When COVID-19 struck, hospitals rushed to implement strict hygiene protocols to protect patients and health care workers. Surgical and treatment areas were a top priority, but staff quickly realized that to control infection, they also needed to upgrade even the most innocuous items: waiting room chairs.
At Almonte General Hospital — a 52-bed hospital east of Ottawa — chairs were spaced close together and upholstered with cloth. Not only did it hinder physical distancing, but the material supported microbial growth and was difficult to sanitize.
In January 2021, the problematic bench seating was replaced, and new chairs and shields were installed.
The CMA Foundation established the $5-million COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund to help hospitals with fewer than 100 beds. More than 80 hospitals across Canada received funding for renovations, equipment, wellness supports and other initiatives. Learn more.
“It allows for ease of physical distancing in our emergency, main lobby and rehabilitation areas,” said Patti Morton, integrated director of allied health at Almonte General Hospital. “The pieces clean easily and have been approved to stand up to hospital-grade disinfectant products …. The renovations were a morale booster.”
These upgrades — funded through the COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund — are just one of many ways hospitals across Canada are protecting their staff. Here are some of the projects supported by the fund: