting swabs, performing lab tests and caring for Islanders since this pandemic began, and they need support from those of us doing non-clinical work more than ever.
For example, I had lots of standing meetings scheduled this week: planning meetings for primary care, the UPEI medical school, the Board of Directors—I have cancelled most of them so that I can work on our Omicron response, including communicating with all of you.
Likely you were already planning on scaling back a lot of this given the upcoming holidays, but here is my permission to do it now!
There are obviously key areas that need to continue e.g., people need to get paid! Fun fact, during SARS, UHN sent essentially all of its non-clinical staff home and quickly realized that it was a big mistake.
A word about clinical services:
Our scale back of clinical services to essential services only will be timed based on the PEI epidemiology. Some services were already scaling back for the holidays. We know the start of the hospitalization surge is around 2 weeks after a big uptick in community cases. We are already decanting to long term care and will accelerate this over the coming few days as we prepare for possible hospitalizations.
As we have more cases in the community and more of our staff are being tested, I know some managers are eager to get results back to ensure we have staffing available. However, with people calling the lab directly for these results, we are inundating them and slowing them down with the important work they do. The lab has protocols for notification that they follow. Please be patient and avoid calling directly or calling for priority testing.
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