Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) has worked closely throughout the pandemic with our regional partners to layer infection prevention and control strategies while implementing Provincial Guidance and responding to the unique needs of our community. As healthcare leaders, we need to do everything possible to continue to safeguard our patients, families, communities and those who provide their care.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 range from very mild to more serious. They may vary between age groups
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• new or worsening cough
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• temperature equal to or more than 38°C and / or chills
• new loss of smell or taste
Other symptoms might include:
• fatigue or weakness
• muscle or body aches
• nausea, vomiting and/ or diarrhea
Less common symptoms include:
• sore throat
• runny or stuffy nose
• pink eye
• abdominal pain
• no appetite
How can I protect myself?
- Get vaccinated against Covid 19
2. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
3. Social distance and avoid crowds.
4. Wear a mask and maintain a distance of 6 feet from people outside of your household.
5. Wash your hands frequently.
6. Get tested if you develop symptoms
Please visit the Province of Ontario’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage to help educate yourself about COVID-19, including how you can protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk
Current process and visitor restrictions
Everyone who enters the hospital must sanitize their hands. Masks are encouraged but not required.
Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) recognizes the important role that visitors play in the support and recovery of their loved ones in hospital. We continue monitor and adapt our visitor policy to align with provincial direction and regional partners.
A visitor is an individual who provides physical or emotional support. Visitors may or may not be family members.
- Regular visiting hours are from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm. After hours visiting must be arranged in advance with the care team.
- Inpatients may have a maximum of two visitors at the bedside at a time.
- Exceptions can be made for palliative patients. Multiple factors are considered including availability of palliative care room, unit activity, patient clinical status, care partner compliance and staffing.
- One visitor may accompany the patient in the Emergency Department, Ambulatory and Same Day Care areas.
- Children may visit when accompanied by an adult and are included in the number of visitors allowed at a time.
- Visitors are asked to check in with the care team on arrival for any specific permissions or precautions.
- When isolation precautions are in place, visitors are required to visit one at a time and comply with PPE as instructed by staff.
- Units in outbreak may have additional restrictions.
- Pets are not allowed at any time.
Requesting an Exception: The Manager or delegate of the unit or department where the patient is receiving care will review clinical exceptions in consultation with the Infection Prevention and Control Team and the care partner.
Concerns may be expressed through Patient Relations by telephone at (519) 245-5295 ext. 5594 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A response will be provided on the next business day. In an urgent situation, please request the unit manager (or manager on call if after business hours).
Guidelines for Visitors:
- Do not attend if you are ill, even with minor symptoms.
- Do not visit if you have been in contact with a person with a contagious illness (e.g. respiratory illness with fever, colds, chicken pox, flu) in the past 10 days
- Do not bring food or beverages for personal consumption Wear additional personal protective equipment if requested by staff.
- .Patients in a multi-bed room will have curtains pulled around them when the care partner is present. The care partner will stay within the curtained area.
Expectations While In Hospital
- Perform hand hygiene when entering and upon leaving the patient room
- Stay in the loved one’s room until during the visit.
- Sit in chair provided and not on patient’s bed.
- Do not use the patient washroom. Public washrooms are available; inquire with the unit where the patient is receiving care for locations.
- Do not provide assistance/care for other patients.
- Do not linger in hallways or spend extended time in public/common areas. Public washrooms are open and cafeteria seating areas are open (subject to availability)
Help us maintain a Scent Free environment. Please do not bring strongly scented flowers or use heavily scented body products (e.g. perfumes, lotion) when visiting.
The Hospital is a Smoke Free Environment. Anyone wishing to smoke will be required to leave the Hospital property
Middlesex Hospital Alliance requires all outpatients, visitors, caregivers to wear a mask in the emergency department. This is required at both of our hospital sites based on the nature of increased risk of exposure to infectious disease in the emergency department.
Why are patients and care partners being asked to wear masks while in the emergency department at Middlesex Hospital Alliance?
The hospital is a high risk setting and the emergency department has the potential for additional infection transmission risks. We want to do everything possible to keep our patients, visitors, volunteers, staff and physicians safe. We use multiple layers of protection to reduce the risk of infection transmission including hand hygiene, masking and distancing. We encourage people to stay up to date with their vaccinations- especially those against COVID-19 and Influenza. We ask people not to visit at the hospital if they are sick.
What type of mask is allowed?
Level 1 Procedural Masks are available for all patients and visitors entering either of our hospital sites. Patients and visitors are asked to remove any cloth masks, perform hand hygiene and put on a Level 1 procedural mask, provided by the hospital.
When should I wear a mask?
Please leave your mask on the entire time you are in the emergency department and waiting area.
In addition, patients and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask:
• When in a crowded waiting are in close proximity to others
• When you have an underlying medical condition or are immunocompromised
• When you have close contacts who could get very sick if exposed to an infection (ie you care for someone very young or very old)
• When you have had a recent exposure to someone who is ill
• When you have symptoms of a respiratory infection (cough, fever, sore throat) and require care
Do inpatients have to wear masks?
- Inpatients are required to wear masks if they have symptoms and are leaving their bed space,
What if I refuse to wear a mask?
- You will not be allowed within any MHA hospital site to visit or provide assistance for your loved one if you refuse to wear a mask.
- If you have a medical exemption, please bring proof and discuss with staff. You will not be denied care however adjustments will need to be made to help keep others safe. For example, we may ask you to wait outside if we are unable to isolate you right away.
Ensuring the safety of our patients and staff is a top priority. Please be assured that our diligent infection prevention measures are in place,
- COVID testing will not be required prior to an elective surgery. If you have had an exposure or symptoms your surgery may have to be delayed. Please discuss with your care provider.
There may be times when additional assessment of your health may be required. Be assured, this does not mean your surgery will not take place. It’s recognized that patients who have any infection at the time of their surgery are at greater risk of developing complications during their health care journey. Your safety is very important to us. Please provide us with thorough and accurate information.
- Vaccination helps the immune system fight infections faster and more effectively. Stay up to date with recommended vaccines including COVID 19 and influenza.
To ensure the health and safety of all staff, physicians and patients at MHA, please follow the guidance provided when preparing for your surgery and on the date of your procedure.
If you need assistance or support the day of your procedure, please ensure that only one person accompanies you to the hospital. Ensure that person is not experiencing any symptoms of respiratory illness.
At the Hospital
- Perform hand hygiene when you arrive
- Attend registration and answer any screening questions
- Follow staff direction.
There are limitations to the number of people in areas of the hospital. Please help us all stay safe.
- If you are able to come to your appointment unattended, please do so. Please refer to the Visitation Policy for family and essential care partners. If a support persons is required to assist please choose an asymptomatic fully vaccinated support person to attend with you. If you require more than 1 support person, exceptions must be requested and will be assessed on a case by case basis in consultation with your health care provider prior to the day of your appointment.
- Please ensure you arrive for your appointment at the time provided..
- On arrival, you (and your approved family/essential care partner) will be asked questions about symptoms you may be experiencing or exposures to the virus you may have had. These questions may be asked at multiple points during your visit.
- Everyone must perform hand hygiene when entering and prior to exiting the facility
- Waiting room space is limited due to physical distancing requirements. If you are a support person meeting the requirements, waiting space will be provided. Additional persons may be requested to find an alternative waiting location external to the hospital building.
- Follow signs and practice physical distancing