GBGH further limits visitation to ensure safety of patients and staff
January 11, 2022 – Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is adjusting its visitation policy based on the continuing trend of increasing local COVID-19 cases and the transmissibility of the Omicron variant. Effective January 12, admitted patients will be permitted one designated visitor who plays an essential role in caregiving, as determined by the patient and care team.
“Given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant and the impact it’s having on the community, GBGH is further limiting visitation,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “Although never a simple decision, as a hospital we must do all we can to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. The unfortunate, but necessary, next step is restricting visitation until we see a significant downward trend in cases. We continuously evaluate visitation and will once again lift some restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so.”
There remain exceptions to the visitation policy in the case of a palliative/actively dying patient. Birthing patients are permitted one visitor for as long as they require assistance.
There is an appeal process for the visitation policy, which is initiated by contacting the patient’s care team, who will then escalate the request to the appropriate hospital staff for a decision.
For outpatient services (i.e. Ambulatory Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Day Surgery) and the Emergency department, GBGH continues to permit only one essential support person per patient based on meeting the following criteria:
- 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
Designated visitors and essential support persons must be vaccinated and show proof of immunization, as well as identification, prior to being granted entry to the hospital. They will also be screened and anyone who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to 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.
All visitors must comply with hand hygiene practices, wear a hospital-provided mask for the duration of their visit 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.
For more information, please visit http://gbgh.on.ca/covid-19-visitor-restrictions/.
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, GBGH
705-526-1300 ext 5177