The CEO of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is feeling more than prepared for a COVID-19 outbreak.

Measures continue to be put in place to ensure the safety of patients and staff at both the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital.

In an interview with MyMuskokaNow, MAHC CEO Natalie Bubela says they’ve been heeding advice from all public health officials.

While it has been a stressful time for local hospitals – she says they are ready for any potential influx of patients resulting from the pandemic.

“The spirit of our staff and physicians is exceptionally high right now. Yes, there is some uncertainty in the system but I think they feel well supported. We’ve got things in hand and we’re starting to be a well-oiled machine here in many ways when it comes to the pandemic we are facing.”

Both hospitals have taken a number of precautions including restrictions on visitors except for in those in special situations and compassionate circumstances.

According to the MAHC website, there are zero COVID-19 patients being cared for at the hospitals.

Bubela notes while this is a good sign – the biggest challenge facing the MAHC is that information is always changing.

“It’s a very dynamic situation. Information can sometimes change on an hourly basis and I would say that’s the biggest challenge for us.”

MAHC has restricted access to one entrance where monitors are screening everyone entering the hospitals – including questions about symptoms and recent travel.

Bubela says MAHC is fairly well prepared in terms of supplies and resources but they are still seeking some donations.

“Still looking for masks, gowns, financial support to offset the costs of the capital equipment we’ve purchased – like the ventilators, etcetera. Those are the kinds of things we are still looking for.”

Bubela adds that even though there is a sense that the peak of COVID-19 has been reached – particularly on the acute care side – physical distancing is still exceptionally important.

She reminds people to continue washing their hands thoroughly and frequently, stay home if you can, and if you have symptoms – seek testing through the local assessment centres or through other avenues.

“We do have limited capacity here and it may be in the person’s best interest to seek healthcare resources if they require it at their primary place of residence. I do want to reassure people though that we have the capacity, we are ready and if you come to our doors – you will be looked after.”

You can head here for more information and to book an appointment with local assessment centres.