Updated on February 25, 2021
Keeping Staff and Patients Safe
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 for 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 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 policies and procedures. Our staff continually monitors and follows 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 February 25, 2021.
Number of patients who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 81
Number of patients with a resolved positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 55
Number of patients discharged with COVID-19: 3
Number of patient deaths with COVID-19: 2
Number of staff who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 131
Number of staff with a resolved positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 122
Units where a suspected COVID-19 outbreak has occurred: n/a
Units with a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak: Unit 1-3, Unit 1-4
Units where a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak has been declared over: CCC4 (GPUB/PICU), Unit 4-5, Unit 2-5, GPUA/ACU, Unit 1-4, Unit 1-5, Unit 2-3, Geriatric Inpatient Unit A; Units 3-5 and 3-1 (forensic)
- Resolved case: A case is deemed “cleared or resolved” 10 days post symptoms onset or 10 days from specimen collection date in asymptomatic COVID-19-positive cases.
- Discharged case: A patient with COVID-19 who is no longer receiving care at CAMH. Each patient discharge scenario is unique and depends on the most appropriate care setting for an individuals’ physical and mental health needs.
- 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: Two (2) laboratory confirmed cases (in one unit or defined area) of COVID-19.
- Admissions Units: Admissions Units at CAMH are locations where new patients are admitted for up to 14 days to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 while receiving mental health care. If there is no indication of COVID-19 symptoms, patients who need a longer stay will be transferred to an inpatient unit in one of our clinical programs.
- COVID-19 Isolation Unit: A COVID-19 Isolation Unit at CAMH is a unit where patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 may be transferred to so that they can continue to receive mental health care while receiving care for COVID-19. Patients who have moderate to severe COVID symptoms may require transfer to a general hospital for care.
After a minimum of 14 days from the declaration of the outbreak, unit level outbreaks can be declared over in consultation with Toronto Public Health. TPH posts information about outbreaks here
Actions in Response to Respiratory Outbreaks
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 1-4 February 22, Unit 1-3 on February 19, Unit 4-5 on November 23, Unit 2-5 on November 11, ACU/GPUA on October 26, Unit 2-3 on October 23, Unit 1-5 on October 21, Unit 1-4 on October 18, Unit 3-1 on March 26, Unit 3-5 on April 3 and GAUA as of April 5),
- 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 has opened two isolation units to facilitate transfer of patients who test positive for COVID-19, and we have taken a number of additional precautionary measures:
- Visitors were significantly limited as of March 17, 2020,
- Only staff supporting essential patient care remain on site,
- All community passes for forensic patients ceased as of March 18, 2020 (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.