Chatham-Kent Health Alliances Adjusts Visitor and Care Partner Policy
CHATHAM-KENT: December 6, 2021 – With the recent rise in cases within the community and in hospital, CKHA is moving to Phase 2 of its visitor restrictions effective 12:01 am December 7, 2021. Phase 2 visitor restrictions permits:
- One Care Partner ONLY on the Rehabilitation/inpatient stroke, Inpatient Psychiatry and Complex Continuing Care units;
- Two consistent care partners, limited to one at a time in Intensive Care Unit.
Exceptions to the CKHA visitor policy continue to include:
- An inpatient who is imminent risk of dying, as determined by the clinical provider, may have no more than two visitors present at a time.
- An inpatient who is considered palliative, as determined by the clinical provider, may have one visitor present at a time.
- Paediatric patients may be accompanied by one adult visitor.
- Women in active labour/post-partum may be accompanied by one visitor.
- In the Emergency Department (ED):
- A patient who is at imminent risk of dying may have a loved one present with them during their ED stay.
- Patients with cognitive or mobility difficulties may be accompanied by one person during their ED stay.
- Paediatric patients in the ED are permitted to be accompanied by one adult.
As is the current practice, visitors will be screened at the main entrance at the Chatham Site and Emergency Department entrance at the Wallaceburg Site and if they fail screening, they will be denied entry into the hospital. All visitors must wear a mask and/or additional Personal Protective Equipment as required, practice frequent hand-washing and will be restricted to visitation in the patient’s room. Out of an abundance of caution, CKHA asks that if you have a loved one in hospital and will be visiting daily/frequently, to try to limit your movement throughout the community as much as possible to avoid the potential spread of illness. If a patient or loved one/advocate wishes to appeal the visitation policy, they should discuss with the care team.
To ensure an even safer hospital environment for all, CKHA has adjusted its Care Partner and Visitor Policy. Effective December 9, 2021, visitors and care partners entering both the Chatham and Wallaceburg sites will be required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and/or a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or rapid antigen test with limited exceptions. This approach is similar to visitor policies established at other hospitals throughout the region and the province.
“With our mandatory vaccination policy now in place for all staff, physicians and volunteers, we’ve applied similar principles to our visitor policy as our next step to ensuring our hospital sites are safer places to receive and deliver care,” said Lori Marshall, President and CEO, CKHA. “It was particularly important that we make this adjustment to the policy as cases are rising in the community and in hospital, particularly in critical care. With the recent reports of the Omicron variant of concern in Canada, it was also imperative we take this extra measure to protect our most vulnerable populations.”
If conditions change in the status of the COVID-19 pandemic locally, CKHA will respond by returning visitor and care partner access into a phase with fewer or potentially greater restrictions. In Phase 2 of the policy, care partners and visitors will be required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR or antigen test result. Exceptions to the policy include:
- Palliative patients or patients at end-of-life (EOL);
- Critically ill patients or life altering diagnosis, or imminent risk of dying;
- Child birth (triage, labour and delivery, post-partum);
- Major surgery (procedure that may not have a positive outcome);
- Paediatric patients;
- Patients with disabilities that are determined by clinical teams to require the personal support of a family member/caregiver;
- Post mortem.
Fannie Vavoulis, Director, Communications
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance