You have printed or saved this information from, the website for the Horizon Health Network

Facebook Icon LinkedIn Icon Twitter Icon Icon Icon
Print this page

How Horizon is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak


Dr. John Dornan is Horizon Health Network's Chief of Staff and Endocrinologist at Horizon's Saint John Regional Hospital 

I have been practicing medicine for over 30 years and the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has affected the world in a way I have not seen before. We are in unchartered territory and as New Brunswickers we need to band together so we can come out the other side even stronger than before.

I'm sharing some of the ongoing work being done by Horizon to keep our communities safe and help flatten the curve.

As I'm sure you can appreciate, we have staff working around the clock on all things related to the coronavirus. And we are doing our absolute best to provide you and your communities the care and reliable up-to-date information you need.

Here are some of the measures we have implemented.

Command Centres

  • We have established an organization-wide virtual Emergency Operations Centre.
  • There are also Local Emergency Operations Centres for the Moncton, Miramichi, Fredericton, and Saint John areas, which are chaired by our hospital executive directors and our local community directors.
  • These groups have representation and expertise from all areas within Horizon, and are in ongoing contact regarding decision-making, planning and issues tracking and management around our response to COVID-19.

Community Assessment Centres

The goal of opening community assessment centres is to allow those who have been identified as "high risk" to be tested, without going to an Emergency Department. 

  • These centres can be appropriately and safely managed within the community, helping to reduce the volume of patients coming into the hospitals.
  • Community Assessment Centres are set up in Moncton, Saint John, Miramichi, Fredericton, and Upper River Valley.
  • Individuals who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms will be directed to the assessment centres by Tele-Care 811.
  • Once the individual has been assessed by Tele-Care, and if they require an in-person assessment, a referral will be provided to the Community Assessment Centre in their area.
  • Staff at the assessment centre will connect with the individual and schedule an assessment, which will be completed within 24 hours, but will be dependent on the volume of patients. 
  • At the Community Assessment Centre health care staff will conduct screenings, direct patients for further care, if needed, and provide individuals with evidence-based resources and information.
  • Patients will receive their test results from Public Health, and those results may take up to 48 hours.
  • Moncton and Saint John locations will have drive-throughs for initial screening. Should the patients require more intensive screening they will be asked to enter the assessment centre. We are looking at this option for the other assessment sites.
  • The health care teams on-site may include: a physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Please remember: these are not walk-in clinics. The assessment centres are appointment based and all appointments are made through Tele-Care 811.

You can learn more about the centres and the locations here.

Visitor Restrictions

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus we have enhanced our visitor restrictions.  This was not an easy decision, but it is the right decision.

  • There will be no visitors permitted in Horizon facilities.
  • Of course, there are a few exceptions, where we are allowing ONE designated person to visit a patient in the following areas:
    • All intensive care units, including neonatal;
    • Obstetrics;
    • Pediatrics; and
    • Discharge ( ONE  healthy individual allowed to pick up discharged patients.)

For Emergency Departments:

  • ONE support person ONLY for patients requiring assistance.
  • Only ONE person per pediatric patient is allowed. (Parent or caregiver only.)

For Outpatient Departments:

  • ONE support person ONLY for patients requiring assistance.
  • We reserve the right to further restrict visitation as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada is restricted from visiting patients for 14 days following their return.

All of these measures are being put in place to protect our patients, clients, families, staff and physicians.

To close out this blog, I'd like to talk about our Horizon staff and physicians.

Our team of dedicated staff and physicians have been truly exemplary throughout this entire experience.

Across the country people are being told to practice social distancing, but our health care professionals are heading to the frontlines to care for our patients. They are leaving their homes and families to provide care to our communities.

In times of crisis, our staff and physicians are needed more than ever, and they have responded to the call.  It has been extraordinary to see the commitment and passion demonstrated by our staff and physicians.

Thank you to every health care professional and frontline employee. Your effort is not going unnoticed.


Facebook Icon LinkedIn Icon Twitter Icon Icon Icon
Text Size: