Essential Caregiver Policy Changes



Windsor Regional Hospital is doubling the number of essential caregivers who can rotate visits to patients at both the Met and Ouellette Campuses, and the Regional Cancer Centre, as well as extending the hours when patients can receive visitors.

Starting at 12:01 am on Monday, March 21st, WRH will allow FOUR essential caregivers, chosen by the patient, to rotate over the patient’s stay in hospital (however, only ONE of the essential visitors may be at the bedside at a time within the allotted visitation). This is an increase from the two-visitor maximum that has been in place since February 7th.

For patients who are palliative, WRH will allow EIGHT essential caregivers to rotate over the patient’s stay 24 hours per day; however, a maximum of two individuals may visit at the bedside at a time within the allotted visitation. For patients who dying/end of life, or have a planned withdrawal of life support, WRH will allow EIGHT essential caregivers to rotate over the patient’s stay 24 hours per day with a maximum of four individuals to visit at the bedside at a time within the allotted visitation. (Some limitations may apply to the number of visitors allowed at one time based on clinical space restrictions). This may include visitors less than 18 years of age when accompanied by an adult.

Any essential caregiver of an in-patient or in attendance with a patient for an out-patient procedure will continue to be required to provide:

  1. Documented proof of their COVID-19 vaccination evidencing 14 days has passed since their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  2. A negative community-based PCR (polymerase chain reaction test) or antigen test result taken within 3 days before their visit.

No visitation is allowed for patients with active confirmed or suspected COVID-19 receiving an aerosol-generating procedure. Resolved cases may have Essential Caregivers as identified below. Limited exemptions are available for parents/guardians of a child with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

All essential caregivers must wear a medical-grade mask and eye protection at ALL times and in ALL areas of the hospital. If essential caregivers do not have one they will be provided with a medical-grade mask at the entrance. Cloth masks by themselves will not be allowed.

Unfortunately recently a visitor attended a patient in the hospital and removed their mask while with them. The visitor later tested positive for COVID-19 and unfortunately passed on the infection to two patients in the same room, leading to an outbreak declaration for the 8 East floor at Ouellette Campus. In the hospital, please keep your mask and eyewear on and follow all personal protective equipment guidelines. 

All essential caregivers are required to wear a face shield in addition to a mask while visiting a patient. Face shields will be provided to essential caregivers on entry to the hospital or on the unit. Please refer to our policy regarding these issues and limited exemptions for patients/essential caregivers not to wear a mask.

Visitation Hours:

  • 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 department-specific restrictions as well as specific hours for mental health, dialysis, the emergency department, paediatrics, and newborns, as well as additional information, please view the visiting the hospital link here.

The hospital also continues to support the use of technology to connect with your loved ones through virtual options, like FaceTime, or telephone calls. You can request a virtual visit here.

We appreciate your understanding of these visitor limitations while we continue to work to keep protect our community and our keep our hospital system functioning.

Media Release