Submitted by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC)
As COVID-19 cases increase in the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit catchment area, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare has revised the visiting requirements at our two hospitals to keep patients and staff safe and limit the risk of infection.
While MAHC continues to allow essential visitation by a patient’s Designated Care Partner during specified visiting hours, additional requirements of the care partners who are visiting are being applied to protect patients entrusted to our care and the health care workers looking after them.
“We want to continue to support the best experience by allowing essential but limited visitation, but we have experienced compliance issues with the rules, especially with keeping the mask on and not wandering around the hospitals,” says CEO Natalie Bubela. “With the continued spread of COVID-19 in our communities, these infection control measures are necessary to protect our patients and our team members providing their care.”
- No in and out access at the hospital (re-entry) is permitted in a single day visit.
- Designated Care Partners must refrain from eating or drinking while they are in the hospital to ensure their hospital-issued mask is always on.
- Patients will be asked to wear a mask when their visitor is present in their room.
- Failure to abide by these requirements will result in restricting the visitor from being the Designated/Alternate Care Partner, and the patient will be asked to select a new one.
“Additional rules may feel tough and strict, but these rules are made for good reason and to help all of us to protect each other,” says Bubela.
All visitation requirements are available on the MAHC website and include special exceptions for critically ill and/or palliative patients.
MAHC reintroduced visitation in July and continues to monitor the ever-changing pandemic situation. Continued limitation of foot traffic in the hospital means there has been no change to restricting visitors for outpatients except for special circumstances where a support person is necessary.
Should the community level of COVID-19 risk further increase or MAHC’s personal protective equipment supplies become strained, visitor restrictions may be initiated once again.
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