Patients & Visitors
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Care Partners and Visiting During COVID-19 Policy

QHC's “Care Partners and Visiting During COVID-19” policy provides a transparent approach to who is permitted to enter our hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Our policy offers a phased approach to care partner and visiting restrictions, allowing us to adjust restrictions transparently as a response to local COVID-19 activity, health system capacity, PPE supply and staffing/resources.  The policy distinguishes between a visitor and a care partner. Please read this document for more information.  We appreciate the important role that care partners play and our policy is meant to balance the need for that support while limiting the number of people coming into our hospitals, in order to keep our patients, staff, physicians and communities safe.  Our Care Partners and Visiting During COVID-19 policy applies to all QHC hospitals and all individuals attending a QHC patient (including an emergency visit, outpatient appointment and inpatient stay). 

Current level 

We are now in Phase 2: Yellow.  Please refer to the chart below.

In situations where care partners are deemed appropriate, patients determine their care partners. Please discuss your situation with the inpatient unit or clinic manager. Care partners will be provided identification by the hospital (either a badge, armband or sticker). Please review - What Care Partners need to know before coming to a QHC hospital.  If you’re unsure if you require a care partner, speak to the care team. Often, hospital staff and the health care team are able to provide appropriate support in these situations as well.

Please refer to the chart below for a better understanding of the restrictions for the PHASE we are currently in. Our current PHASE is determined using an organizational and environmental risk assessment and will be reevaluated on an ongoing basis.

Hospital requirements: 

  • All care partners and visitors will be asked COVID-19 screening questions about their health and travel history and must pass screening in order to be allowed entry (exceptions may be made in the case of patients at end-of-life, provided all other screening criteria is met).
  • All care partners and visitors at each QHC hospital will be required to show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated care partners and visitors coming to visit a patient on an inpatient unit will be administered a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test at the screening station. Only if the test is negative will they be allowed entry to visit their loved one. (*Update April 5, 2022 - due to high community prevalence of COVID, ALL inpatient care partners, regardless of vaccination status, will undergo Rapid Antigen Testing at the screening station.)
  • All care partners and visitors will be provided a medical mask upon entry. Click here for more information about masking at QHC hospitals.  We require you to wear a mask at all times.  No eating or drinking in the hospital. 
  • All care partners and visitors must make every reasonable effort to maintain social distancing space (2 metres) and complete hand hygiene frequently.  Please remain with the patient you are in the hospital to support and refrain from moving about within the hospital.
  • Care partners and visitors can only be in the hospital 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., with the exception of care partners of maternity patients and paediatric patients. Care partners/visitors at Belleville General Hospital should enter through the Sills entrance. 

 

Category & Patient Population

Examples of patients

Care Partner/Visiting Policy

PHASE 3: Limited On- Site Access

PHASE 2: Moderate On- Site Access

PHASE 1: Greater On- Site Access

 

Major Life-Altering Event

 

Patients at end of life

Imminent death/High risk of dying (PPS score less than 50%)
*no restriction to hours

No limit to total number of care partners or visitors (immediate family only), but no more than 2 present at a time. Please coordinate visits with care team.

No limit to total number of care partners or visitors (immediate family only), but no more than 2 present at a time. Please coordinate visits with care team.

No limit to total number of care partners or visitors (immediate family only), but no more than 2 present at a time. Please coordinate visits with care team.

 

Child Birth

 

*no restriction to hours

Includes labour/delivery and post partum

Care partners require a COVID swab. Bring your health card

1 consistent care partner

More information here.

1 consistent care partner

More information here.

 

A second care partner permitted for labour and birth.

More information here.

 

Life Altering Diagnosis

Patients receiving difficult news 

Exception Requests only

1 consistent care partner to receive news and plan for further care

2 consistent care partners to receive news and plan for further care

 

Critical Care Admission critical/imminent death

 

1 care partner at a time

2 care partners or visitors at a time

2 care partners or visitors at a time

 

Vulnerable Patients

 

Emergency Department Patients (vulnerable)

Imminent risk of dying; cognitive or significant mobility difficulties; paediatric patients

 

1 consistent care partner

1 consistent care partner

1 care partner present at a time

 

 

Patient under 18 years

 

Includes care by parent and outpatient

Care partners of pediatric inpatients require a COVID swab. Bring your health card.

1 care partner
*no restrictions to hours*

More information here.

2 care partners
*no restrictions to hours*

More information here.

2 care partners 
*no restrictions to hours*

More information here.

 

Patient with significant Developmental or Intellectual Disability

 

 

1 care partner present at a time

 

1 care partner present at a time

 

1 care partner present at a time

 

 

Patient with cognitive Impairment or insurmountable language barrier

Examples: severe dementia, brain injury, stroke, significant language barrier and all means of remote communication failed

1 care partner present at a time

 

1 care partner present at a time

 

1 care partner present at a time

 

 

Outpatients and Preoperative Patients that Require a Caregiver

 

*If assistance is not required, please no care partner.

 

 

 

Escort to appointment if required due to very frail/elderly, patient with cognitive impairment, non-verbal or severely disabled, support to receive news or plan for further care

1 consistent care partner to accompany patient to outpatient appt (only if required)

1 consistent care partner to accompany patient to outpatient appt (only if required)

1 consistent care partner to accompany patient to outpatient appt (only if required)

 

Patients Admitted to BSTU

 

1 care partner for scheduled visits

1 care partner for scheduled visits

1 care partner for scheduled visits

 

 

 

Long Stay Patients

*care partner presence will be supported as soon as it is expected the patient will have a prolonged hospital stay*

Rehab, Complex Continuing Care, Alternate Level of Care (ALC), Inpatient Psychiatry, prolonged acute length of stay

1 consistent care partner

1 care partner at a time

1 care partner present at a time

 

 

Low Acuity, Short Stay Patients

Medicine, Inpatient Stroke, Inpatient Surgery

No care partner or visitor

1 consistent care partner 

 

Transition Support

Coordination of care (e.g. discharge home)

No care partner or visitor

1 consistent care partner for scheduled discussions

 

Stable ICU Admission

 

No care partner or visitor

1 consistent care partner

1 care partner present at a time

 

Emergency Patients

 

Emergency patients not fitting in life-altering, guarded prognosis or vulnerable categories above

Care team to evaluate and support in restricted circumstances

1 consistent care partner

1 consistent care partner

 

Admitted Patients in
Emergency Dept.
Awaiting a Bed on Unit

A

Not fitting in life-altering, guarded prognosis or vulnerable categories above

No care partner or visitor

1 consistent care partner

1 consistent care partner

 

Please note: With few exceptions, COVID positive patients or patients waiting for COVID swab results, cannot have care partners or visitors. Exceptions may include rapid deterioration of the patient’s condition or end-of-life status.

When a unit is determined to be in an uncontrolled outbreak as a result of COVID-19, all care partner or visitor presence will be limited to only those situations where a patient is determined to be at end of life.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact our Patient Experience team at 613-969-7400, ext. 2033 or feedback@qhc.on.ca.

Please note, the Virtual Visits service is currently paused. We encourage care partners to bring a device (cell phone, tablet) with you when you visit your loved one in the hospital if you'd like to help connect your loved one to extended family virtually, using QHC Wi-Fi. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please monitor the QHC website for updates on visiting at our hospitals. 

 


 

Changes to how you enter QHC hospitalsTo effectively screen everyone entering our hospitals, we have reduced our points of entry. The following entrances are the only ones in use. Please remember to bring and wear your mask while in hospital.

  • QHC Belleville General Hospital – *(NEW) Effective January 16, 2021, the Emergency Department entrance is only to be used by Emergency Department patients (and their care partner if they meet the criteria). All other patients and care partners must enter through the Charlotte Sills Wing entrance, which is open 24/7. The WCA entrance also open for patients Mon-Fri, 6am-4pm.
  • QHC Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital -  Emergency Department entrance for all patients and visitors 24/7
  • QHC North Hastings Hospital – Main entrance of hospital for all patients and visitors 24/7 (access to hospital through the Manor will be closed off).
  • QHC Trenton Memorial Hospital – Emergency Department entrance for all patients and visitors 24/7. Main Entrance also available for patients and visitors 7am-4pm.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COVID-19.