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COVID-19 INFORMATION
<August 2020>
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For More Information
Temporary Changes to Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines
[Updated July 15, 2020 at 12:15 p.m. – this information is subject to change.]

Based on the directive from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and collaboration with the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) Infection Control Team our Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines have been revised. Please note this information is subject to change.

HPHA is committed to keeping our patients, families, caregivers and staff safe during these challenging times. It is important for the hospital to maintain the practice of physical distancing and limiting the traffic going in and out of the premises. We understand that loved ones, families and caregivers are essential to the health, well-being and quality of life of our patients and HPHA is committed to supporting this.

HPHA has taken a careful approach to our Family and Caregiver presence guidelines and will monitor closely and adjust as deemed necessary. HPHA also looks to support from our community to adhere to these guidelines.

Family or Caregiver Presence will be supported during the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Only one family or caregiver will be permitted per day for patients who are in hospital. Presence out of these times will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Patients in isolation will not be permitted family presence, however staff can assist with virtual connections as required. 

Please note you will be provided with a disposable medical grade mask and asked to wear it for the duration of your visit. If you come to the hospital wearing a cloth mask, you will be asked to remove that mask. If during your visit, your mask becomes wet or soiled, it must be replaced. New masks can be obtained from health care staff.

Definitions

Caregiver: as identified by the patient. A person who cares for someone who needs assistance to manage their condition, disability or language barrier and would be at risk if alone. *Caregiver badges may be obtained from the Patient Experience Office.

Family: as identified by the patient. A person who is a spouse/domestic partner, family member, sibling, parent, grandparent, neighbour and/or friend.

Guardian: a person who has the legal right and responsibility of taking care of someone who is a minor

We ask that family, caregivers or guardians be 16 years of age or older, however special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Family and/or Caregivers Instructions:

Family and/or caregivers:

  • Must not come to the hospital if you
    • Are feeling unwell
    • Have been outside of Canada in last 14 days
    • Have tested positive for COVID-19
    • Have been tested for COVID-19 with results pending
    • Have had close contact with a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19
  • Will be actively screened prior to entry into the hospital and follow appropriate infection control guidelines at all times. If a family or caregiver fails screening, they will be referred to the Assessment Centre and will not be permitted to be present with the patient.  Learn more about screening by clicking here.
  • Must remain in the patient’s room and will not be permitted to leave for smoking, running errands etc. Exceptions will be made for communication with care providers and washroom use.
  • Must not use patient washrooms. Public washroom access is limited, please inquire with the unit where patient is receiving care for locations.

Procedure:

One family, caregiver or guardian may accompany a patient:

  • Who is giving birth
  • Who is an infant or child attending an outpatient procedure
  • Who is an infant or child attending an emergency department visit
  • Who requires assistance to manage their condition, disability or language barrier
  • To an outpatient appointment*
  • To one of our Emergency Departments*
  • Undergoing a surgical procedure*

*NOTE: For outpatient, surgical and emergency department accompaniment, family or caregiver may be asked to wait outside or in their car while the patient receives care and treatment to facilitate physical distancing.

Patients who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care: 

HPHA supports multiple family and/or caregiver presence however, only one person will be permitted at a time with the patient.

Outdoor Visits

For safety purposes there will be no outdoor visits.

Staying Connected

HPHA is committed to patient centered care and will assist patients, family and/or caregivers to stay connected with free WiFi and telephone/TV services. Tablets can be made available for virtual connections as needed.

Food and Personal Items for Patients

Individuals visiting a patient are not permitted to consume food/drinks during their visit.

To maintain Infection control standards and safety for our staff and patients, only the approved items listed below may be brought in for patients.

  • glasses, hearing aids and dentures
  • new toiletries only
  • new grooming items – toothbrushes, combs, hair brushes, razors
  • personal items- books, magazines, puzzle books, family photos etc.
  • mobile phone/tablet,
  • clean clothing required for patients who are being imminently discharged.
  • food from family/caregivers will only be accepted if it was prepared in a kitchen inspected by the Public Health (i.e. Commercial Kitchen such as a restaurant). Food in manufacturer’s packaging that is unopened is also acceptable.

Special requests for non-approved items must be directed to the Manager of the Unit where the patient is receiving care.

We thank you for your partnership and support with keeping our patients, families, caregivers, staff and community safe.

If you have any questions or concerns with the HPHA Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines During COVID-19 please call the HPHA Patient Experience Office at 1-888-275-11-2 Ext. 2423

Please note that if you or a loved one needs urgent medical attention, please do not delay visiting our Emergency Departments. They continue to be a safe place to receive care.

These Guidelines have been reviewed and endorsed by the HPHA Patient Partnership Council.