Visitors and Care Partners

Care Partners

St. Mary’s continues to have restrictions in place limiting general visitors to the hospital to control the spread of COVID-19 and keep our patients, staff and hospital environment safe.

As of Wednesday, June 24, St. Mary’s will allow care partners to be present with a loved one if clinical criteria is met. A care partner can be any individual named by the patient and does not need to be the substitute decision maker or immediate family.

A patient can name up to 2 care partners. Only 1 care partner will be permitted in the building and at the bedside at a time. The 2 care partners named should remain consistent for the duration of the patient’s stay.

Patients who require a care partner will be identified by self-referral or by the health care team. When a patient is admitted to St. Mary’s they will identify their 2 care partners, in the event that the patient meets the criteria.

In an outpatient, surgical or procedural area, a patient may bring with them 1 care partner, if criteria is met. This care partner should be identified in advance with the clinic.

Care partner criteria and roles:

A care partner can be chosen by the patient or care team to be present to support:

  • A critically ill patient
  • A patient receiving palliative care
  • A terminally ill patient who is near end of life
  • A patient who has experienced a deterioration in condition (episodic)
  • A child under the age of 18
  • A patient attending an outpatient appointment or procedure

For inpatient settings

A Care partner supports physical care and mental well being for:

  • Assistance with meals, mobility or personal care
  • Communication assistance with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairment
  • Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities
  • Provision of emotional support
  • Supported decision making
  • Supporting discharge if needed

No care partners will be granted access to the hospital or allowed to attend patients that are COVID positive or under investigation unless they are critically ill, a terminally ill patient, or a child under the age of 18.

For outpatient settings/surgical/procedural areas

A Care partner supports physical care and mental well-being for:

  • Assistance with mobility or personal care
  • Communication assistance with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairment
  • Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities
  • Provision of emotional support
  • Supported decision making

NOTE: If criteria above is not met, then the patient coming to hospital for a procedure, diagnostic test or clinic appointment will be dropped off at the door. The person providing transport will have access to a washroom in the hospital’s main lobby, but will not remain on site while they wait for the patient. They will receive a call from the hospital for instructions of when to pick up the patient in the main lobby.

 

When you arrive at the hospital, care partners can expect to:

Answer COVID-19 screening questions below:

  1. Do you have a fever, new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing?
  2. Do you have a runny nose, sneezing or congestion?
  3. Do you have diarrhea or vomiting?
  4. Have you been advised by public health to self-isolate?

Once Screening Is Complete:

  • If the care partner passes screening, they will be asked to sanitize their hands, put on a care partner name tag, and put on a hospital provided mask. Any masks from home will not be permitted. For more information on how to safely wear a mask, click here.
  • If a care partner does not pass screening, they will not be allowed to enter the hospital. A patient can identify an alternate care partner, if required. Exceptional circumstances may be granted for patients at end-of-life or the parent of a child under age 18 in the Emergency Department.
  • Care partners should enter the main entrance between 7:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Before 7:00 a.m. or after 6:30 p.m., care partners should enter St. Mary’s through the Emergency Department.
  • Care partners will be escorted to the patient’s room.

While you are at the hospital, care partners are expected to:

  • Limit foot traffic and remain in the patient’s room for the duration of care partner’s stay.
  • Pack meals and beverages as care partners are not permitted to leave the patient’s room to visit Tim Hortons or Subway inside the hospital. This is an important safety measure to help maintain physical distancing and to discourage congregating which can increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • Not to leave the patient’s room for cigarette breaks.
  • Use public restroom on the patient’s floor only.
  • Wear hospital approved masks at all times.
  • Sanitize hands often, including when you enter and exit the hospital and a patient’s room.
  • Be present for no more than 2 hours.

Care partner expectations:

  • Care partners are not visitors. Care partners are expected to be actively involved in a patient’s care for any of the reasons listed above. As such, the care partner’s stay should be limited to 2 hours (extenuating circumstances can be approved by the health care team).
  • Care partner’s involvement may be re-evaluated if a patient’s condition or situation improves and the patient no longer meets the criteria for a care partner.
  • In the event of an outbreak, care partners may not be permitted.
  • Care partners are expected to wear a hospital-provided mask (PPE) at all times. Care partners are asked to maintain social distancing at all times.
  • If a care partner develops any COVID-19 symptoms, they will not be permitted to visit the hospital. Exceptional circumstances may be granted for a care partner of a patient at end of life or the parent of a child under age 18 in the Emergency Department. An alternate care partner may be named.
  • If the patient is in a shared room and their roommate has a care partner present, social distancing may not allow for another care partner to be present. The care partner may be asked to return at a later time to ensure social distancing can be achieved within the patient’s room.

If you have any questions:

Please contact our Patient Experience Office at 519-749-6578 ext. 6867 or patientrelations@smgh.ca.

Other Visitor Information

St. Mary’s continues to have restrictions in place on visitors to the hospital. General visitors are not permitted at this time in order to  keep our patients, staff and hospital environment safe, and to control the spread of COVID-19.

Thank you for your patience and support as we work hard to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to check this page as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.

Parking

Effective July 1, the usual parking charges will apply to all patients, visitors and staff.

During April, May and June St. Mary’s offered free parking to all visitors and patients. As we begin to slowly and very gradually resume services, we will also resume normal parking operations across all sites.

Elevator Safety

For safe use, the following guidelines are in place when using elevators:

  • Masks must be worn at all times
  • Maximum of six people in the elevator at a time
  • Maximum of two people with a stretcher patient
  • Spread out as much as possible
  • If elevator is full, please wait for the next one or take the stairs

Contact

For questions about our care partner policy, please contact Patient Experience at 519-749-6578, ext. 6867 or by email at patientrelations@smgh.ca.