The gradual and phased approach of modifying the Visiting Policy at OSMH continued today with the implementation of additional changes, although still nowhere near the open access in place prior to the start of the pandemic.
Among the changes, most adult inpatients can now identify more than just one individual as an Essential Visitor during the course of their stay in hospital, although there is still only one visitor per patient allowed in the room at a time. Previously, patients could only identify one or two Essential Visitor for the duration of their stay.
Essential Visitors of adult inpatients no longer have to pre-register in advance, but must be approved by the patient and follow all the necessary COVID-19 precautions such as being screened at the main entrance, wearing a hospital mask and Essential Visitor identification badge, maintaining physical distancing throughout their visit, and signing in and out of the hospital.
Visitors must remain with the patient and only access public areas for brief refreshment breaks. The cafeteria is open and physical distance precautions are in place. Visitors eating and drinking in patient rooms is only allowed under other exceptional circumstances such as extended stays in the birthing unit.
Outpatients are required to notify the hospital scheduling department if they intend to bring in a support person as an Essential Visitor.
For most situations, Essential Visitors will have full in and out privileges during the hospital’s designated visiting hours of 10 am – 8 pm, with exceptions on compassionate grounds, such as end of life, patients in labour, paediatric patients and otherwise at the discretion of the care team.
Restrictions remain in place for the Emergency Department and other outpatient care areas where visiting is at the discretion of the care team and in considering individual patient needs.
Visiting restrictions are subject to change and will continue to be closely monitored in conjunction with provincial guidelines, community transmission and other considerations.