As part of an ongoing efforts to protect the public, patients, staff and physicians from potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) has implemented restrictions to the number of visitors allowed per patient starting at 12:01 a.m. on March 14, 2020.
“These proactive measures are being implemented to limit the potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus within our hospital and broader community,” stated Lori Marshall, president and CEO at the CKHA.
“They are taking effect to protect our patients, families, visitors, staff, physicians and volunteers. We thank the community for respecting these restrictions.”
Effective immediately, CKHA officials say all inpatients will be asked to identify two visitors of their choice for the length of their stay.
There will be only one visitor at a time permitted at the bedside except:
– Two visitors for paediatric patients
– Two visitors for Level 2 Nursery
– Two visitors for palliative patients
CKHA officials say no other visitors will be permitted and no visitors under 18 years of age will be permitted.
The one visitor per patient also applies to individuals who may be accompanying a patient for an outpatient visit/procedure or diagnostic test.
Likewise, labouring women may have one support person in the delivery room.
CKHA officials are prepared to make special exceptions to the visitor policies on compassionate grounds, but only at the request and approval by the patient, and in consultation with the care team and their infection control team.
Visiting hours will be altered to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with 24-hour visitation still permitted for palliative care, critical care, paediatrics, Level 2 Nursery and the Emergency Department.
CKHA officials are asking that families and friends designate one or two individuals to be the visitors per patient throughout that patient’s stay in hospital.
CKHA officials also ask that people do not visit if they have travelled outside of Canada over the past 14 days, or have been in contact with someone who has, and/or you are feeling ill yourself.
Individuals will be screened at entrances and only those with medical appointments or identified on the patients’ list of visitors will be admitted, CKHA officials stated.
The hospital is also taking action with respect to supporting social distancing.
Volunteers and students will not be in the hospital for the foreseeable future, CKHA officials stated.
Additionally, CKHA’s Release of Information (ROI) office will not be open for in-person services until further notice.
For any ROI requests you may call the office at 519.352.6400 x 6374, Fax 519.436.2543, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be no change to requests received via mail.
Services related to Continuing Care requests for CDs will be suspended at this time.
CKHA is also reminding the community to not come to the hospital if they are ill with a respiratory infection where you may risk transmitting this virus to another individual.
If people are unsure whether they have contracted the COVID-19 virus, they can contact their primary care provider, the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit’s COVID-19 intake line at 519-355-1071 x 1900, email email@example.com or call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, 24 hours, seven days a week, CKHA officials stated.
CKHA officials say they will continue to update the public regarding any changes to policies and procedures until the pandemic declaration has been lifted by the Province of Ontario.