GBGH returns to limited visitation as precautionary measure

News release – Georgian Bay General Hospital

Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is reducing visitation based on the increasing cases of COVID-19 in our local community and throughout our region. Effective December 16, admitted patients will be permitted one visitor per day between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“Although reducing visitation is a very difficult decision, particularly coming into the holidays, it is a necessary precaution we must take to protect our patients, staff and credentialed staff,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “Given the surge of cases in the area and the possibility of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, GBGH feels we must make this decision to temporarily reduce visitation. We continue to monitor the situation closely so we can re-establish more open visitation once it is safe to do so.”

The exceptions to one visitor per day per inpatient include visitation for a palliative/actively dying patient. In palliative cases, GBGH will allow up to four visitors at a time, as coordinated with the care team. Birthing patients are also permitted one visitor for as long as they require assistance.

GBGH will continue permitting one visitor/essential support person per patient for outpatient services (i.e. Ambulatory Care, Diagnostic Imaging) 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
  • Palliative

Visitors 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 any visitor 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/.

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