Two Errington residents are questioning hospital policy after one of them caught COVID-19 while staying at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital — and then was discharged a few days later.
Marc Stevlingson recently spent two weeks at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for kidney troubles and says COVID-19 protocols weren’t always followed at the facility.
“It was pretty crowded for one thing. The waiting areas people were less than 10 feet apart. If you were a patient there was a point it wasn’t required that everybody have masks while some of us wore them anyway,” said Stevlingson.
Stevlingson says while all the staff were masked, he believes that last week while still in hospital, the lacking COVID protocols resulted in more troubles for his health.
“Guess what? That last swab that you took. You tested positive for COVID,” said Stevlingson.
But what surprised Stevlingson, even more, was when the hospital discharged him two days later despite still having COVID-19.
“Five days is five days and you should be in isolation or in some kind of protected situation for the full five days at the hospital,” said Stevlingson.
Stevlingson is also concerned about the policy because his roommate, whose bed is several metres from his, is immunocompromised. The two share tight living quarters and are now trying to stay as distant as possible.
“They should’ve kept him in that isolation room for his period of isolation instead of kicking him to the curb in two days,” said Stevlingson’s roommate, Carol Spencer, who is immunocompromised after a bout with cancer.
In a statement to CHEK News, the Ministry of Health said the decision to discharge a patient from hospital is made by physicians based on their expert clinical assessment of a patient’s condition.
“Any decision on the placement of patients with COVID-19 is about maximizing the ability to provide care for people during this time,” the statement reads, adding that Island Health does not cohort COVID-19 positive patients with non-COVID-19 positive patients.
Island Health told CHEK News in a statement that patients are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and if they have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 they are swabbed for a PCR test while asymptomatic patients are not tested.
Meanwhile, both Spencer and Stevlingson say they plan on filing complaints.