COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions
Effective July 20, 2020:
As of July 20, 2020, GBGH has re-opened limited visitation at the hospital to enhance the patient experience. Hospitals across the province restricted visitation in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and at the direction of the Ontario government.
To ensure visitation can take place safely, precautionary measures remain in place.
Admitted patients are permitted one visitor per day during a scheduled visitation time (see below). The exceptions to one visitor includes visitation for a palliative/actively dying patient. In this case, GBGH will allow up to four visitors at a time, as coordinated with the care team.
The hospital is asking visitors to schedule an admitted patient visitation time by calling the hospital’s main phone line at 705-526-1300. The scheduled times are between:
- 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Emergency department patients may have one visitor remain with them if support is required. Circumstances where support could be required include:
- Pediatric patients – i.e. children under 18 (one guardian permitted with child)
- Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care staff supervising a patient
- Central North Correctional Centre (CNCC) staff guarding an inmate
- Language barrier (translation required)
- Mental health/competency/confusion challenges
Patients attending the hospital for scheduled appointments or procedures may have one visitor accompany them if support is required for similar reasons as in the Emergency department (listed above).
All permitted visitors will be screened upon entering the hospital. Any visitor who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to not visit. In exceptional circumstances (such as a support person for a woman in labour, a parent/guardian of a child in the Emergency department or a palliative/end of life patient), a visitor who screens positive for symptoms will be reviewed by GBGH’s infection prevention and control practitioner or hospital coordinator prior to entry.
Screening questions include the following:
- Have you had close contact with anyone with acute respiratory illness OR travelled outside of Ontario in the past 14 days?
- Do you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR have you had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR are you currently being investigated for COVID-19 (swab collected but not yet received results)?
- Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- New onset of cough
- Worsening chronic cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Decreased or loss of sense of taste or smell
- Unexplained fatigue/malaise/muscle aches (myalgias)
- Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Runny nose/nasal congestion without other known cause
- Are you 70 years of age or older, and are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- Unexplained or increased number of falls
- Acute functional decline
- Worsening of chronic conditions
All visitors must comply with hand hygiene practices, wear a hospital-provided mask and follow physical distancing. Visitors could also be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment as determined by the care team based on a patients’ condition.
Visitor guidelines are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic within the region GBGH serves.
Virtual visitation options are still encouraged where possible (please see below).
In light of visitor restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GBGH is introducing Virtual Visitation through the hospital’s bedside entertainment units. Patients can stay connected to loved ones while in the hospital via Family Chat – a video calling service.
To use the virtual visitation service, please click here – https://georgianbay.connectmybed.ca/
GBGH understands the impact of contact with family on patients’ quality of life so the hospital has dedicated a staff member to assist patients and families with use of the service Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For assistance using the virtual visitation service, please email email@example.com.
The hospital anticipates having this service continue beyond the pandemic for loved ones who are unable to visit.