News release – from Georgian Bay General Hospital
Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is further reducing visitation based on the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases in our local community and throughout our region. Effective the afternoon of December 22 (1 p.m.), admitted patients will be permitted to select two designated visitors for the duration of their hospital stay or while GBGH remains at this level of visitation. Of the two designated visitors, one is permitted to visit per day between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
“To limit the number of visitors we have frequenting the hospital, we’ve had to make a difficult decision about visitation leading into the holidays,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “Given the increase in community cases, we can anticipate some visitors may attend the hospital while asymptomatic and without knowing they could be COVID positive. By reducing the variety of visitors to GBGH we hope to reduce the chances of that happening.”
There are exceptions to the visitation policy of two designated visitors in the case of a palliative/actively dying patient. Birthing patients are also permitted one visitor for as long as they require assistance.
GBGH will permit one essential support person per patient for outpatient services (i.e. Ambulatory Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Day Surgery) and the Emergency Department.
One essential support person continues to be permitted in the following circumstances:
· Pediatric patients – i.e. children under 18 (one guardian permitted with child)
· Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care staff supervising a patient
· Central North Correctional Centre (CNCC) staff guarding an inmate
· Language barrier (translation required)
· Mental health/competency/confusion challenges
Designated visitors and essential support persons must be vaccinated and show proof of immunization, as well as identification, prior to being granted entry to the hospital. They will also be screened and anyone who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to visit. In exceptional circumstances (such as a support person for a woman in labour, a parent/guardian of a child in the Emergency department or a palliative/end of life patient), a visitor who screens positive for symptoms will be reviewed by GBGH’s infection prevention and control practitioner or hospital coordinator prior to entry.
All visitors must comply with hand hygiene practices, wear a hospital-provided mask for the duration of their visit and follow physical distancing. Visitors could also be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment as determined by the care team based on a patients’ condition.
Visitor guidelines are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic within the region GBGH serves.
For more information, please visit http://gbgh.on.ca/covid-19-visitor-restrictions/.