TEMISKAMING SHORES – As COVID-19 cases across the province and in hospital intensive care units continued to rise, Ontario returned to lockdown and Temiskaming Hospital reinstated its visitor restrictions.
Beginning April 3, only essential care partners will be permitted in the hospital in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“This difficult decision is intended as a precaution to keep patients and our healthcare teams safe as transmission rates rise within the province and as do the number of cases of variant strains,” said Erin Montgomery, chief nursing executive and director of patient services, in a news release last week.
Under the following circumstances an essential care partner may be permitted:
• Patient who is actively dying;
• Pregnant patient in labour;
• One parent/guardian of an ill newborn or pediatric patient (child or youth).
There will be no visitation for patients who have a confirmed or suspected/probable case of COVID-19.
An essential care partner is a support person whose presence is considered essential to the safety and well-being of a patient while they are in the hospital.
They provide essential support for a patient (i.e. pediatric, vulnerable – cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, language/communication barriers) and are required to accompany a patient where assistance is needed and the patient would be at-risk if alone.
Essential care partners permitted to enter the facility will continue to be actively screened for COVID- 19. Essential care partners who are not feeling well should not come to the hospital.
Temiskaming Hospital will continue to monitor COVID-19 activity including community transmission, availability of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, and additional infection prevention and control progressions.
“We’d like to thank our community members for their continued cooperation of the public health measures put in place to keep our community and our staff safe,” said Mike Baker, Temiskaming Hospital president and CEO.
“We have been fortunate to have low numbers of COVID-19 cases in the district which has helped us to keep COVID-19 out of the hospital.
“Although numbers are low, we mustn’t let our guards down during what will now be the third wave of the virus.
“Family members are encouraged to use Temiskaming Hospital’s virtual visiting program which is supported by the government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Temiskaming Foundation, and remains available by contacting 705-647-1088 ext. 2230.”