Current process and visitor restrictions

Please note: Everyone who enters the hospital must participate in the mandatory screening process, wear a hospital-issued mask and sanitize their hands. This includes individuals (patients, staff and essential visitors) who have been vaccinated.

December 31, 2021 Update
In response to overwhelming caseloads and rapid community transmission of the Omicron variant of Covid 19, changes are being implemented across the region.
• In an effort to reduce potential exposure or transmission in hospital, further limitations for visitors (family members and essential care partners) will be instated until further notice.
• Temporary leaves of absence (LOA) for patients cannot be accommodated due to regional COVID 19 activity and hospital capacity

Effective November 8, 2021, family and essential care partners must provide government issued photo identification and proof of full vaccination before entering either MHA site. Acceptable proof is the Ontario Ministry of Health Vaccination Receipt or the Enhanced Vaccine Certificate with QR code (in paper or electronic form). “Full vaccination” status is recognized 14 days after the second dose.

Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) sites, together with partners across the region, have implemented restricted visiting guidelines to keep patients, families and our health care teams safe. The MHA Hospital sites continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally and may be required to change/update the visitation policy in response to local COVID-19 activity.

Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) recognizes the important role that family and essential care partners play in the support and recovery of their loved ones in hospital.

Who is considered family?

Family includes a spouse/domestic partner, guardian, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, relative, neighbour and/or friend

Who is considered an Essential Care Partner?

An essential care partner plays a key role in the safety and well-being of a patient while in the hospital and supports the patient by providing emotional, cognitive, or physical care. Essential care partners do not have to be living with the patient or biologically related to the patient. Essential care partners must be 18 years of age or older. Essential care partners under the age of 18 must be approved by the manager or in-charge person/clinic in advance of the visit. Screeners will contact the area manager to have a conversation with the family should issues arise.

Guidelines for Family/ Essential Care Partners:

  • Care partners will be screened at the Main Entrance
  • Care partners who fail screening will NOT be permitted to enter the hospital
  • Care partners must perform diligent hand hygiene and wear a hospital-provided mask at all time
  • Care partners must wear additional personal protective equipment if requested by staff
  • All visits will be with the same individual, exceptions will be made based on a case-by-case basis
  • Care partner presence is limited to three (3) hours per day excluding palliative care, or obstetrics, or at the discretion of manager/clinical team
  • If able, the patient should wear a hospital approved mask during the visit.
  • 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.
  • Care partners are to be identified by inpatient units and communicated to screeners in advance of visiting

Family/Essential Care Partners should NOT come to the hospital if they:

  • Are feeling unwell
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have been tested for COVID-19 with results pending (or unresolved)
  • Have had close contact with a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19
  • Have been advised to isolate by public health

Family/essential care partners must follow infection prevention and control guidelines as directed at all times while at the hospital. Masks are mandatory and provided by the hospital for the duration of time spent at the hospital.

Definitions for the purposes of the Guidelines
Full Vaccination14 days after the last dose given in a COVID-19 vaccination series
FamilyIncludes a spouse/domestic partner, guardian, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, relative, neighbour and/or friend.
Essential Care PartnerIs a family member, guardian, friend and/or neighbour who provides support, assistance and/or care for family members and friends in need in any capacity or length of time. An essential care partner must be 18 years of age or older.
Palliative PatientIs a patient with a life threatening diagnosis who is receiving specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms.
ChildrenChildren: Children are individuals under the age of 18 years. MHA supports the presence of children for palliative or MAiD patients accompanied by a fully immunized adult. Pre-approval is required for all other visits by children. The child’s vaccine eligibility and status will be considered when making exceptions. Children will not be permitted if aerosol generating medical procedures are in the current care plan.
Patient PopulationInstitutional Guidance
PalliativeMHA supports up to two (2) fully vaccinated family / essential care partner(s) to be present 24/7 where the patient is receiving care. Additional family will be approved on a case by case basis by the unit manager during business hours (manager on call outside of business hours) in consultation with Infection Prevention and Control and family/essential care partner(s).Multiple factors are considered including availability of palliative care room and staffing. A list will be provided for screeners.
Inpatients      MHA must limit daily visits by essential care partners. Visits (one visitor once per day) will only occur if essential to maintain safety or enable care. Visits may be approved on a case by case basis as needed for patient well-being by the manager in consultation with infection prevention and control.
Outpatient SurgeryMHA supports one fully vaccinated family/ essential care partner may attend as needed for safety or to enable care prior to the procedure. They must leave hospital amd may return to area to pick up patient for discharge.
ObstetricsMHA supports one fully vaccinated family/essential care partners to provide support during labour and delivery.
Emergency DepartmentMHA supports one fully vaccinated family / essential care partner to accompany patient through triage. The triage nurse will determine if it is necessary for the family or essential care partner to stay for the remainder of the visit. If not determined as essential, they will be asked to provide contact information and every effort will be made to maintain good communication with the family/ essential care partner.

Patients arriving by EMS will be permitted to have care partner one fully vaccinated family / essential care partner if the care partner meets the criteria to remain with the patient. Care partner will remain with the patient at all times.
Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Imaging and Outpatient AppointmentsMHA supports one fully vaccinated family/ essential care partner may attend clinic appointments as needed if essential for safety or to enable care.
Note: If the department is unable to maintain physical distancing, the family/essential care partner may be required to wait outside the treatment area while the patient receives care.
EndoscopyDrivers for endoscopic procedures are required and will be permitted to pick up the patient from the Endoscopy Department after their procedure.

A family member or essential care partner who is not fully vaccinated may be allowed entry in specific clinical situations:
• patients who are children or infants,
• palliative patients
• patients experiencing an unpredictable or urgent circumstance, including end of life, a mental health crisis or childbirth
Manager preapproval is required in consultation with Infection Prevention and Control
Designated visitors who do not follow these guidelines will be asked to leave. Thank you for your continued support to keep our patients, staff and physicians safe.

Spiritual Care Providers

A spiritual care provider is permitted on patient/ family/staff request for support of in-patients.Spiritual care providers must be fully vaccinated, pass screening, wear appropriate PPE at all times and limit their limit visit to one person. Spiritual care visits must be approved on a case by case basis by the unit manager during business hours (manager on call outside of business hours) in consultation with Infection Prevention and Control

Expectations While In Hospital

It is expected that family and/or essential care partners will:
• Stay in the loved one’s room until during the visit
• Sit in chair provided and not on patient’s bed
• Not use the patient washroom. Public washrooms are available; inquire with the unit where the patient is receiving care for locations
• Not leave the unit for smoking / vaping or other purposes. If they choose to leave the hospital, they will be unable to return until the following day
• 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).

Guidelines for Visitors

  • Please wash your hands or use the available liquid sanitizer when entering and exiting the hospital. 
  • Do not visit if you are ill or have been in contact with a person with a contagious illness (e.g. respiratory illness with fever, colds, chicken pox, flu)
  • 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. 
  • Do not bring latex balloons. 
  • The Hospital is a Smoke Free Environment. Anyone wishing to smoke will be required to leave the Hospital property. 

Food and Personal Items for Patients

• Family / essential care partner may not bring food or beverages for personal consumption into a patient room or in patient care areas.
• Meals, snacks and beverages are available in designated areas.
• If family / essential care partner bring food for their loved one, food containers must be disposed of or taken home with the family / essential care partner when they leave. There is no location to store leftovers.
• Diabetic patients may bring their own food and drink to their appointment.
• Flowers/plants are not permitted in patient rooms at this time

To maintain Infection Prevention and Control standards and the safety of our staff and patients, please bring only the listed items below to the hospital for patients.
• glasses, hearing aids and dentures
• mobility items (canes, walkers, wheelchairs)
• new toiletries only
• new grooming items – toothbrushes, combs and hair brushes
• personal items- books, magazines, puzzle books, family photos etc.
• mobile phone/tablet,
• clean clothing and footwear

Please direct requests for special items to the Manager of the Unit where the patient is receiving care

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