Tuesday, March 16 – “The safety of staff and patients is paramount,” says Marianne Walker, President and CEO. In light of that, Guelph General Hospital’s visitor policies were changed. In addition, many tests, procedures and surgeries are cancelled for at least two weeks. Those affected will be contacted directly by the hospital. The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly and the policies may well change again.
At GGH, visitors are being restricted to one at a time per patient. Public access to the hospital will be through its main entrance behind the Hospital unless requiring access to the Emergency Department for care. The Hospital’s Delhi Street entrance is closed for the foreseeable future.
New visiting hours are 2-8 p.m. and all visitors and non-emergency patients will be screened at the Main Entrance on Level One. “This simply means that when you come to the hospital, staff will ask you why you are here, your travel history and your health,” explains Walker. Any visitor who is unwell will not be allowed in the building. Patients who fail the screening will be given a mask and identified with a yellow sticker and taken to the necessary care area. Those who do pass screening will be given a green sticker to wear while in the hospital and will sign in and out. As before, after-hours access into the hospital is through the Emergency Department where screening will be done.
All visitors entering the hospitals under any circumstance must:
- Be free of symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, malaise, etc.)
- Not had contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case
- Not have had contact with a person with an acute respiratory illness who has been outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
GGH recognizes that exemptions may need to be made to visiting restrictions for close relatives of a terminally ill patient who is near end of life. The patient’s unit Manager or Director will identify if the circumstances meet the exception criteria.