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.
As provincial restrictions ease, MHA is supporting increased flexibility for visitor presence. Unfortunately, we are unable to permit purely social visits at this time.
- All inpatients will be allowed up to four care partners per day.
- A care partner is an individual who provides physical or emotional support .Care partners may or may not be family members. Up to date vaccination against Covid 19 is encouraged but not required.
- A care partner may visit once per day between the hours of 12:00 and 8:00 pm.
- Care partners must come one at a time and visits should be limited to one hour and once per day when possible. Care partners may only visit one patient. Waiting areas are not available in hospital so care partners should coordinate visits.
- Care partners must pass screening and adhere to infection prevention protocols including masking and distancing.
- Care partner presence will not be permitted when the patient is on isolation precautions. Exceptions may be requested through Patient Relations. When an exception is made, care partners will be required to comply with PPE requirements and acknowledge risk.
- Virtual visits are available at patient or care partner request through the nursing unit. Patients may ask their nurse and care partners may organize by calling the nursing unit.
- Patients attending the Emergency Department will be allowed one care partner to stay with them during their visit. Should the patient be admitted, inpatient guidance applies. Due to space limitations, care partners may be asked to wait in their vehicle or an alternate waiting area at the request of staff.
- Patients attending for Diagnostic Imaging or for an Outpatient Appointment may have one care partner accompany them. Due to space limitations, care partners may be asked to wait elsewhere at the request of staff. Diabetic patients may bring their own food and drink to their appointment. Please ask a staff member for a safe place to remove your mask and consume your snack.
- Spiritual Care Providers: Spiritual care providers must pass screening, wear appropriate PPE at all times and limit their limit visit to one person. Spiritual care providers are not counted as a care partner.
- Special Circumstances:
- Critical Conversations: MHA supports care partner presence for critical conversations. Approval for care partners to attend at same time can be obtained through the unit manager.
- Compassionate Presence:
- Palliative Patients imminently progressing toward end-of-life who have a PPS scale assessment of equal to or less than 30% or Patients receiving Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
MHA supports up to four fully vaccinated family / essential care partner(s) to be present 24/7 where the patient is receiving palliative care. There may be restrictions at bedside based on space available. 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, unit activity, patient clinical status, care partner compliance and staffing. Family/care partners must stay in patient room or designated spaces.
- Enabling care: MHA supports care partner presence to enable care. Patients with developmental or intellectual disability, or those requiring assistance with interpretation or translation may have increased care partner presence at the discretion of the unit manager.
- Enabling Safety: MHA supports extended care partner presence to encourage patient safety for patients who are children, experiencing a mental health crisis or experiencing cognitive impairment. Increased care partner presence is at the discretion of the unit manager.
- Labouring Mothers: MHA supports one or two care partners to support a patient during the birthing process. Labour support persons may bring food and drink for their own consumption. They will follow the direction of the nurse for a safe place to remove their mask and have their snack.
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 Care Partners:
- Care partners will be screened prior to entry
- 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 one visit per care partner excluding palliative care, or obstetrics, or at the discretion of manager
- 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 should NOT come to the hospital if they:
- Are feeling unwell-even with very mild symptoms
- Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days
- Have been tested for COVID-19 with results pending (or unresolved)
- Have had close contact with a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19 in the past 10 days
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.
Spiritual Care Providers
A spiritual care provider is permitted on patient/ family/staff request for support of in-patients. Spiritual care providers must pass screening, wear appropriate PPE at all times and limit their limit visit to one person. Spiritual care visits for patients on precautions 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. Spiritual care providers will be required to acknowledge risk and comply with PPE requirements.
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.
• Not use the patient washroom. Public washrooms are available; inquire with the unit where the patient is receiving care for locations.
- Not provide assistance/care for other patients.
• 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. Exceptions made for palliative patients.
• 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 and on entering and exiting the patient room.
- 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) in the past 10 days.
- 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
• 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 bringing food for a patient, food containers must be disposed of or taken home when leaving. There is no location to store leftovers.
• Diabetic patients may bring their own food and drink to their appointment. Please consult with a staff member for a safe place to remove your mask and consume your snack.
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