Visitor Information during COVID-19

EFFECTIVE August 30, 2022
HOSPITAL VISITING HOURS UPDATE

LWDH is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. A hospital-wide visitor restriction is now in effect.

POLICY

  1. Lake of the Woods District Hospital staff will support virtual family presence to ensure the emotional wellbeing of our patients.
  2. Hospital staff will provide alternative options to in-person visitation. Staff will facilitate the use of technology (iPad) for patients to communicate/visit with family.
  3. Effective Tuesday, August 30, 2022, there will be no visitors allowed at Lake of the Woods District Hospital.
  4. Essential Care Partners (ECP) are always allowed if they meet the criteria. See below for guidance on Essential Care Partners (ECP). An Essential Care Partner is not a visitor.
  5. Examples of when an ECP may be required are:
    • Patient is unable to communicate effectively or has a language barrier
    • Patient has intellectual or developmental disabilities
    • Patient needs medical or special assistance
    • Patient has a cognitive impairment
    • Patient needs mental health support
    • Patient needs support for discussions of life-altering care, decisions, or goals of care.
  1. COVID-19 vaccination will continue to be tracked for all visitors and all Essential Care Partner’s (ECP); however proof of vaccination will not be required.
  2. An Essential Care Partner (ECP) who is not fully vaccinated may be exempt from
    this policy if they are previously approved and meet the criteria defined under Extenuating Circumstances/Exceptions. Pre-authorization is obtained from Infection Control/Occupational Health, the Unit Manager, and the Nursing Supervisor.
  3. Lake of the Woods District Hospital will notaccept a negative PCR or rapid antigen test in place of COVID-19 vaccination for entry to our hospital.
  4. All Visitors and Essential Care Partners:
    • will be screened at the entrance
    • will perform hand hygiene when exiting and re-entering the hospital
    • will declare truthfully if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19
    • will always wear a hospital-issued mask (a mask will be provided at the screening desk)
    • will practice physical distancing (six feet distance from others whenever possible)
    • will follow instructions from staff on the unit
    • will comply with current eating and drinking restrictions
    • will remain in the area/department they are visiting
  1. Visitors and Essential Care Partners will not be permitted to enter or remain within the facilities if they:
    • fail the screening
    • are in self-isolation and/or quarantine (as per public health)
    • express any verbal abuse, harassment, or violence towards our staff
    • refuse to wear a mask while visiting/accompanying
    • are non-compliant with policies
    • Guidance on Visitors and Essential Care Partners (ECP) for specific departments is outlined below in Visitor and Essential Care Partners (ECP) Guidelines.
 

 

 DEFINITIONS  of VISITOR and ESSENTIAL CARE PARTNERS (ECP) DEFINITIONS  of VISITOR and ESSENTIAL CARE PARTNERS (ECP

General Visitor (Visitor)

a) A visitor is defined as someone whose time with the patient is discretionary and short-term/temporary. 

This can include: 

  • visits that occur for purposes that are social in nature. 
  • individuals who are not involved in the direct care of the patient.

b) A visitor is not considered an Essential Care Partner. 

Essential Care Partner

  1. An Essential Care Partner (ECP) is defined as a person who will provide physical and/or psychological support, which is deemed important to the patient's care. Essential Care Partners directly impact the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and safety of patients.
  2. ECP presence improves patient safety, reduces harm, improves the quality of care, patient outcomes, and patient care experiences, as well as contributes to better staff morale and communication between health care teams and patients. ECP care can include support in decision-making, care coordination, and continuity of care.
  3. An Essential Care Partner (ECP) is identified by the patient and/or substitute decision-maker, and/or the care team.
  4. Essential Care Partners are an integral and essential part of care provision. An Essential Care Partner is not considered a visitor.

 

VISITOR and ESSENTIAL CARE PARTNERS (ECP) GUIDELINES

We recognize that limiting visitor access for some patients may have a greater impact to their safety and well-being than others.

The following restrictions are in place to allow for appropriate physical distancing to keep all staff, patients, and visitors safe.

Emergency
Department  

  1. No visitors allowed in the Emergency Department.
  2. One (1) Essential Care Partner (ECP) and/or parent/guardian of a minor child will be allowed.
  3. The ECP will be provided a screening card by ED staff, and then directed to the main lobby for COVID screening.
 

 

Outpatient visits,
day surgery and procedures

  1. No visitors allowed in the Outpatient Departments.
  2. One (1) Essential Care Partner (ECP) and/or parent /guardian of a minor child will be allowed.
 

 

Inpatients

  1. No visitors allowed for any inpatient at Lake of the Woods District Hospital.
  2. One (1) Essential Care Partner (ECP) and/or parent /guardian of a minor child will be allowed.
  3. Staff will facilitate the use of technology (iPad) for patients to communicate/visit with family as able..
  4. Decisions regarding extenuating circumstances/exceptions will be made on a case by case basis, in collaboration with Infection Control/Occupational Health and Safety, the Unit Manager, and the Nursing Supervisor.
 

 

Inpatients, COVID positive

  1. No visitors allowed for COVID positive inpatients at Lake of the Woods District Hospital.
  2. Staff will facilitate the use of technology (iPad) for patients to communicate/visit with family as able.
  3. Decisions regarding extenuating circumstances/exceptions will be made on a case by case basis, in collaboration with Infection Control/Occupational Health and Safety, the Unit Manager, and the Nursing Supervisor.
 

 

Maternity

  1. No visitors allowed in the Maternity Unit.
  2. Maternity inpatients will be permitted two (2) ECP/labour partners. Having full COVID-19 vaccination will be preferred but is not required for the ECP/labour partners.
  3. The labouring patient chooses their preferred ECP/labour partner in advance of the delivery.
  4. The total number of ECP/labour partners at one time will not exceed two (2) people.
  5. Decisions regarding extenuating circumstances/exceptions will be made on a case by case basis, in collaboration with Infection Control/Occupational Health and Safety, the Unit Manager, and the Nursing Supervisor.
 

 

Outdoor Visits

  1. Outdoor visiting is not allowed at this time.
 

 

Extenuating Circumstances/
Exceptions

  1. All extenuating circumstances and exceptions are considered, discussed, and approved by the Team Lead, in collaboration with the Unit Manager and/or Nursing Supervisor.
  2. Exceptions can only be authorized by Unit Manager and/or Nursing Supervisor.
  3. Visitors may be re-evaluated for extenuating circumstances/exceptions, including but not limited to:
  • critical illness
  • pediatrics
  • palliative care
  • hospice care
  • end-of-life
    (for whom imminent death is anticipated or possible in the next 7 days)
  • Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

5. If requested by the patient, a religious leader or traditional healer may be permitted, if the religious leader or traditional healer is fully vaccinated, and if the room is large enough to accommodate physical distancing.