Note from Michael, Jan. 18, 2022 | Update on current situation and enhanced public health measures

From the desk of Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO

Hi Everybody:

It has been another week since our last update. We clearly are in the middle of this Omicron wave. There is evidence that other provinces are getting close to their peak in cases and I suspect we will follow a similar path. Our hospitalizations have remained relatively steady, although we did have an uptick in cases over the past 24 hours. 
 
I think by the end of this week we will have a much clearer understanding whether we can expect increasing cases for a while longer or whether we will return to 1-2 admissions per day. Thus far, we have been able to keep almost all of our services running, but we are prepared to make further changes if we need to. 
 
Most importantly, we will only scale back services in a particular area if it provides resources that we can use elsewhere. Widespread reductions in services are harmful and are hard to recover from—this will be a last resort for us. 
 
Likely an even bigger issue than hospitalizations for us is staffing—we were short staffed before this wave and things have become considerably worse due to illness and community exposures. So far we are hanging on, but we have let government know that we will continue to need external support. We have already been successful in hiring an Ontario group to help us with vaccinations, we are working with the federal government to second nursing staff and we have asked for Red Cross support as well. We will continue to keep very close tabs on this issue.  
 
As members of our health team, please continue to be very cautious and follow all the safety protocols to limit the risk of exposure at work, such as physical distancing when eating, eating in designated areas, appropriate PPE use, and hand hygiene. If you need to access a guideline or tool, they are all available on the Staff Resource Centre.
 
Today Dr. Morrison announced a circuit breaker, which will definitely help slow down the community transmission we’ve been experiencing since Christmas. This will in turn help reduce the number of people requiring hospitalization on any given day about two weeks from now.  
 
I know you are all tired of this and want it to end. There is light at the end of the tunnel though: experience elsewhere suggests we need to endure this for a few weeks more, not months. 
 
The Employee Assistance Program is available for confidential and professional counseling and resources, and can be contacted at: (902) 368-5738, (toll-free) 1-800-239-3826, or eap@gov.pe.ca. For more information, please see: https://psc.gpei.ca/employee-assistance-program. Your COVID Wellness team has also arranged for priority access to EAP services. 
 
Employees who are in need of urgent mental health support are encouraged to reach out to the COVID Wellness Hotline to be connected with an EAP counsellor within 48 hours.
 
Contact the COVID Wellness Team at covidwellness@ihis.org or leave a voicemail message at (902) 288-1055. Messages will be checked during the Hotline’s hours of operation: Monday-Friday from 6am-8pm and Saturday & Sunday from 10am-2pm.

Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to emclean@gov.pe.ca, subject line “Notes for Michael”.

Last Updated
Tue, 01/18/2022 - 19:43