Georgian Bay General Hospital returns to safe, limited visitation to enhance patient experience

Patients will be permitted one visitor per day at a scheduled time, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

from Georgian Bay General Hospital

Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is re-opening limited visitation at the hospital to enhance the patient experience. Visitation had been closed at the hospital since December due to increased COVID-19 cases within the community during the second and third waves of the pandemic.

“Sadly, we have not been able to permit visitation with our inpatients for six months due to increased community transmission and variants of concern,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “Our hospital has always based our decisions regarding visitation on the status of the pandemic in our region and provincial guidance. As there is a positive downward trend in cases within our community and the province generally, we’re aligning our visitation policy with the provinces gradual re-opening. Our GBGH team is very pleased to permit limited visitation as we all know how much it means to patients and family.”

To ensure visitation can take place safely, precautionary measures remain in place.

Admitted patients are permitted one visitor per day at a scheduled visitation time between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. The hospital is asking visitors to schedule an admitted patient visitation time by calling the hospital’s main phone line at 705-526-1300.

The exceptions to one visitor per day at a scheduled time 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.

Visitation for outpatient services (i.e. Ambulatory Care) and the Emergency department patients remains limited to one visitor if support is required by the patient. Circumstances where support could be required include:

  • 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

All permitted visitors will be screened upon entering the hospital. Any visitor who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to not 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/