With an abundance of caution to contain the spread of COVID-19 and keep patients and staff safe, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is reducing visitation based on the increasing cases of COVID-19 throughout the region and the increasing concerns of the Omicron variant.
Effective Friday, December 17, 2021 admitted patients at MAHC may identify one Designated Care Partner who remains the same for the duration of their hospital stay to be an essential visitor. Visiting by an inpatient’s Designated Care Partner will be permitted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and visitation must follow MAHC’s guidelines to reduce risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The patient may also designate an alternate care partner who may visit when the designated care partner is unable to visit. Identified care partners must be over the age of 18, and only one may visit per day. Visiting may commence after the inpatient has received a negative COVID-19 swab result.
“Scaling back visitation is a difficult decision this close to the holidays,” says Natalie Bubela, President and CEO. “The hospital must do everything it can to protect patients entrusted to our care and the health care workers looking after them.”
Care partners must:
· Show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and identification, and pass COVID-19 screening at the entrance;
· leave a telephone number for potential contact tracing, if necessary;
· wear a mask and visitor identifier sticker for the entire visit;
· practice hospital hand hygiene protocols, and maintain two metres (six feet) distancing from others at all times;
· refrain from eating and drinking so their mask is always on;
· refrain from leaving the hospital until their visit is over (no re-entry permitted).
Other visiting provisions are in place for critically ill, palliative and dying patients. Visiting is not permitted in the Emergency Dept. unless in exceptional circumstances where a support person is necessary for a minor, persons with disabilities or cognitive challenges, or those requiring special assistance, such as language translation.
We regret that no one is permitted to accompany outpatients for appointments except for special circumstances where a support person is necessary. As per MAHC policy updated in November, support people must also be vaccinated.
All visiting guidelines are available on the MAHC website and include greater exceptions for critically ill and/or palliative patients. Visitor guidelines may continue to change based on the status of the pandemic.
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