Visiting the Hospital
Information for Visitors and Caregivers during COVID-19
Effective 12:01 am August 30, 2021, anyone wanting to visit an in-patient or attend with a patient for an out-patient procedure will be required to provide either:
- documented proof of their COVID-19 vaccination evidencing 14 days have passed since their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; OR
- a negative community based PCR (polymerase chain reaction test) or antigen test result taken within 3 days before their visit.
EFFECTIVE JUNE 25th, 2021 WRH will allow TWO essential visitors for each patient, with some exceptions. A maximum of TWO essential visitors may be chosen by the patient to rotate over the patient's stay in the hospital, however, only one of the essential visitors may be at the bedside at a time within the allotted visitation.
All visitors must wear a medical-grade mask and eye protection at ALL times and in ALL areas of the hospital. If visitors do not have one they will be provided with a medical-grade mask at the entrance. Cloth masks by themselves will not be allowed.
All visitors are required to wear a face shield in addition to a mask and eye protection while visiting a patient. Face shields will be provided to visitors on entry to the hospital or on the unit. Please refer to our policy regarding these issues and limited exemptions for patients/visitors not to wear a mask.
No visitation is allowed for patients with active confirmed or suspected COVID-19, that are receiving aerosol-generating medical procedures including but not exclusive to non-invasive ventilation (BiPAP, CPAP) or high flow oxygen (AIRVO, Optiflow) due to the extremely high risk to patients, staff, and visitors. Please refer to the nursing unit for clarification. Virtual visits for these patients will be supported using technology such as iPads. Resolved cases may have visitors as identified in this policy.
- 8 am to 8 pm (except Critical Care units)
- 10 am to 6 pm, and 8 pm to 10 pm (Critical Care units only)
- For Mental Health and Renal Dialysis please see below
Essential visitors include the following:
- Four visitors may rotate (2 visitors at a time) 24/7 for palliative patients. Four visitors may visit 24/7 for a patient who is actively dying/end of life. This may include visitors less than 18 years of age when accompanied by an adult
- If a patient has planned withdrawal of life support, four visitors can attend
- Visitors must be age 18 or older unless they are parent/guardian of the patient
- One support person for a pregnant patient going to OBT/Scheduled C-section/Induction/Post-Partum
- One support person with a mom going to Maternal Newborn Clinic
- For an ill newborn, child, or youth 2 identified caregivers for inpatients can come and go between 08:00 - 20:00 and one of the identified caregivers can stay overnight between 2000-0800. For out-patients and day surgeries, 2 identified caregivers can accompany the patient
Essential visitors will be restricted if they:
- Are less than 18 years of age (except as above)
- Are symptomatic
- Have been outside of Canada in the last 14 days
- Have tested positive for COVID-19 (and are not resolved cases)
- Have had close contact with a confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19
- Have had close contact with a person with an acute respiratory illness who has been Outside of Canada in the 14 days before their symptom onset
- Cancer Program - For scheduled outpatient cancer appointments with a provider, the patient may have one essential visitor accompany them. This does not include appointments for lab work, medical treatment, or diagnostic imaging.
- Emergency Department - 24 hours, one essential visitor per patient- may not enter until the patient has been brought in from the waiting room. Department will contact when visitors can enter. May not wait in the waiting room.
- Lab and Diagnostic Imaging - Patients with profound disabilities that are determined by clinical teams to require the personal support of a family member/caregiver will be allowed one essential visitor who will remain with the patient for the entire visit or in a space designated by the clinical team if a procedure requires it.
- Family Birthing - For a pregnant patient going to OBT/Scheduled C-section/Induction/Post-Partum, a maximum of TWO essential visitors may be chosen by the patient to rotate over the patient's stay in the hospital, however, only one of the essential visitors may be at the bedside at a time.
- Maternal Newborn Clinic - One support person with a mom going to Maternal Newborn Clinic
- Paediatrics and NICU - For an ill newborn, child, or youth 2 identified caregivers for inpatients can come and go between 8 am – 8 pm and one of the identified caregivers can stay overnight between 8 pm and 8 am. For out-patients and day surgeries, two identified caregivers can accompany the patient
- Mental Health Department - Two essential visitors may be chosen with 1 essential visitor per patient for 30 minutes between 4:00 pm-8:00 pm. To avoid overcrowding in common areas, we have limited visitation to a maximum of 4 visitors being allowed into 3N and 3S and a maximum of 2 visitors into PICU at a time. Visits must take place in the designated common area and are not allowed in patient rooms.
- Renal Dialysis Program - In-center dialysis - outpatients (Bell/JM/ESHC): 0830-1000, 1330-1500, and 1900-2030 – 1 essential visitor per patient. In-patients in JM – to follow hospital visitation hours. Home Programs and MCKC – 1 essential visitor with patient per clinic visit.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR THE ABOVE:
If the patient in labour is confirmed or suspected COVID-19
- The visitor remains with the patient in the same physical environment throughout the care delivery
- The clinical team is able to provide visitor with a safe environment and teaching necessary for infection control
- The visitor is masked and reports to Public Health as they may be required to self-isolate, depending on test results
Requests for Exception to Visitation Policy
- Exceptions to the above are only considered in rare and truly exceptional circumstances.
- If a family member wishes to seek an exception to the above visitation policy, they should contact Patient Relations:
- Ouellette Campus: Phone: 519-254-5577 Ext.34404
- Met Campus: Phone: 519-254-5577 Ext.52317
- After Hours: Phone: 519-254-5577 dial zero for switchboard and ask for the After Hours Manager
- The family member will be contacted once the review process is complete with an answer.
PERSONAL ITEM DROP OFF
The following items are eligible to be dropped off for delivery to a patient's room:
- Food or other personal items may not be dropped off for delivery to a patient’s room.
- Glasses, hearing aids, dentures, one personal cell phone/tablet, or clothing required for patients who are being imminently discharged may be dropped off at a hospital entrance and it will be taken to a patient’s room.
Note that all personal items must be bagged and room tagged prior to delivery.
STAY CONNECTED VIRTUALLY WITH PATIENTS
We recognize the impact of isolation for patients and families during this difficult time and we are doing everything we can to help patients and loved ones stay connected.
If you have a family member at WRH, please consider alternatives to in-person visits.
- The hospital supports the use of technology to connect with your loved ones through virtual options, like FaceTime, or telephone calls.
- WRH's Guest Wi-Fi is available for patients to allow video calls to family and friends. The "Guest" network can be found through your wireless settings and is free of charge.
- Call your loved one in their room through the switchboard at 519-254-5577.
- Patients can bring their own devices when possible to stay connected to loved ones through FaceTime, Skype, etc.
- When patients do not have access to their own personal devices, assistance may be provided to access to technology and assist with virtual visitation.
- Send an E-card to your loved one. E-cards are a free service enabling you to send a personalized message to your loved one or friend. These are printed and delivered to patients who do not have access to email.