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Visiting Guidelines During COVID-19

Based on Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) recommendations, Woodstock Hospital has updated the Family Presence Guidelines.

In conjunction with regional hospitals, all visitors to Woodstock Hospital are now required to show government issued photo identification and proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Necessary visitors who cannot provide proof of vaccination will be required to limit their visit to the patient's room only. Individuals found to be non-compliant with these guidelines will be asked to leave the facility.  Please contact our Patient Experience Office at 519-421-4233 x3667 or patientfeedback@wgh.on.ca should you have any questions or concerns. 

Please note, this policy does not impact patients or those coming to the hospital to access services.

Below are the latest visiting guidelines as of Monday, November 1, 2021:

Infection Control Measures: 

  • All visitors are screened at designated entrances using the most current screening tool for visitors
  • Visitors who fail screening will NOT be permitted to visit – exceptions may apply on a case by case basis
  • Visitors that answer “NO” to all screening questions but have a COVID swab pending completed for their employment, to visit a nursing or retirement home will be permitted
  • Visitors will be directed to wash hands and wear a hospital provided, medically graded mask. It is recommended that visitors maintain physical distancing during their visit when possible.
  • Visitors must wear a mask at all times and refrain from eating or drinking in the patient room during their visit – exceptions may occur on case to case basis at discretion of the Clinical Director
  • If a visitor is unable to wear a mask, they will be permitted an outdoor visit with the patient at the front of the hospital. The visitor must maintain physical distancing of at least 2 meters from the patient and the patient must wear a mask during the visit
  • Visitors must also wear hospital-provided eye protection, gown and gloves prior to entering a patient’s room under additional Droplet & Contact Isolation if providing direct care. This is at the discretion of the primary nurse or Clinical Director and based on the patient’s medical status at the time of the visit
  • Patients who are on Droplet Contact Enhanced Isolation Precautions due to potential COVID exposure will be limited to one (1) Necessary Visitor that will be required to wear a mask with eye protection when entering the patient room.
  • For all other patients on additional precautions, nurses will provide direction to the visitors to ensure visitor safety and proper adherence to the necessary personal protective equipment requirements
  • Visitors may only bring in food/beverages for the patient they are visiting; food may not be dropped off at the Main Entrance for patients except in special circumstances i.e. to meet dietary needs
  • Visitors must remain in the patient room during the visit. Fully vaccinated visitors ARE permitted to go to Tim Horton’s prior to or following their visit.

Necessary Visitors 

  • Individuals whose presence is required for Safety, Enabling Care or Compassionate Grounds (see Appendix 1)
  • Will be asked to provide proof of full vaccination (Ontario Ministry of Health Vaccination Receipt or Ontario Enhanced Vaccine Certificate) with accompanying government issued photo ID upon entry. Those who cannot provide proof will be required to limit their visit to the patient’s room.
  • Based on risk assessment, additional restrictions may be implemented on visitors who cannot provide proof of vaccination
  • Are permitted to visit outside designated visiting hours based on discussion with the clinical care team – inpatient nursing unit will provide a daily or updated list to the Pandemic Response Workers (PRWs) capturing the necessary visitor schedule\\

No more than one necessary visitor permitted for a patient at a time - two in exceptional circumstances; overnight visits are determined at the discretion of the clinical care team, in consultation with the patient. 
 
Designated Visitors

  • Individuals whose presence is preferred by the patient and/or substitute decision-maker but not deemed necessary
  • Must provide proof of full vaccination (Ontario Ministry of Health Vaccination Receipt or Ontario Enhanced Vaccine Certificate) with accompanying government issued photo ID upon entry. Those who cannot provide proof will not be permitted in the hospital
  • Inpatient nursing unit will provide a daily or updated list to the PRWs capturing no more than four (4) designated general visitor(s) for each patient – two (2) general visitors are permitted per day and may visit concurrently
  • Do not have in and out privileges – once individual leaves, they will not be permitted to visit again that day
  • Visitors under the age of 16 are not permitted except on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Clinical Director; permitted visitors under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult


If an outbreak is declared on a nursing unit, only necessary visitors will be permitted to visit. Visitors who have a valid vaccine medical exemption signed by a physician or nurse practitioner will be required to contact the Clinical Director of the nursing unit or delegate to complete the Proof of Medical Exemption process prior to their visit.

Visitors who have travelled outside the country must be on the approved visiting list, if applicable, and show proof of ArriveCAN PASS. Visitors that have ArriveCAN FAIL or status 
unknown will not be permitted entry – exceptions on case by case basis at discretion of the Clinical Director.

All hospital contractors, vendors and external service providers are required to be fully vaccinated to enter the facility.

Spiritual Care for patients is not counted as a visitor, are permitted at any time, must pass screening and must limit their visit to one patient. They will be asked for proof of full vaccination with government issued photo ID and/or hospital ID badge upon entry. Those who cannot provide proof will be required to limit their visit to the patient’s room.
 
Inpatient Visiting Guidelines: 

  • Designated visiting hours are 1400-2000
  • L500 designated visiting hours are 1430-1630 and 1800-2000
  • NO VISITORS are permitted for patients on M200 except with Charge Nurse or Clinical Director approval
  • NO VISITORS are permitted for all admitted patients who require surgery until the COVID-19 swab has been confirmed as negative AND surgery has been completed

 
MCWH – Labour & Delivery and Post-Partum Patients

  • Partner/support person for moms in labour must wait outside the hospital until notified by MCWH that they are permitted to enter; Partner/support person must pass screening
  • Partner/support person will be asked for proof of full vaccination (Ontario Ministry of Health Vaccination Receipt or Ontario Enhanced Vaccine Certificate) with government issued photo ID upon entry. Those who cannot provide proof will be required to limit their visit to the patient’s room.
  • Partner/support person will be given a blue wristband that will permit them in and out privileges from the hospital; no other visitors for MCWH are permitted. Partners are to limit contact with others when outside the organization. Upon re-entry, the partner/support person is to show screeners the blue wristband and must be re-screened – the partner/support person must pass screening for re-entry 
  • Confirmed positive COVID-19 patients will have exceptions and restrictions reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Clinical Director, Charge Nurse or delegate.
  • If a patient is admitted before COVID Asymptomatic Screen test results are available, the patient and support person (providing they pass entrance screening) will be placed in isolation until COVID-19 test has resulted as negative. During the test-pending period, both the patient and support person/partner are to remain in the patients room and must perform hand hygiene and wear a mask if leaving the room.

 
Daycare/OR/PACU/ENDO 

  • Patients for elective surgery may have one (1) visitor who is fully vaccinated accompany them to the waiting area outside of Daycare
  • Once the patient is called to enter Daycare, the visitor will provide contact information and leave the waiting area – they may wait in the cafeteria or outside the building and will be called to return to the waiting area to take the patient home
  • Visitors deemed necessary will be permitted to accompany the patient in Daycare
  • Once the patient leaves for the OR, the necessary visitor will provide contact information and leave the surgical area – they may wait in the cafeteria or outside the building and will be called when they can return to Daycare to assist with patient discharge
  • Visitors with patients for urgent/emergent surgery from the ED who are not fully vaccinated must remain in the waiting area outside of Daycare but will not be permitted in Daycare or to the cafeteria

 
Emergency Department

  • All patients and ED visitors will be screened in the ED
  • PLEASE NOTE: ED Visitors who fail their screening will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Triage/Charge Nurse or ED physician for permission to remain with the patient
  • Only one (1) visitor will be permitted to attend and remain with the patient for the duration of their stay in the ED
  • OVERCAPACITY Mitigation: Due to capacity limits, the ED wait room will only hold patients and necessary visitors. All other ED visitors will be asked to wait in their vehicles or emergency secondary waiting area until the patient is called back to the patient room. The visitor will be notified when they can return to the ED.
  • All ED visitors must remain in the patient room and will not have in and out privileges
  • Fully vaccinated ED visitors are permitted to Tim Horton’s ONLY when the patient is in the ED waiting room
  • All ED visitors will be provided with a face mask and are to wear it properly at all times while in the ED. Visitors that refuse to wear the face mask will not be permitted in the ED 

 
Outpatient Services 

  • Patients will be permitted one (1) visitor who is fully vaccinated to accompany them to their outpatient appointment
  • Visitors will be asked for proof of full vaccination (Ontario Ministry of Health Vaccination Receipt or Ontario Enhanced Vaccine Certificate) with government issued photo ID upon entry. Those who cannot provide proof of vaccination will be not permitted.
  • Children under 16 years of age are not permitted to accompany patient to the appointment 

 
Diagnostic Imaging

  • All visitors will be required to show proof of full vaccination (Ontario Ministry of Health Vaccination Receipt or Ontario Enhanced Vaccine Certificate) with photo ID upon entry.
  • Partner/support person permitted to attend OB ultrasounds. Those who cannot provide proof of full vaccination will be required to limit their visit to the appointment
  • All other visitors for DI will be determined by the PRWs at the time of screening and will be permitted entry if the patient requires assistance for mobility and/or changing clothes, i.e. necessary visitor.
  • If a patient has an outpatient appointment and DI appointment on the same day and the visitor is not required to assist the patient with mobility and/or changing clothes, the visitor must be fully vaccinated and remain in the main waiting area while the patient proceeds to their DI appointment i.e. designated visitor
  • Children under 16 years of age are not permitted to accompany patient to the appointment.



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