If you want to visit someone at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), you’ll have to prove you’re fully vaccinated first.
The Barrie hospital announced on Tuesday it will require all visitors and essential care providers to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as of November 15. This includes the main campus and all off-site locations.
“RVH has a duty to do everything possible to protect our patients and the people who care for them, while ensuring we are able to continue to provide the services our communities depend on. Precautions include strict adherence to safety protocols, universal mask-wearing and mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers and, now, visitors,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “As a regional health centre, RVH cares for acutely ill, vulnerable patients and while we understand the importance of visitors and essential care providers, we must be able to say to our patients, ‘you can be confident RVH has done everything possible to protect you from COVID-19’. Our patients and their families expect nothing less.”
If a visitor or essential care provider does not have proof of vaccination or a valid exemption, or there is no time to produce the required proof, the visitor or designated essential caregiver may still enter the health centre with explicit approval from the care team under the following exceptions:
- Patient is a child
- Patient is palliative/end of life
- Patient is in labour
- Patient is experiencing a life altering or critical illness as identified by the clinical team
- Patient requires a support person due to underlying condition
“We know the important role visitors play in a patient’s recovery and comfort and RVH wants to accommodate them wherever we can, however, patient safety must be our highest priority,” says Nancy Savage, executive vice president, Patient and Family Experience and chief nursing executive. “If the visitor or designated essential caregiver does not fall under the exceptions and they are not able to provide proof of vaccination status or documented proof of medical exemption, we do have an appeal process. We will work closely with the patient and their designated visitors for the best possible outcome.”
While visitors must show proof of vaccination before entering the medical centre, RVH does point out that vaccine certification is not required to receive care at the hospital.