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Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for Designated Visitors

In an on ongoing effort to ensure Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) remains a safe place for all employees, physicians, patients and our community, CGMH is implementing proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all designated visitors, effective Wednesday, December 1.

The CGMH COVID-19 Pandemic Designated Visitor Policy requires all visitors 12 and over to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (14 days past second shot) with approved government documentation, along with proof of government photo identification, or proof of exemption. Visitors must continue to wear all assigned PPE, inclusive of masks while inside patient rooms.

"With the ever-changing variants of concern emerging, CGMH's goal it to implement further layers of protection to keep all CGMH Team members, our patients and our community safe. We understand designated visitors are a key part of our patient experience and contribute to the overall wellness of our patients, so our goal is to continue to provide visitors in a safe and responsible manner," says Lauren Tindall, VP Patient Experience.

This policy does not apply to patients, or children 11 and under. Considerations will be made for urgent situations where a Designated Visitor is not fully vaccinated.

Designated visitor exemptions will be considered for:

  • End of life including MAID and stillbirth
  • Childbirth
  • Major surgery
  • Critical illness/life altering diagnosis
  • Emergency department patients
  • Patients under the age of 18
  • Significant developmental, intellectual disability/cognitive impairment/unable to effectively communicate
  • Patient requiring caregiver to support hospital workflow

FAQ's

Will a Designated Visitor be required to complete screening?

All Designated Visitors will enter through the main entrance and complete screening with each entry into the hospital.

Will a Designated Visitor be required to provide proof of vaccination and identification?

To ensure the safest possible environment for our patients to receive care, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (having received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada e.g., two doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series; and having received the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior).

What Patient Populations meet an exemption for unvaccinated visitors?

  • Patients who are experiencing a health decline at end of life. A prognosis of 48-72hrs to live, including patients with COVID-19.
  • Childbirth.
  • Patients under the age of 18 years old.
  • Major surgery.
  • Critical illness or life altering diagnosis.
  • Significant developments or intellectual disability/significant cognitive impairment/unable to effectively communicate/patient requiring a caregiver to support hospital workflow.

Can an unvaccinated Designated Visitor provide proof of a negative rapid antigen test or PCR test as a substitute for proof of vaccination?

The hospital is not accepting negative covid results from either a rapid antigen test or PCR test as a substitute for proof of full vaccination. All approved designated visitors age 12 and older must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (two doses plus a minimum of 14 days).

Who do Designated Visitors show documentation too?

There will be two screening stations in the front lobby of CGMH that all Designated Visitors will be required to stop at, complete verbal screening, obtain a hospital issued mask and show proof of vaccination and government issued photo id for those 12+ (or proof of exemption), prior to proceeding to a patient room.

Who determines the Designated Visitor or the Designated Alternate Visitor?

The patient or where not possible, the Power of Attorney (POA), Substitute Decision maker (SDM), Next of Kin, or another contact over the age of 16 years old.

Who can be a Designated Visitor?

Family members, friends, care givers, private paid care givers or others who have been expressly identified by the patient or where not possible, their POA, SDM, Next of Kin, or another contact over the age of 16 years old.

Who cannot visit?

  • Anyone who does not pass screening.
  • Anyone who is unable to provide proof of vaccination and identification.
  • Anyone who is not fully vaccinated (two doses plus a minimum of 14 days) and does not have an approved exemption.
  • Anyone who is known or suspected to be COVID-19 positive and has not been cleared by Public Health.
  • Anyone who is a contact of a known COVID-19 positive person and has not been cleared by Public Health.
  • Anyone who has been told to stay home by a healthcare provider or public health.
  • Anyone who has received a COVID-19 exposure alert on the COVID Alert App within the last 14 days.
  • Anyone who has not been specifically identified by the patient or their POA, SDM, Next of Kin, or another contact over the age of 16 years old.
  • Anyone who fails to adhere to infection control practices, or the terms outlined in this documen

    What will be the visiting schedule and times?

    Designated Visitors will be restricted based on the patient's care plan. The care team will determine frequency, date and time of visits.

    With guidance from Public Health, as conditions evolve, we will update patients and their supports on any further changes in the visiting process.

    Who can I speak to if I disagree with a decision for my situation?


    For the safety of other patients, visitors and our employees, our clinic and unit managers must follow CGMH policies on who can be allowed to enter CGMH during the pandemic. They are only able to permit Designated Visitors for patients or situations that fit within the current safety criteria.

    If you are declined approval by the unit/clinic manager, but feel that you should be eligible, you can contact CGMH's Patient Relations at 705-445-2550 ext 8601 or patientrelations@cgmh.on.ca

    While an exemption may not be possible, the Patient Relations team will help work with you to understand if there is information that the team was not aware of when making their decision. We can also help support a virtual visit if appropriate.

    Could visiting be stopped again?

    Yes. If the number of COVID-19 cases in the community increases or if we are in an outbreak, visitor restrictions may be further increased. Effective December 13, 2021 at 8 a.m. fully vaccinated designated visitors have been scaled back to Phase 2a:

    Full vaccinated designated visitors are permitted for the following at one visitor per patient:

    • End of life including MAID and stillbirth
    • Childbirth
    • Major surgery
    • Critical illness/life altering diagnosis
    • Emergency department patients (exemption to proof of vaccination will only apply to those Emergency Department Patients who meet patient population criteria in the policy)
    • Significant developmental, intellectual disability/cognitive impairment/unable to effectively communicate
    • Patient requiring caregiver to support hospital workflow
    • Long stay patients

    Designated visitors are currently permitted for the following at two visitors daily per patient:

    • Patients under the age of 18


    Thank you for continuing to partner with us in keeping everyone safe. For your health, that of your loved one currently in hospital, along with the staff caring for them, we strongly encourage you to:

    • Clean your hands frequently with hand sanitizer or soap and water
    • Stay home when sick
    • Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet or 2 meters
    • Wear a mask or face covering over your mouth and nose at all times while visiting

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