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Stop, drop, and sterilize: Winnipeg Hospital institutes all-staff “Power Hour”

A hospital-wide announcement prompts all staff to sterilize their work space and personal equipment every four hours.
By: Madeleine Hall
March 27, 2020
Photo: Tamara McColl (Twitter)
Photo: Tamara McColl (Twitter)

A team of nurses at St-Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba have created an ingenious initiative to help slow the spread of COVID-19 among their patients and staff.

According to a tweet by a St-Boniface physician, the ritual, dubbed “Power Hour”, begins with a hospital-wide overhead announcement, prompting all hospital staff to stop what they are doing and take 2-3 minutes to sterilize their work space and personal equipment. This includes their phones, ID cards, and stethoscopes. Four hours later, they do it all over again. And again. And again.

Data has been pouring in about the relative amounts of time the COVID-19 virus can survive on different surfaces. CBC recently reported that on smooth surfaces like metal and plastic, that time frame is up to three days, if not properly cleaned.

In a followup tweet, Dr. McColl shared that the initiative had been received “extremely well”, with 100% of staff participating. In replies to her initial tweet, are health care professionals across the country urging their teams to adopt the practice.

Sources: Twitter, CBC

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