Visiting the Hospital

WRH's NO VISITOR POLICY is still in effect, with only limited exceptions to essential visitors.

Effective Saturday, January 2, 2021:

All OUTPATIENTS AND VISITORS will be required to wear medical-grade masks (no cloth masks) upon entry to the hospital. Visitors and outpatients will be offered a face shield at the entrance but it is not mandatory unless they are visiting a patient in a room. All visitors are required to wear a face shield in addition to a mask while visiting a patient. Face shields will be provided to visitors on entry to the hospital or on the unit. All PATIENTS are required to wear a mask when not in their bedspace unless not able due to medical condition. Healthcare providers are encouraged to have the patient mask if able during care episodes/when within 2 metres/6 feet of the patient.

Please refer to our policy regarding these issues and limited exemptions for patient/visitors not to wear a mask.


WRH has implemented a NO VISITORS policy, with only limited exceptions.

WRH remains committed to patient and family-centered care and will make every effort to ensure that the needs of patients and families are met while these temporary measures are in place. We pledge to support family presence to ensure the emotional wellbeing of patients, by allowing alternative options to in-person visitation.

As exemptions to the no visitors policy, WRH is allowing limited visitation to essential visitors.

 

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

As exemptions to the no visitors policy, WRH is allowing limited visitation to essential visitors.

ESSENTIAL VISITORS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

  • One visitor 24/7 to a patient who is actively dying
  • One support person for a pregnant patient in labour
  • One parent/guardian of an ill newborn, child or youth
  • Exceptions to this policy may be considered for circumstances not prescribed. See below.
  • Essential visitors will be restricted if they:
    • Are less than 18 years of age
    • Are symptomatic
    • Have been outside of Canada in the last 14 days
    • Have tested positive for COVID-19
    • 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

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR THE ABOVE:

For the One Visitor 24/7 to A Patient Who is Actively Dying (or has planned withdrawal of life-support)

  • Only one visitor will be identified by the patient (or substitute decision-maker)
  • Must be age 18 or older
  • No visitation for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, due to the extremely high risk to patients, staff, and visitors. Virtual visits for these patients will be supported using technology such as iPads

For a pregnant patient in labour

  • One support person/visitor will be chosen by patient
  • Must be age 18 or older.
  • Following the birth, the visitor becomes essential for the newborn and must remain at the bedside until discharge (the mother is not allowed a separate visitor post-delivery). If the essential visitor leaves the hospital after the birth, they cannot return and no additional visitors would be permitted.

If the patient in labour is confirmed or suspected COVID-19

  • 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

 

POLICY EXCEPTIONS

Exceptions in Emergency/Out-Patient Visits

  • The exceptions process for emergency or out-patient visits involves a risk assessment conducted by the clinic/service to determine the risks posed to the patient, other patients, and the visitor.
  • Patients with profound disabilities that are determined by clinical teams to require personal support of a family member/caregiver will be allowed a visitor who will remain with the patient for the entire visit or in space designated by the clinical team if a procedure requires it.

Requests for Exception for In-Patients

  • Exceptions are only considered in rare and truly exceptional circumstances.
  • If a family member wishes to seek an exception to the 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:

  • Items for daily living needs, such as glasses, hearing aids, and dentures
  • Items for communication, such as a mobile phone or tablet
  • 1-2 books for reading
  • Food (single servings, individually wrapped)

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.