LISTOWEL – Although restrictions on hospital visits to see loved ones and friends are still tighter than they were pre-COVID, the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance (LWHA) has begun a careful, staged approach to relax restrictions on visitors and family presence for patients.
“The health and safety of staff, patients and the community will continue to be the priority,” said Christine Reyes, Manager of Clinical Services Inpatient Programs and Health Disciplines. “LWHA will carefully monitor each phase over time, and will assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain the safety of staff, patients and the community.”
The main change to the visiting policy is that inpatients can now have two visitors per day but only one at a time between the hours of 1-8 p.m.
Palliative patients with a Palliative Performance Scale of 30 per cent or less can have unlimited visitors but only two at a time.
“Only patients isolated due to pending or positive COVID swabs are not allowed visitors,” said Reyes. “All other isolation patients will be allowed visitors making sure the appropriate PPE is used.”
A visitor can take a stable patient outside using a wheelchair if the visitor can transport them in and out of building on their own but they must remain on hospital property and both the patient and visitor are to remain masked.
While outside the patient may have a total of three visitors who all must socially distance and wear masks. The visitor who takes the patient outside has to keep a list of those who met the patient outside, in case of an outbreak.
Medical and spiritual care such as clergy, hospice and foot care will be allowed to come between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will not be considered as a visitor.
As the hospitals welcome back visitors and loved ones, they are asked to adhere to the relaxed guidelines and restrictions to support efforts to keep everyone safe.
Most of the restrictions on visiting which have been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic remain in place.
Visitors have to answer screening questions at the designated entrance before entering and if a visitor fails the screening, they will be denied entry into the hospital.
Visitors who pass the screening process have to sign-in on the daily sign-in sheet to allow for contact tracing if needed.
Visitors must wear a mask or additional PPE as required. If they have a mask on they are welcome to continue to wear it while in the hospital.
Visitors must stay at the patient’s bedside for visits unless taking the patient outside, accessing the cafeteria or attending an appointment.
Visitors may only enter or exit the hospital once per day unless taking the patient outside. Visitor cards will be used to track the number of visitors in a room.
There will be no visitors permitted for confirmed or pending COVID-19 patients.
It is strongly encouraged that visitors do not bring children with them to their appointments.
It is encouraged that visitors try to maintain the two-metre social distancing with other visitors when in the patient rooms if possible.
There are no exceptions to the mask/PPE requirement and anyone not following it will be asked to leave the facility.
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner