Horizon changes up COVID screening protocols

The Horizon Health Network is changing up the way it screens patients and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19.

Health officials say patients, visitors and designated support persons (DSPs) are now required to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and other illnesses before entering a Horizon facility.

The screening involves a series of questions about respiratory virus symptoms and other potential risks.

“Patients who fail screening are advised to go directly to their appointment and inform staff that they have failed screening,” reads a notice from the Horizon Health Network.

“DSPs who fail screening are advised not to enter and contact the nursing unit for further direction. Social visitors who fail screening are not to enter the facility.”

Horizon says the change does not apply to Emergency Departments or Urgent Care Centres, where active screening remains in place.

Visitors and DSPs should not to visit Horizon’s health-care facilities, but patients who seek care are asked to inform their health care team about any respiratory symptoms.

“Screening is in place to help protect our patients, staff and physicians,” Horizon officials said.

“Horizon continues to ask the public to help protect our patients and health care workers by answering the screening questions honestly and respectfully.”

Anyone who attends a Horizon-run facility is still required to wear a clean medical grade face mask and are asked to practice good hand washing.