[St Marys General Hospital - Canada] No protective equipment for not-confirmed-positive patients. Minimum 50 staff members exposed

Where: St Marys General Hospital, St Joseph University, Ontario, Canada
Report: Original policy for droplet precautions for all potential and positive covid patients. No protective equipment for patients not currently probable or positive for covid or other infectious diseases. Temporarily had N95s locked ot be accessed by charge nurses to give to staff until union, health and safety, and ministry of labour involved. Managers involved in locking up said N95s lying in emails to avoid documentation of their actions. Patient presenting as probable COVID case received instruction from infection control to discontinue droplet precautions. RN consulted infection control and manager, informed that precautions should be ended. Patient later intubated, deteriorated, days after marked as COVID +. Minimum 50 staff members exposed during ++ difficult intubation of this patient. Employee health asked most of them to conitnue working without masks depending on what employee health deemed a safe amount of interaction (i.e. nurse who was at patients hand administering intubation meds was allowed to continue working without testing or face mask during subsequent shifts). Manager later lied in email to employee, stating manager did not encourage discontinuation of droplet precautions for that particular patient. Hospital currently on ++ low supply of most common n 95 mask. Planning on using a substitute n95 that is not meant for healthcare use (therefore not droplet resistant) in combination with face shield to add droplet resistance, but is asking staff to not get fit tested on new alternative mask due to dwindling supply. Currently N95s are stocked in ICUs; ward units only have them on the crash cart.