With the significant increase of COVID activity in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, Quinte Health Care (QHC) is taking the additional precaution of requiring proof of vaccination (POV) as part of our screening process for all visitors and care partners. Most hospitals in Ontario have initiated similar proof of vaccine requirements to protect the most vulnerable and to preserve health care resources. While QHC strongly encourages everyone in the community to get the vaccine, we do not turn anyone away that requires hospital care regardless of vaccination status. This additional precaution is for care partners and visitors.
Starting Tuesday, December 7, 2021, all care partners and visitors (12 years of age and over) must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and personal identification to enter the hospital. Your proof of vaccination is your vaccine receipt or enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code, sometimes called a vaccine passport or vaccine record. Also, the existing vaccine receipts (paper or electronic) will continue to serve as valid proof of vaccination.
In line with current provincial vaccination standards, you are considered fully vaccinated if you have received the following at least 14 days before providing POV:
- the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines (two doses of Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, including COVISHIELD) in any combination or one dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
- one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada
- three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada.
QHC has patients and staff members at greater risk of COVID-19 infection. Even with vaccination, less severe COVID-19 infections can pose a danger to vulnerable individuals and could negatively impact the already strained staffing resources, especially in the situation of an outbreak. There will be very few situations where exceptions may be accommodated including:
- care partners for maternity and paediatric patients
- those ineligible for full vaccination
- loved ones of patients at end of life.
All unvaccinated visitors and care partners falling into an approved exception will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test using either a rapid antigen test administered upon entry or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (the kind done at local COVID-19 testing centres) performed in the last 72 hours. Visitors or care partners who undergo a rapid antigen test on arrival must wait in the designated waiting area until the testing period is complete (15 minutes). Any visitor or care partner who receives a positive result using the rapid antigen test will be denied entry and encouraged to follow-up with a local testing centre to have a PCR test completed right away.
In order to support the vital role of care partners, we remain in level “green” in our visiting restrictions. Vaccination status or a negative test does not replace the ongoing need to adhere to existing control measures including physical distancing, universal masking, and diligent handwashing. All visitors and care partners, regardless of vaccination status or test result must pass screening to be permitted entry as per existing restrictions. Visiting/care partner restrictions for COVID positive and high suspect COVID positive patients still apply. Please see the Visiting/Care Partner section on the QHC website for more information about what visitors and care partners need to know when coming to the hospital.