COVID-19 UPDATE

Think you have COVID-19 symptoms? Use this self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care. 

If you have been told to self isolate, use this fact sheet as a guide on what this means for you and your family: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate.pdf?la=en

This video helps educate the public on ways to stay healthy during this pandemic and explains:

  • What COVID-19 is and how it spreads
  • What to do if they are feeling sick or are worried about exposure
  • How to stay healthy and stop the spread

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way care is being provided by midwives, and the College of Midwives of Ontario have created an FAQ page that is frequently updated. You can also check out the Association of Ontario Midwives page.

Patient and Visitor Screening Form for Niagara Health System: https://nhspvscreening.powerappsportals.com

During this pandemic we have two goals:

  • To keep our clients, families and our staff safe
  • To keep our midwives healthy so they can remain in the workforce, providing care to all of you.

In order to fulfil these two goals, we will need to alter how we provide care to our clients.

Below are some of the changes:

Entering our clinic:

  1. Please do the COVID self-screen sent via email in your appointment reminder and also located on our website under “Self-assessment tool” before you enter our clinic. Please do not enter if you feel unwell.
  2. All people entering clinic must wear a mask and wear the mask covering the mouth AND nose. If you do not have a mask, we can provide.
  3. Please try to keep six feet (2 metres away) from staff and other clients whenever possible.
  4. Please use hand sanitizer upon arrival.

 

Mask requirements:

  1. As mentioned above, all people entering our clinic must mask as stipulated by local bylaws.
  2. Current hospital requirements: all patients and support people wear a mask when in direct contact with other healthcare providers. This includes inside your room when a healthcare worker is present.
  3. We ask, kindly, that patients and their support people wear a mask during home visits when the midwife is less than 6 feet (2 metres) away.

 

Cancellation of large gatherings: Our public events like our information sessions, breastfeeding classes and home birth info sessions are cancelled. We have moved to an online format.

Reduced “traffic” at the clinic: We ask that you come to your clinic appointments with as few people as possible, preferably only 1 support person. We are not making hard and fast rules but if you can come alone, we ask that you do this. We ask that you leave children at home when possible.
 
Restrictions on who enters the clinic: People in the following groups, are NOT PERMITTED at the clinic:
  • Anyone exhibiting signs of illness including fever, chills or cough
  • Anyone who has travelled in the last 14 days
  • Anyone who resides with someone who has travelled in the last 14 days

Changing the flow of people at our clinic: We are making the following changes to reduce transmission:

  • All appointments will be either virtual or in person 
  • In person visits for Team Blue are Tuesdays and Team Orange are Wednesdays
  • Your schedule of visits will look like:
    • Virtual history at 10 weeks
    • In person at 15 weeks
    • Virtual at 20 & 26 weeks
    • In person at 31 weeks
    • Virtual at 33 weeks
    • In person at 35 weeks
    • Virtual at 37 and 39 weeks
    • In person at 38 weeks, 40 weeks until we meet your baby
  • Postpartum visits will be in person (at home and clinic unless virtual requested)
  • We ask that people keep social distancing (a distance of 2 meters) with our administrator and speak to her from the clearly marked designated area.
  • We ask that people use hand sanitizer on arrival.

 

Hospital births: The hospital has initiated strict visitor limitations. Currently, you may have only one person with you during your birth and postpartum stay. That person may be with you at any time of the day or night. Grandparents and children, including siblings of the new baby, are not allowed to visit the hospital at this time.

During this time when hospital resources are scarce, we are asking that if you are stable and able, to strongly consider early discharge from hospital after you give birth.

Home Births: We will continue to offer choice of birthplace. Home birth can be a great way to keep people and their babies out of the hospital, however, we need to be certain that every person requesting a home birth is a good candidate for home birth (ie. low risk of complications). If any household members are sick or have screened positive for COVID-19, midwives will not be able to attend you at home. If you are in self isolation we will not be able to attend you at home.

Continuing Updates:
There are changes happening every day as the pandemic is evolving. We are hopeful that the measures taken by the Canadian government to reduce travel, close schools, and cancel large events will slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the healthcare system to properly care for those who need it. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date as time goes on.

We know it can be stressful to deal with situations like this, especially while you are pregnant or have a new baby at home. Our hope is that you remain healthy and calm in the weeks ahead.

Immediate Links to resources

If you would like information about COVID please refer to these two gov’t sites:

Niagara Public Health

Ontario Govt

We want to remind people that this a time for people to band together and think about the collective good. It may not be business as usual but we have a great deal of resources and for this we are grateful.