Coronavirus: LHSC limits visitors, postpones non-emergency surgeries

The London Health Sciences Centre announced it is making changes to surgical volume and enforcing visitor restrictions due to COVID-19.

In a statement released Monday, the centre says it will begin ramping down elective surgeries and other non-emergent clinical activity to preserve clinical capacity as cases of COVID-19 continue to grow in the province.

Effective Tuesday, elective surgeries will be postponed.

“We’re only focusing on those patients with urgent needs. Everyone else with a less urgent surgical case that’s not needed immediately is going to be deferred,” said Neil Johnson, the chief operating officer for the LHSC, speaking on the Craig Needles Show Tuesday morning.

The LHSC says ambulatory care volumes have decreased, and there are special considerations for cancer care, renal care and mental health care.

Essential services, such as trauma, stroke, cardiac and transplant, will continue to be provided.

The centre says patients whose appointment or procedure is impacted by these reductions will receive direct communication from their physician to discuss the next steps.

In addition, perimeter screening of hospital buildings is also in effect.

Separate entrances are being introduced for staff and physicians, and patients and visitors.

According to the statement, patients and visitors will be actively screened to help identify those who have symptoms of illness when entering the hospital.

The health centre says signage is posted on doors. Maps of Victoria Hospital and University Hospital indicating which entrances are accessible to patients and visitors have been posted online.

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