As Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) continues with its safe, gradual ramp up of services, the health centre is ready to move to the next phase of easing visitor restrictions.
Visitor restrictions, except for compassionate reasons, were introduced in mid-March as a safety measure to limit non-essential entry to the health centre, contain the spread of COVID-19 and keep patients and staff safe.
“We began allowing visitors back to the health centre on July 27 and we know that was a huge relief for our patients and their loved ones,” says Liz Ferguson, vice president Patient Programs, Flow and Chief Nursing Executive. “We’ve been monitoring the situation very closely and are ready to move to the next phase of our Family Presence policy allowing inpatients to have two visitors a week. As the COVID-19 situation continues to stabilize, we will increase the frequency of these visits with the goal of returning to our full visitation policy when the time is right.”
RVH inpatients are allowed two, one-hour visits per week; one visitor at a time. This phase includes the following protocols:
- Each admitted patient will identify one visitor (minimum 16 years of age) and an alternate to minimize the number of people entering the health centre.
- Visiting times will be scheduled in advance by the calling the inpatient unit directly the day before.
- Patients will be allowed one visitor at a time, twice a week during one of the daily visitation blocks; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. OR 5 to 8 p.m. daily. Mental Health visiting hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Visits will be limited to one hour at a time and only one per day.
- To ensure safe physical distancing, visitation must be staggered for patients sharing a room. Visitors must maintain a two metre distance between patients and members of the care team.
- Most visitors will use RVH’s Main entrance, unless directed otherwise, where they will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Visitors who fail screening will be denied entry to the health centre.
- Visitors must bring and wear a clean mask for the duration of their visit, while also following safety precautions such as hand-washing, wearing of Personal Protective Equipment, if required, and physical distancing. If a visitor doesn’t have an appropriate mask, a mask will be provided.
- Visitors must go directly to and from the unit they are visiting and should not use common areas of the building, other than designated washrooms.
- Ambulatory patients coming to RVH’s Emergency department or for an outpatient procedure or clinic visit may be allowed one essential support person in circumstances where assistance is needed and at the discretion of the care team. That support person should be identified at the time the appointment/treatment is booked.
Exceptions to the modified visitor’s policy will be made for compassionate reasons, such as critical or palliative patients; patients who require the presence of a family caregiver; partners of patients in labour; parents of paediatric patients or at the discretion of the care team. For more information on how RVH is welcoming back visitors, visit the homepage of the RVH website – www.rvh.on.ca.