It is crucial that we keep our patients, staff and hospital environment safe. We are temporarily limiting all visitors - including family members of patients - to our hospital sites during the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice. This includes people accompanying patients to appointments. We understand this is difficult, but it is essential for the safety of everyone within our hospital sites, including our vulnerable patients and essential frontline staff.
At present, family presence is limited to the following:
- Inpatients at the KGH site: A patient will be asked on admission to identify one essential family member as their designated partner in care. Any patient or family member who isn’t sure whether this vital step has occurred should ask the unit clerk, nurse or charge nurse to verify that the step is complete. This designated family member must be registered by the patient’s clinical unit. Registered family members must present photo identification that clearly shows face and complete first and last name.
- Odd or Even Day Visits Based on Floor Number. In order to limit the number of people in the hospital on a daily basis, family members of patients on even-numbered floors will be allowed to visit on even-numbered days and vice versa for odd-numbered floors and days. For example, a patient on Connell 9 would be able to have their essential family member visit on June 1, 3, 5, etc.
- Please note: Due to confined space in the Kidd 2 ICU, that unit only will use a system whereby patients in odd numbered rooms may have family presence on odd numbered days and those in even numbered rooms will have family presence on even numbered days. Connell 3 remains under tight infection control restrictions. As such, there is no family presence (visiting) permitted on this unit at this time.
- Patients who are actively dying: An inpatient who is actively dying, as defined by the most responsible physician, may have no more than two family members present at a time and within reason. This includes patients receiving Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).
- Patients with COVID-19: If the patient has tested positive for COVID-19 but is not dying, then the patient is in isolation and cannot receive visitors until a negative COVID test occurs.
Patient who is actively dying and has COVID-19: If the patient who is dying has COVID-19, they may have one family member with them. This may have to be someone who is not a member of the same household as the patient in order to be able to pass the screening, which currently restricts access to persons in close contact with known or suspected persons with COVID-19. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided by the clinical unit for this family member to keep them safe while they are with their loved one. Note: this direction may change at any time based on COVID-19 prevalence within the community or hospital.
Patients for whom we cannot provide safe care without a family member present (inpatient or outpatient): A small number of patients (e.g. very frail/elderly, patient with dementia, person who is non-verbal or severely disabled) require a family member to be present because we cannot provide safe care otherwise. In this case and at the direction of the clinical provider/team, a family member may be required to accompany a patient.
- Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre: A patient who is at imminent risk of dying may have a loved one present with them during their Emergency Department (ED) or Urgent Care Centre (UCC) stay. Patients with cognitive or mobility difficulties may be accompanied by one person during their UCC or ED stay. Pediatric patients in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centre, and Children’s Outpatient Centre (COPC) are permitted to be accompanied by one adult family member.
Surgical Patients: Surgical patients and those undergoing minimally invasive procedures may have one adult family member with them for their surgery/procedure. Note: this does not include Mohs or Endoscopy at HDH site.
- Pediatric Patients, including Child/Youth Mental Health Inpatient Unit and NICU: Paediatric patients on all inpatient units (including children/youth in the mental health program) may have up to two adult family members present. Note: NICU may have tighter restrictions in place if the number of babies in the unit makes physical distancing difficult. Please speak directly with the care team in the NICU for the latest information. Pediatric patients in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centre, and COPC are permitted to be accompanied by one adult family member.
Women in Labour/Post-Partum: Women in active labour may be accompanied by one adult family member. This includes the duration of their post-partum stay.
Outpatient Areas (both sites): Because of significant challenges maintaining safe physical distancing as we screen high volumes of patients at our entries, outpatients are not permitted to have a family member accompany them at this time except in circumstances listed below. Patients are encouraged to speak with their care provider about inviting their loved one to join the appointment by telephone where possible;
Cancer and Renal outpatients (Burr Wing): Cancer and renal patients coming to Burr 0, many of whom are frail or very ill and have physical or cognitive limitations that require assistance so that safe care can be provided (see below). These patients may be accompanied by one adult family member
HDH Site Mental Health Programs: Adult Mental Health patients may have one substitute decision maker (SDM) or adult family member present for urgent in-person appointments to facilitate safe care. Child and Youth Mental Health patients are allowed up to two family members if required.
Patients for whom we cannot provide safe care without a family member present: A small number of patients (e.g. very frail/elderly, patient with dementia, person who is non-verbal or severely disabled) require a family member to be present because we cannot provide safe care otherwise. In this case and at the direction of the clinical provider/team, a family member may be required to accompany a patient.
Everyone coming to the the Hotel Dieu Hospital site or the the Kingston General Hospital site must go through a designated entrance. All designated family members and visitors must pass screening in order to enter our hospital sites. These restrictions are subject to change at any time.
If you are accompanying someone to the hospital or you are a registered inpatient visitor, please read some additional guidelines about coming to the KGH site here.
For more information and to read some frequently asked questions about our temporary family presence (visitor) policy, click here.
Below, you can listen to Elizabeth Bardon, Vice President of Mission, Strategy Integration and Support Services, share information about our Family (Visitor) Presence Policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.