St. Mary’s to Allow More Frequent Patient Visits With Additional Safety Precautions

May 3rd, 2021

Starting on Monday, May 3, St. Mary’s General Hospital will be increasing the frequency with which patients can receive visitors. Earlier this year, as a result of the spread of COVID-19, the hospital restricted these visits substantially.

We’ve heard from staff, patients and their families about the importance of balancing safety and compassion, and have decided to make the following changes:

Inpatients are permitted 1 visitor once every 3 days for 1 hour, starting on the day of their admission. The visitor should remain the same person for the length of the admission where possible;

  • ICU patients (except ICU “C”) are permitted 1 visit every second day, for 1 hour. Visitors can change every week, or after 3 visits;
  • ICU “C” patients are permitted 1 visit for 1 hour during the ICU “C” admission; and
  • Generally, one support person will be permitted in the Emergency Room. At times, due to space limitations, staff may request support people exit the hospital until the patient is in a space with better ability to have the support person return.

Safety Measures in Place

Make no mistake: the third wave is here and it has added pressure to our hospital along with the rest of Ontario. That’s why we’re implementing a number of new safety measures to go along with our new visitor policy. These include:

  • Creation of new Wayfinder positions which will ensure:
    • That interaction between busy clinical staff and visitors is reduced;
    • That visitors don’t wander or get lost and that they wear appropriate PPE;
    • That visitors don’t overstay beyond their designated time; and
    • That visitors understand the reasoning for the new policies.
  • Maintaining clear documentation and communication for visitors
  • Limiting the time and number of people who can visit in a designated period of time

We also continue to encourage virtual inpatient visits, which can be arranged by contacting our Patient Experience Guides at ext. 1184 or patientrelations@smgh.ca.

We thank you for your continued flexibility as we work to continue accommodating everyone’s needs.