Visiting the Hospital
Information for Visitors and Caregivers during COVID-19
EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021
WRH will allow ONE essential visitor for a patient, once per day, in one specified time slot, with some exceptions which are identified below. A maximum of TWO essential visitors may be chosen by the patient to rotate over the patients' stay in the hospital; however, only one of the essential visitors may visit each day and only in one-time slot.
All visitors must wear a medical-grade mask at ALL times while in the Hospital If visitors do not have one they will be provided a medical-grade mask at the entrance. Cloth masks by themselves will not be allowed. If they want visitors can wear a cloth mask on top of the medical-grade mask for a better fit as suggested by the CDC.
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. Please refer to our policy regarding these issues and limited exemptions for patients/visitors not to wear a mask.
Patients that are confirmed COVID-19 may not have visitors.
Patients that are symptomatic suspect COVID-19 must have COVID-19 ruled out with swabs done on day 1 and day 5 prior to allowing visitation.
Patients that are asymptomatic and being tested for COVID-19 due to being admitted to the hospital may have visitors.
There will be two time slots available for patients to visit:
- 10 am to 12 noon
- 6 pm to 8 pm (except Critical Care units)
- 8 pm to 10 pm (Critical Care units only)
Considerations of which visitors are considered "essential" should include:
- Those who are visiting/accompanying a patient who is dying or very ill
- A parent/guardian of a youth who is a patient, support person for a pregnant patient in labour
- Visitors of patients who require physical assistance
- Visitors providing essential support to a patient.
No visitation is allowed for patients with active, 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.
More than one visitor may be allowed in the following circumstances:
- Two visitors may rotate (1 visitor at a time) 24/7 for palliative patients
- Two visitors may visit 24/7 for a patient who is near end of life; a one-time visit may be approved for up to 4 visitors- may include visitors less than 18 years of age when accompanied by an adult.
- For Mental Health: 1 essential visitor per patient for 30 minutes during designated times. However, a maximum of 4 visitors will be allowed into 3N and 3S and a maximum of 2 visitors into PICU at a time. Visits must take place in designated common areas and are not permitted in patient rooms.
Please note that the exceptions process for emergency or out-patient services involves a risk assessment conducted by the clinic/service to determine the risks posed to the patient, other patients, and the visitor.
For scheduled out-patient 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. if they may have a visitor accompany them on the visit.
For outpatient departments, the patient will be advised at the time they are informed of their appointment date
Patients with disabilities that are determined by clinical teams to require personal support of a family member/caregiver will be allowed one visitor who will remain with the patient for the entire visit or in space designated by the clinical team if a procedure requires it.
For a pregnant patient in labour
- 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.
- All NICU and Paediatric patients may have two essential visitors between 0800-2000. Only allowing one essential visitor to stay overnight.
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 the 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
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.
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.