It's a much needed morale boost for patients at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance as expanded visitor rules kick in.
Inpatients can now have two essential care partners on their visitor list, though they must come at separate times.
Critically ill and palliative care patients can have two visitors at a time and end of life patients can have more. Outpatients can also bring a support person along if desired.
“Very recently we opened up to outdoor visiting, not only for our long-stay patients but for our outpatients as well,” says Chatham-Kent Health Alliance President & CEO Lori Marshall. The new outdoor visiting area allows for patients to have two extra visitors in addition to their essential care partners.
Overall though, future visits to see family and friends in the hospital will likely have a different feel to them, even as reopening ramps up across the province.
“I think that we will still not be returning to open access to the hospital as we all experienced in the past,” says Marshall. “It will still be a much more controlled environment with identifying who patients and visitors are who are important to them and facilitating that visitation.”
Marshall also says people won’t be wandering into the hospital for awhile if they’re not coming to visit someone. “We won’t be, certainly in the near term, open for people to be able to come in and go to Tim Hortons for example.”
She says people coming to visit are welcome to get food at the hospital as long as they don't eat it in patients' rooms.
Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent