Provincial authority The provincial government gave approval March 26 under the Public Hospitals Act for all Ontario hospitals to make plans for use of suitable buildings as temporary hospital shelters if the number of COVID-19 patients proved greater than the available hospital bed space. In its plan, HGH identified the sports centre as one of two possible sites for a temporary hospital shelter. HGH would have access to the sports complex within five days notice to the town of need to use the facility as a temporary hospital shelter. The arena area would serve for medical equipment storage, the running track/audito- rium area as the patient care centre, and the building’s other facilities for patient support, including meal preparation and other needs, and also for use by the on-site nursing and doctor staff. If the sports complex was called into use as a temporary hospital shelter, HGH would be responsible for building maintenance, cleaning, along with medical and other waste collection and disposal during the period of service. HGH would also be responsible for insu- rance coverage of the building and parking area for the duration of its use. Any altera- tions to the facility to make it suitable as a hospital shelter would be temporary and HGH would cover the cost for those alterations. The hospital would have use of the

If there is a “second wave” of COVID-19 for the Prescott-Russell region, then Hawkesbury’s sports centre could become a temporary hospital for minor infection cases. Hawkesbury council approved a recom- mendation from administration to accept a request from the Hawkesbury & District General Hospital (HGH) for use of the Robert Hartley Sports Complex as an “alternate health facility” should a second wave of infections occur during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the sports centre is closed to all public recreation and other community uses as part of the provincial government’s emergency public health orders for dealing with the COVID-19 situation. The agreement between the town and HGH would allow the sports complex to become a temporary hospital shelter “should there be a second wave of the virus” and only if the hospital needs the extra space for “minor cases” where people are positive for the disease but their condition is not so serious that they require bed space in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Use of the sports complex as a temporary hospital shelter for minor cases of COVID-19 would allow HGH to keep bed space avai- lable for patients with other medical needs, including surgery.

If there is a second wave of infection by the COVID-19 virus, the Robert Hartley Sports Complex may see use as temporary shelter for minor cases of COVID-19. Hawkesbury council approved a recommendation for an agreement with Hawkesbury & District General Hospital for use of the sports complex as an “alternative health facility” if the hospital needed more bed space for COVID-19 patients. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

make sure the premises are cleaned and disinfected prior to the building reopening for general public use.

complex at no cost as a temporary health facility. When the sports complex is no longer needed as a temporary shelter, HGH would



The United Counties of Prescott-Russell will receive extra pandemic pay funding aid from the province for the benefit of its front-line emergency service and residential long-term care staff. —archives


on their time, both dealing with their usual call volume, and also helping the Eastern Ontario Health Unit with its COVID-19 testing assessment program. The UCPR will also receive pandemic pay funding help from the Ministry of Long-Term Care for front-line and support workers at the Prescott-Russell Residence, who have had to deal with greater challenges in caring for their clients and keeping them safe from COVID-19 during the current pandemic situation. The money will come out of a special funding aid program of more than $300 million that the provincial government set up to assist all long-term care facilities in Ontario during the pandemic.

The United Counties of Prescott-Russell will get some health services pande- mic wage help from the provincial government. Both the ministries for health and for long-term care will provide pandemic pay funding aid to the United Counties of Pres- cott-Russell (UCPR). The Ministry of Health will provide one-time funding up to $491,400 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year towards the UCPR’s pandemic pay initiative for its emergency services program. Local paramedics have had extra demands

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