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

Updated October 8th, 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’s Leadership Pandemic Team continues to meet on a weekly basis and we continue 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.

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.

Bellwood also currently offers onsite COVID-19 testing for patients, staff, and family members of staff.

Edgewood: New Requirements for Patients from Ontario and Quebec

New patients from Ontario and Quebec being admitted to Edgewood must provide a negative COVID-19 test result and self-isolate for 10 days prior to their admission date. Alternatively, they can be admitted if they self-isolate for 14 days prior to their admission date and they have no symptoms of COVID-19 during that time. 

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 COVID-19 infection that could put our treatment communities at risk.

  • All new admissions will additionally be screened at the doors for symptoms, including a temperature check when they arrive and then will be asked to immediately practice hand hygiene..
  • 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

New patients are assessed for symptoms of fever and respiratory illness twice daily for the first 14 days while they are in treatment.

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 EHN Online powered by Wagon, to continue service without interruption. This includes aftercare programs, as well as online individual therapy and group therapy.
  • Vendors and delivery personnel are carefully screened and allowed limited access to facilities.
  • Edgewood only, currently provides in-person one-on-one counselling in a building that is completely separate from their residential patients and services.

Physical Distance and Masks

All patients and staff are required to maintain at least two metres separation from each other—except for when necessary to provide patients with medical care.

  • Patients must wear masks or cloth face coverings when they are outside their rooms. 
  • Staff must wear masks or cloth face coverings when they are outside their offices.
  • 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.
  • Furniture in common areas as well as therapy rooms has been arranged to comply with physical distancing requirements.
  • 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 Daily COVID-19 Screening

All staff entering our facilities must complete and sign a comprehensive screening questionnaire and have their temperature checked. Staff who screen positive will be asked to do the following:

  • Immediately perform hand hygiene and then leave the building.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 and not return to work until they have a negative test result.

Additional Staff Precautions to Protect Patients from COVID-19

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.

  • We’ve provided coronavirus COVID-19 information sessions for staff.
  • All staff are instructed to stay home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • 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 are instructed to self-isolate, work from home, and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

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.

Safety precautions against COVID-19

COVID-19 should not prevent someone from being able to receive life-saving addiction and mental health treatment. Rest assured that we are taking every step possible to protect our current patient population from contracting the infection.

Our facilities have policies and protocols in place to protect patients, including screening new patients, limiting visitors, and moving aftercare groups to online meetings.

Continue to our action plan to see what we are doing to protect our patients from COVID-19.