Stevenson Memorial Hospital is taking full precautions to keep the COVID-19 virus out of its facility and will require all visitors to provide proof of full vaccination starting Monday, November 22, 2021.
As of that date, visitors, designated essential caregivers, and anyone accompanying a patient to an appointment will be require to provide proof of vaccination demonstrating 14 days have passed since their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Visitors will also be required to provide photo identifi cation.
For those with a medical exemption, they will be required to provide a document from a physician.
Visitors will be required to wear a mask – provided by SMH – and are only permitted to go directly to and from the patient’s room.
In some circumstances, visitors may be required to wear additional personal protective equipment.
“It is our responsibility as a health care organization to ensure that it is safe for anyone spending time here, whether you are a patient, family member, staff member, volunteer, contractor or visitor,” said Jody Levac, President and CEO, SMH. “For this reason, we need to do everything we can to protect patients, staff and the communities we serve from the transmission and spread of COVID-19. Vaccines continue to be the best defense against the virus and we have asked all staff and now visitors, to be fully vaccinated before entering our hospital.”
There are a number of exemptions that apply in the case that a visitor or essential care provider does not have proof of vaccination or a valid exemption, or there is not time to produce the required documents.
These include a patient who is a child requiring a parent to be present, a patient in labour, or a patient who is palliative or at end of life.
This also includes a patient that is experiencing a life altering or critical illness as identified by the clinical team, or a patient that requires a support person due to an underlying condition.
“We understand how beneficial visitors can be to a patient and their care journey, however we need to ensure that the safety of patients is a top priority,” said Carrie Jeffreys, VP Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive, SMH. “We will work with patients and families to ensure that connecting with loved ones virtually is available if a visitor is not able to enter the hospital due to this new policy direction.”
The hospital currently allows one visitor per Emergency Department visit and one visitor per day for in-patients during the hours of 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with up to three visitors during a rotation.
Two designated supports are allowed for labouring patients, an ill newborn or youth under 18, and palliative patients. It should be noted that proof of vaccination is not required to becom a patient at SMH and to receive care.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times