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CGMH Expands Visitors to Prescheduled Visits

CGMH understands how vital visitors are to a patient's wellbeing and has implemented prescheduled visits under its COVID-19 Designated Visitor Policy. This policy will be in place for the duration of the pandemic and supersedes any existing CGMH Visiting Policy.

The Designated Visitor Policy has three phases the organization can move between, based on the current status of the hospital, the community, and based on provincial directives from Ontario Health, which guide the visitor process.

"Bringing a reduced capacity of visitors back to CGMH is vital for our patients wellbeing and helps our nursing staff. The compassionate care of family and friends is a very important part of the healing process and we are pleased to bring scheduled designated visitors back to CGMH," says Lauren Tindall, VP Patient Experience.

CGMH is currently in Phase 3 of the Designated Visitor policy which now allows inpatients that are COVID negative, to have two scheduled designated visitors at the same time, for end of life care, patients arriving for childbirth, inpatients undergoing major surgery, an inpatient with a critical illness, an inpatient with a mental health crisis or an inpatient with a life altering diagnosis, who are located in a private room. Patients in a semi-private room with a roommate, can accommodate one designated visitor per room at a time.

Additionally, for children under the age of 18 and patients with special circumstances, two designated visitors per day are allowed with in and out privileges, while in the emergency department, one designated visitor per patient is permitted. Additional special circumstances will be discussed and reviewed on an individual basis.

For inpatients who are COVID-19 suspect, or confirmed, visitor restrictions are in place through all three phases, apart from patients arriving for childbirth, where the birth partner remains in isolation with the birth mother, a child under the age of 18 where a parent or guardian remains with the child in isolation, and end of life care.

For outpatient clinics and day surgeries, designated visitors for patients requiring additional support are to also be identified and scheduled in advance.

Visitors should enter through the main doors of the hospital where they will be screened, asked to clean their hands, be provided a mask and a visitor badge, and will be directed to the appropriate Unit to sign the visitor log. Visitors will be provided the appropriate PPE and provided with education by Unit employees, depending on the area of visit. Visitors are to remain in the designed room they are visiting and are asked to directly leave the hospital at the end of their visit. The cafeteria area is closed for public use at the present time.

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