Starting this week, visitors entering Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay will be required to provide proof of full vaccination status — with some exceptions.
The hospital announced the policy on Monday (November 22), which does not apply to essential care partners or to patients. There are also limited exceptions to the new policy, which comes into effect on Thursday, November 25th.
“Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for everyone who works at and receives care at our hospital is our highest priority,” says Anne Overhoff, the hospital’s vice president clinical and chief nursing executive, in a media release.
“Immunization against COVID-19 helps decrease transmission of the virus to vulnerable populations and minimize serious illness and overall deaths,” Overhoff adds. “We feel our policy strikes the appropriate balance between limiting potential transmission and maintaining visitation that is required in the delivery of exceptional care.”
As of November 25, every visitor entering Ross Memorial Hospital will need to present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and valid government-issued identification. Only vaccines approved by Health Canada will be accepted (two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD or one dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson).
There must be at least 14 days from the time the second dose of a two-dose vaccine was administered for a visitor to be permitted entry.
Visitors will also need to pass screening, practice hand hygiene, and wear a face mask at all times when in the hospital and on hospital property, and refrain from eating or drinking while in hospital and on hospital property.
Visitors who do not provide proof of vaccination and government-issued identification, and who do not meet the definition of an essential care partner (someone who is required to enable care for safety or compassionate reasons), will only be permitted to enter the hospital if they are supporting patients under one of the following exceptions:
- Those visiting patients at the end-of-life (within weeks).
- A birthing partner or doula of a patient giving birth at the hospital.
- Patients who require a support person in the Emergency Department.
- Parents of children under the age of 18.
- Individuals under the age of 12.
- Patients receiving a life altering diagnosis.
- Patients who require a support person to safely attend their appointment. This includes physical, cognitive and developmental disability, and who have challenges with communication and mobility.
- Those xxperiencing a mental health crisis.
According to Ross Memorial Hospital, this policy aligns with many other hospitals in Ontario.