These are extraordinary times and CAMH is committed to transparency and communication with the community that we serve. We will be providing regular daily updates on the status of people who have tested positive COVID-19 and actions that we’re taking to keep staff and patients safe.
Like all hospitals, CAMH has extensive and detailed procedures in place for respiratory infection prevention and control. These are designed to ensure the health and safety of our staff, the community and those within our care.
CAMH works closely with Toronto Public Health on reporting, surveillance and infection control. Our staff continually monitor and follow the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) recommendations from Public Health as they are updated, including screening and use of personal protective equipment. Guidelines for Health Professionals and Institutions are published and updated regularly here.
CURRENT STATUS OF COVID-19 SURVEILLANCE AND INFECTION CONTROL AT CAMH as of April 5, 2020.
- In total, five (5) patients and twelve (12) staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at CAMH.
- A confirmed COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on Unit 3-1 (forensic unit) at the Queen Street site. CAMH’s forensic program delivers mental health care to people who come into contact with the law and have been found not criminally responsible.
- A suspect COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on Unit 3-5 (forensic unit) at the Queen Street site.
- A suspect COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on the Geriatric Inpatient Unit A (geriatric unit) at the Queen Street site. This unit provides mental health care to seniors.
In keeping with standard infection prevention and control procedures in any respiratory outbreak scenario, CAMH has put in place the following procedures:
- Closed confirmed or suspected COVID-19 outbreak units to admissions and transfers (Unit 3-1 on March 26, Unit 3-5 on April 3 and GAU as of April 5), and has gone beyond standard procedure to close all forensic clinical units within Unit 3 to new admissions and transfers effective today (these are the receiving units for accused persons who are being admitted from courts, including those coming from detention centres for treatment)
- Placed all patients on outbreak units on “contact and droplet precautions” – meaning that all staff are wearing personal protective equipment when interacting with patients
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes at every CAMH building
- Provided patients with supports to stay in their rooms and to ensure physical distancing (for example, meals are provided in patient bedrooms)
CAMH is preparing to open two isolation units to facilitate transfer of patients who test positive for COVID-19, and we have taken a number of additional precautionary measures in the past three (3) weeks:
- Visitors were significantly limited as of March 17, are being fully restricted as of April 6,
- Only staff supporting essential patient care remain on site,
- All community passes for forensic patients ceased as of March 18 (community passes are a part of a supervised, graduated, community reintegration program),
- Essential staff that remain are being actively screened in all buildings, and must pass screening protocols to enter,
- Staff an all outbreak units are being asked to monitor twice daily for the development of symptoms.
CAMH is deeply grateful to staff and physicians who are working to deliver mental health care to those in need, to our community who supports us in this important work, and to Toronto Public Health for their leadership and partnership in fighting the spread of COVID-19.
- Respiratory Outbreak: When three (3) people, patients and/or staff, develop upper respiratory tract infection symptoms within 48 hours.
- Suspect COVID-19 Outbreak: When one (1) of the (3) three people mentioned above has a positive COVID-19 test result, and the other results are pending.
- Confirmed COVID-19 Outbreak: When at least two (2) of the original three (3) people mentioned above have test results that are positive for COVID-19.
After 14 days with no new cases, unit level outbreaks are declared over in consultation with Toronto Public Health. Toronto Public Health posts information about outbreaks here.