As cases continue to climb in the district, Temiskaming Hospital is implementing new policy changes to mitigate the risk of the virus entering the hospital. This week, changes will be made to the hospital’s Care Partner Policy and Vaccination Policy. This follows changes made to the hospital’s Universal Masking Policy on Thursday, November 25, 2021. As of November 26, 2021, all staff who were able to, began working from home.

“The situation we are currently facing with the surge in COVID-19 cases means we need to take immediate action as our rates are some of the highest in the province and more than double our previous peak,” said President & CEO Mike Baker. He continued, “We must act now before the virus gets into our hospital where our occupancy levels are predominantly made up of at-risk patients.”

Changes to the hospital’s Universal Masking Policy will now require all staff and visitors at Temiskaming Hospital to wear eye protection at all times with the exception of eating and drinking. Mandatory eye protection was previously lifted at the end of July as a result of low case counts.

Beginning Tuesday, November 30, 2021, changes to the current Care Partner Policy will allow only Designated Care Partners for inpatients experiencing end-of-life, obstetric or pediatric care and for outpatients with physical, cognitive and developmental issues who require a support person to safely attend an appointment. General visitation will not be allowed at the hospital. New to the Care Partner Policy, all Designated Care Partners must provide proof of vaccination and government-issued identification. If the Designated Care Partner is fully vaccinated, they will be required to wear a mask and use eye protection at all times while in the hospital. If they are not fully vaccinated or cannot prove their vaccination status, additional personal protective equipment will be required at all times while in the hospital.

Volunteer services are temporarily suspended including the closure of the hospital’s gift shop.

Changes made to the policies will remain in effect until the situation in the district is under control and further direction is received in consultation with the Timiskaming Health Unit.

Finally, under the hospital’s Vaccination Policy, which went into effect on September 7, 2021, unvaccinated staff and professional staff were subject to COVID-19 testing twice per week. As of Monday, November 29, 2021, vaccinations are now mandatory for all hospital staff, professional staff, volunteers and contractors. Refusal to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 without a valid medical exemption will result in an unpaid suspension and eventually termination.

“Although we have high vaccination rates among staff, and after careful consideration, this is another step we are taking to keep our staff, our patients and our community safe,” said Baker. He continued, “These policies are guided by the hospital’s mission to provide quality, patient-centered care through values of social responsibility, accountability and teamwork. The evidence-supported data shows that vaccinations lessen the risk of transmission, and with the staffing challenges we, and the entire province, are dealing with currently, we cannot risk an outbreak at Temiskaming Hospital.”

Community members are reminded of our Virtual Visit Program. Bookings can be made by contacting 705-647-1088 ext. 2341.

Temiskaming Hospital’s mission is to provide quality, patient-centered health care and education close to home. For more information about Temiskaming Hospital, please visit