Area hospitals ease visitor restrictions as province enters step two of reopening plan

WELLINGTON COUNTY – As the province enters step two of its reopening plan, the three hospitals in Wellington County are easing restrictions on visitors.

But some restrictions do remain, said Alison Armstrong, spokesperson for the Wellington Health Care Alliance, which includes Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Aboyne, Louise Marshall Hospital in Mount Forest, and Palmerston and District Hospital.

Armstrong said visitor guidelines will differ depending on the area of the hospital a patient is located, and COVID-19 patients are not allowed any visitors at all.

“Staff will continually assess patient circumstances and may adjust the guidelines when appropriate to the situation,” she stated in an email.

However, in general, the following guidelines apply:

  • inpatient units: two pre-identified visitors allowed for non-COVID patients. If a patient shares a room, only one visitor is allowed at a time;
  • emergency department: one visitor only in the following circumstances – parent of a child under the age of 18, support person for special needs patient, or relative of terminally ill patient;
  • obstetrics: one pre-identified visitor only; and
  • outpatient: one partner in care only.

Guelph General Hospital (GGH) has also relaxed some of its visitor restrictions. Generally, all non-COVID patients will be allowed one visitor per day, officials say.

“I am so glad we are now able to loosen our restrictions,” stated Melissa Skinner, GGH vice president of patient services and chief nursing executive, in a press release.

“We know family and friends play an important part in a patient’s healing process.”

All visitors will still have to pass active screening at the hospital’s entrance. While in the building they will continue to have to wear a mask at all times, maintain two-metre distancing, clean hands often and not eat or drink in a patient’s room.

“Just as people are doing a great job following public health guidelines in the community, we need them to do the same while here,” Skinner added.

“It keeps everyone safe, both patients and staff.”