Bluewater Health Implements Several Changes in Preparation for COVID

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 12:37pm

Bluewater Health Implements Several Changes in Preparation for COVID

Hospital readies for potential impact by changing traditional operations


SARNIA & PETROLIA – March 17, 2020 Bluewater Health, in both locations, are implementing several changes to normal operations in response to COVID-19 readiness including social distancing and creating capacity for potential increased demand. These will go into effect Wednesday March 18, 2020.

Surgeries and Procedures

All surgeries and procedures are limited to emergency and life-threatening.

Surgical and endoscopy patients will be notified by their specialist to cancel or reschedule their procedure. Only emergent and life-threatening cases will proceed at this time. The Pat Mailloux Eye Centre in Petrolia is closed and emergency cases will be performed at the Sarnia hospital.

“We are in unprecedented times and recognize that the delay of non life-threatening surgeries can be stressful,” noted Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff.  “We will continue to perform surgery on those where time sensitivity is paramount and life-threatening. This decision was made collectively with our surgical colleagues and the unanimous belief is that this is a responsible course of action given the current situation.”


All clinics at both sites are urgent/emergency only with the exception of cancer clinics, chemotherapy, dialysis, infusion and fractures.

Patients will be notified to cancel or reschedule their procedure.

Diagnostic Imaging

Routine breast screening is canceled for patients who are generally healthy and whose condition is deemed as non-life threatening. Impacted individuals will be notified by Bluewater Health’s Diagnostic Imaging department to cancel or reschedule appointments.

This approach may extend to other diagnostic procedures in the future; Bluewater Health will continue to assess the pandemic situation and comply with Ontario Health guidelines.

“While we can not predict how long our current strategy will need to be in place, we will continue to coordinate with our medical colleagues to minimize backlog,” continued Haddad.

Volunteer Services Temporarily Halted

While volunteers perform critical roles in the hospital, Bluewater Health is limiting their exposure to potential transmission of COVID-19 and instead deploying staff from other areas to fulfill the most urgent tasks.

Visitor Access

No visitors are permitted in the Sarnia or Petrolia hospitals.

Exceptions include 1 consistent visitor for the following patients: labouring mothers, children, those in Palliative Care, Intensive Care, or those requiring accessibility accommodations. All visitors must be over the age of 18, designated as a patient/visitor in one of the units named above, are required to check in at the nurses’ station and must be non-symptomatic.

Entrance Reduction

Public entrances will be limited to the main doors in Sarnia, and emergency departments in Petrolia and Sarnia.

Only patients attending for dialysis and oncology appointments can continue to use the entrance from the underground parking in Sarnia.

Enhanced Screening

Each entrance will have enhanced screening of all individuals entering. Staff will enquire about:

  • Recent travel history / recent contact with potentially exposed persons
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


Maps & Directions

Bluewater Health’s programs and services are distributed across two locations, Bluewater Health in Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health in Petrolia. 

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Emergency Care

Bluewater Health’s Emergency Department (ED) provides safe, quality emergency nursing and medical care to patients.

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Patient Virtual Visit

Due to COVID-19, Bluewater Health currently has restrictions in place limiting family support and visiting in the hospital – but that doesn't mean you can't connect with your loved ones. Please let us know if you would like to schedule a 15-minute virtual visit with a loved one in hospital.

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Locate a Patient

Find or contact a patient by telephone, email or e-card.

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Compliments & Concerns

We are always looking for ways to improve, and welcome your questions, comments, suggestions and concerns. If you’re in hospital, please speak to the hospital staff.

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