As key indicators for COVID-19, such as hospitalizations, continue to improve in the province and further stabilize in northern Ontario, Temiskaming Hospital will ease its visitor restrictions allowing for acute and long-term care patients to have access to two Designated Care Partners with only one present at a time, beginning, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Temiskaming Hospital implemented the second most restrictive phase of its Care Partner Policy on April 9, 2022, because of an outbreak at the hospital that saw the highest COVID-19 patient levels since the beginning of the pandemic. Those restrictions allowed for only palliative, obstetric, pediatric and certain out-patients to have Designated Care Partners. On April 25, 2022, the outbreak was declared over at the hospital, however, both the hospital and the community continued to have high incidence of COVID-19, so Care Partner restrictions were maintained. General visitation is still on hold.
“With provincial health care indicators continuing to improve and indicators levelling out in the district, we have been able to cautiously lift care partner restrictions.” said President & CEO, Mike Baker. He continued, “Putting visitor restrictions into place is a very challenging decision as we know how important mental health plays on patient outcomes, so we are happy to announce the lifting of restrictions on Tuesday with further easing of restrictions coming in the near future, if conditions continue to improve.”
Previous care partner visitations for, palliative, obstetrical and pediatric patients are still in place. Care partners are also allowed to accompany outpatients who need support due to physical, intellectual, cognitive and emotional conditions or needing a substitute decision-maker while attending the hospital for appointments, tests, procedures or emergent care.
Care partners will need to show proof of vaccination and identification prior to entering the facility. Consideration may be made for care partner vaccine exceptions in the following instances, however, additional Personal Protective Equipment standards may be required to further reduce risk:
- Patients who are near end-of-life.
- Patients admitted to obstetrics.
- Pediatric/Adolescent <16 years of age.
- Patients who may be experiencing a mental health crisis, or who have a significant development or intellectual delay (ex: dementia, inability to effectively communicate).
All Designated Care Partners must pass the screening questionnaire administered by the hospital’s Screening Agents prior to entering the hospital.
“I would like to personally thank each of you who have treated our staff with kindness and respect,” said Baker. “The Omicron variant has made an unprecedented virus even more difficult to deal with and we have come through this in much better shape than would have otherwise been the case, because of our dedicated team at the Hospital and because of your support!”
The team at Temiskaming Hospital continue to meet weekly to evaluate policies, while ensuring patients’ health and well-being are at the forefront of every decision.
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 www.temiskaming-hospital.com.