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Designated Care Partner Access & Mask Policy

We understand how important it is to have a loved one by your side. As COVID-19 continues to be a concern, Headwaters has limited visitation at the hospital. We have not moved to open visiting at this time. These restrictions are in place at the direction of the Ontario government with the aim of keeping everyone at the hospital and in our community as safe as possible.

To ensure visitation can take place safely, precautionary measures remain in place.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:
All designated care partners coming to our hospital are required to be fully vaccinated (received both doses 14 days prior to coming to the hospital) or have a documented medical exemption for not being vaccinated.

Screeners located at our Emergency Department or Ambulatory Care Entrance will ask to see proof of your vaccination or medical exemption as well as government issued ID (such as a Driver’s License) and will screen you for symptoms of the virus before you will be able to enter our facility.

For those that qualify as a designated care partner, visits must be pre-scheduled by calling the inpatient unit no later than 4:30pm the day before the visit.

Mask Policy:
All designated care partners, support personnel, day surgery and outpatients must be masked upon entry to the hospital. The hospital will provide one upon screening and approved entry.
If you are unable to tolerate a mask, you will be trusted in good faith and requested to wear a full-face visor for the duration of your visit. If a visitor (or patient) refuses to wear a medical mask or full-face visor, they will not be permitted to enter.  
Visitor access has changed:

Designated care partner visits must be pre-booked by contacting the patient care unit directly no later than 4:30pm the day before the visit. Visiting times and access is as follows:

  • All Inpatient Units daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. for a two-hour period
    • One designated care partner, or designated alternate, as identified by the patient
  • ICU 24 hours a day for critical care patients only
    • Two designated care partners with only one visiting at a time
  • Palliative patients 24 hours a day
    • Four family members with only two at the bedside at a time
  • Obstetrics 24 hours a day
    • Two designated care partners
  • In the Emergency Department and in Ambulatory Care, patients will be allowed one designated care partner only if support is required that cannot be managed by a staff member.  These requests must be approved in advance by the care team.
  • Exceptions to the policy include, but are not limited to, end of life; childbirth; pediatrics; mental health crises, and some vulnerable patients.
If you wish to appeal denial for visiting, please see our policy for appeals process please see our policy for appeals process.

Designated Care Partner Screening: 
All designated care partners must use our Emergency Department or Ambulatory Care Entrance and be screened upon entering the hospital.

Designated care partners will NOT be allowed to enter the hospital if they do not pass screening.  This includes if they:

  • Have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have been outside of Canada in the past 14 days
  • Have been tested positive for COVID-19 and has not been cleared by Public Health
  • Have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 without wearing appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Are under the age of 16 years, unless accompanied by a designated visitor who is an adult.
Any special circumstances or requests posed to the screeners should be discussed with the Manager of the department or the Hospital Service Coordinator (after hours).  In exceptional circumstances (such as a support person for a woman in labour, a parent/guardian of a child in the Emergency Department or an end of life patient), a visitor who screens positive for symptoms will be reviewed by HHCC’s Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner or Hospital Service Coordinator prior to entry.
Faith leaders, volunteers, students, and medical learners have been welcomed back onsite.
Patient bedside telephones have been activated free of charge to enable them to contact loved ones during this difficult time. The care team can also support the use of devices for video calling.

All designated care partners must comply with infection prevention and control practices, including hand hygiene practices, wearing a medical grade face mask and follow physical distancing.

Designated care partners will be issued with an identification sticker for easy visual identification and management.

Visitor restrictions are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic within the region HHCC serves.