What EHN Canada Is Doing to Protect Our Patients From Coronavirus COVID-19

Updated September 16, 2020

EHN Canada places top priority on the health of its patients and staff. We go beyond standard protocols to ensure that necessary screening and prevention measures are in place so that our facilities are as safe as possible from coronavirus COVID-19 exposure. Patients continue to be supported wholeheartedly in their recovery. EHN predicts no foreseeable interruption in daily operations, and admission of patients to our residential programs will continue as planned.

EHN Canada continues to work with local Public Health Departments to ensure the following Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures are in place. We follow best practices and continuously monitor them for updates. EHN Canada has advanced IPAC practitioners on staff and our entire team has received additional, updated training on preventative and reactive measures to protect our patients and staff from coronavirus infection.

New: Isolation Bubble at Bellwood Health Services

Bellwood has created an “isolation bubble” section on the 3rd floor of the facility. 

  • Any patient who presents with symptoms of COVID-19 immediately relocates to the bubble, isolating themselves from the rest of our patients.
  • Isolated patients receive all nursing and medical services in the bubble. 
  • Clinical programming for isolated patients will be facilitated through use of technology.  
  • Bellwood staff entering the bubble must wear the following personal protective equipment (PPE): gown, mask, visor, gloves.
  • Non-isolated patients are not allowed in the bubble.
  • Isolated patients may only go outside (e.g. to exercise, smoke, etc.) under supervision of Bellwood staff.
  • Isolated patients relocate out of the bubble to join the rest of our patients when their test results indicate the absence of COVID-19 infection.

Pre-Admission Screening of New Patients for Coronavirus

Prior to being admitted to an EHN Canada facility, we ask new patients many questions about their health status. We want to ensure that all patients being admitted to our facilities are screened for symptoms of coronavirus infection that could put our treatment communities at risk.

  • All new admissions will additionally be screened outside the facility doors for symptoms when they arrive.
  • Our facilities are constantly monitoring and adjusting, as needed, the number of new patients we can admit daily to maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

Additional Precautions for New Patients

We take the following additional precautions with new patients for the first 14 days while they are in treatment.

  • Patients are asked to wear procedure masks whenever they are outside of their rooms.
  • Patients are assessed for symptoms of fever and respiratory illness twice daily.

No Visitors or Aftercare Meetings

Currently, no visitors are allowed at any EHN Canada residential treatment facilities—only staff and patients are allowed onsite. We have moved outpatient services, family programs, and support group meetings to online platforms.

  • Outpatient services and support groups have been moved to our Wagon online outpatient clinic, to continue service without interruption. This includes aftercare programs, as well as online individual therapy and group therapy.
  • Trainings that were scheduled to be hosted at facilities (such as CSAT and DBT) have been cancelled.
  • Delivery services are still permitted.

Physical Distance

All patients and staff are required to maintain at least two metres separation from one another.

  • Therapy groups have been reduced in size and are being held in the largest available rooms to ensure that patients and staff can maintain physical distance from one another.
  • We remind patients, both verbally and through posted signs, to maintain physical distance between one another (e.g. in lineups and group sessions).
  • Staff are now served lunch at different times than patients, to reduce the total number of people at any one time in food serveries and eating areas.
  • Staff now have coffee and tea stations separate from the food serveries to get their tea and coffee,to reduce the total number of people at any one time in food serveries.

Hand Hygiene to Prevent Coronavirus Transmission

When you enter an EHN Canada treatment facility, you will immediately recognize how important hand hygiene is for us. We’ve recently taken the following measures to ensure that hand-hygiene best practices are adopted by everyone in our facilities.

  • Effective hand hygiene means washing hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds or using hand sanitizer. Washing with soap and water is likely more effective for protection from the coronavirus.
  • All patients and staff are asked to use hand sanitizer immediately when they enter any EHN Canada facility.
  • We have placed numerous signs throughout our facilities to remind and encourage both patients and staff to practice frequent and effective hand hygiene.
  • We have increased the number of hand-hygiene stations in all of our facilities.
  • We have increased the frequency of hand-hygiene audits for staff.
  • We have provided education (or re-education) regarding hand hygiene to all patients and staff.

Personal Protective Equipment for Staff

Staff who must be within two metres of a patient to provide a service (e.g. medical staff) are using personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • Staff providing care for patients with suspected coronavirus infection follow droplet and contact precautions: they wear a mask, isolation gown, gloves, and eye protection.
  • Staff who wear masks always practice effective hand hygiene prior to touching their faces, adjusting their masks, or removing their masks.

Patient Health

We have full medical and nursing teams available to care for our patients’ health. We’re taking the following additional precautions to protect our patients’ health.

  • We’ve distributed a coronavirus COVID-19 fact sheet to all patients.
  • Daily health surveillance allows our clinical teams to give patients who get a cold or flu the care that they need.
  • Any patient who shows symptoms of coronavirus infection is immediately put on an isolation protocol until they get a negative test result.
  • Planned offsite patient outings are currently cancelled—we are offering alternatives (e.g. virtual reality exposure therapy at Edgewood).

Dining and Meals

EHN Canada is taking the following precautionary measures related to dining and meals to protect our patients.

  • We’re limiting the number of patients in our dining rooms at any one time to allow patients to maintain physical distance.
  • We have a staff member to remind patients to practice effective hand hygiene before meals.
  • Our kitchens have switched to full-service meals (rather than partially self-serve) to avoid cross contamination through foods.

Facility Cleanliness

We have a team of highly skilled environmental services staff who keep our facilities clean and keep surfaces free of germs.

  • Our staff sanitize rooms before and after every group session.
  • Extra cleaning shifts have been added to the schedule to ensure that all high-touch surfaces are cleaned frequently throughout the day.
  • We have increased how often we deep clean our facilities and have been distributing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and antiviral products in all of our treatment facilities.

Staff Precautions to Protect Patients from Coronavirus

We’ve taken the following precautionary measures to protect our staff from coronavirus infection, and thus minimize the risk of coronavirus exposure in our treatment facilities.

  • All staff are required to immediately stop at a screening station as soon as they enter an EHN Canada facility, sanitize their hands, and fill out and sign a screening form. Staff who screen positive will be asked to do the following:
    • Immediately perform hand hygiene
    • Put on a procedure mask
    • Leave the building
  • We’ve provided coronavirus COVID-19 information sessions for staff.
  • Work-from-home (WFM) options have been expanded so that staff who are not essential for providing treatment can work from home.
  • Staff who are still working onsite do not share offices where they would be unable to maintain two metres of distance from one another. They redistribute themselves to the empty offices of our staff members who are currently working from home.
  • Scheduled work travel has been cancelled.
  • Staff returning from travel to non-high-risk countries are instructed to self-screen and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
  • Staff returning from travel to high-risk countries are instructed to self-isolate, work from home, and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. The current list of high-risk countries includes the following: China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain.
  • All staff are instructed to stay home if they have any symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19.

Call Us If You Have Any Questions

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any comments, concerns, or questions about EHN Canada’s response to COVID-19.

  • 1-866-925-2729 for Bellwood Health Services in Toronto, ON
  • 1-866-658-3389 for EHN Sandstone, in Calgary, AB
  • 1-866-946-4806 for Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC
  • 1-866-965-4713 for Clinique Nouveau Depart in Montreal, QC

Latest Updates

You can get the latest updates on the Government of Canada’s coronavirus webpage.