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Further Visitor Restrictions Implemented to Keep Patients and Staff Safe

[New Tecumseth, ON – November 27, 2020] – Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) is taking additional precautions to keep patients, staff and physicians safe by limiting visitors in the Hospital. SMH is returning to their Phase 1 visitor policy as a result of increasing cases of COVID-19 in the community, which indicates that visitors are not permitted for patients unless there are extenuating circumstances. SMH will be partnering with patients and their families to ensure they remain connected.  

“We understand how difficult this is for patients and their families, however we must implement these restrictions to keep our hospital environment safe,” says Carrie Jeffreys, VP Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive, SMH. “These restrictions are temporary and the safety of our patients, staff and physicians is a top priority.”

Last spring, while the Hospital’s visitor policy was in Phase 1, they implemented virtual options to connect patients with family members.

“During the last Phase 1 restrictions, we were able to connect patients virtually with loved ones and the community was very accommodating. We made these connections while following guidelines from public health, keeping everyone safe, which we intend to do this time as well,” she adds.

SMH is committed to providing support to patients and families during this difficult time by using tablets at the bedside to allow them to connect. Staff will also provide regular updates on the patient's health status to a designated family member. In addition, vulnerable patients in need of extra support with activities of daily life such as eating, hygiene, communication and decision-making will be allowed to have a Designated Care Provider for this purpose based on an assessment from the Hospital’s Inpatient Unit. 

“We are doing our best to align with hospitals in our area while keeping in mind the increase in cases, as well as guidelines from Ontario Health and our local health unit,” adds Jeffreys.

Labouring patients in the birthing unit will continue to be allowed one support person (for entire duration) and patients 18 years of age or under may have one parent or legal guardian accompany them while in the Hospital. Extenuating circumstances, such as a patient with cognitive impairment or a disability will be managed on a case by case basis.

A priority on visitation will be given to patients that are palliative, who are actively dying or have extenuating circumstances. 

Here is an overview of the Phases of Visitor Restrictions at SMH. SMH is currently in Phase 1: