Visitor Information during COVID-19

EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 22, 2021
HOSPITAL VISITING HOURS UPDATE
Lake of the Woods District Hospital is happy to announce we will be resuming visiting hours for our inpatients.

Inpatients may choose one (1) designated visitor to visit during our limited visiting hours.

Daily Visiting Hours are: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM 

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and keeping in alignment with recommendations from the Ministry of Health, Lake of the Woods District Hospital has taken precautions to keep all staff, patients, and their families safe. This includes temporary changes to our Visitor Policy, including restricting the number of visitors permitted in the Hospital.

It is ultimately up to the patient to decide if they want visitors, and all visitors are required to respect hospital policies and visiting hours.

PURPOSE 
a) Minimize the risk of infection for LWDH staff, patients, and their families.
b) Limit traffic through our hospital sites while ensuring our patients are receiving an essential level of support. 
c) Ensure compliance with the Quarantine Act. Visitors who are self-isolating due to recent travel are not permitted to enter the hospital, even in extenuating circumstances.
d) To follow recommendations set out by the Northwestern Health Unit.


POLICY
1. Every inpatient will be allowed up to one visitor/ECP’s at the same time between the hours of 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.
2. As of December 1st, 2021, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all individuals seeking to visit a patient. This includes outdoor visits. If an individual has a medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination, this must be disclosed in advance to the Unit Manager. 
3. Anyone visiting or accompanying (ECP) a patient, 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. 
Remember: Exceptions can only be authorized by the Unit Manager and/or Nursing Supervisor. 

4. In extenuating circumstances, an Essential Care Partner (ECP) may be allowed in the hospital if they are not vaccinated.  In this case, the Essential Care Partner (ECP) must have prior approval from Infection Control/Occupational Health, the Unit Manager, and the Nursing Supervisor. The ECP is still required to pass the screening.

5. Lake of the Woods District Hospital will not accept proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test in place of COVID-19 vaccination records for entry to our hospital.

6. All Visitors and Essential Care Partners:

  • will be screened at the entrance
  • will perform hand hygiene when exiting and re-entering the hospital
  • will provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 along with a piece of identification
  • 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 

7. 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
  • are non-compliant with policies

8. Guidance on Visitors and Essential Care Partners (ECP) for specific departments is outlined 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 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.

A visitor is not an Essential Care Partner. 

Essential Care Partner

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. This care can include support in decision-making, care coordination, and continuity of care.

An Essential Care Partner (ECP) is identified by the patient and/or substitute decision-maker, and/or the care team. A patient may have more than one Essential Care Partner (ECP).

 Essential Care Partners are an integral and essential part of care provision. Essential Care Partners directly impact the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and safety of patients. 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.

 

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. The Emergency Department will allow one (1) Essential Care Partner (ECP) per visit.
 

 

Outpatient visits,
day surgery and procedures

  1. No visitors allowed in the Outpatient Departments.
  2. Outpatient Departments will allow one (1) Essential Care Partner (ECP) per visit.
 

 

Inpatients

  1. Inpatients may choose one (1) designated visitor to visit during our limited visiting hours.
  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.
 

 

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 are permitted one vaccinated ECP/labour partner. (see policy #6.)
  3. The labouring patient chooses their preferred ECP/labour partner in advance of the delivery.
  4. If the first preferred labour partner/ECP is unvaccinated, the patient will be advised to select another labour partner/ECP.
  5. This should be done in advance of the delivery.
  6. 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.
 

 

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. The limit of no visitors may be removed for extenuating circumstances/exceptions, including but not limited to:critical illness
  • critical illness
  • labour & delivery
  • 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 or family, a religious leader or traditional healer may be permitted as an additional visitor, if the room is large enough to accommodate physical distancing.