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Health Sciences North reintroduces visitor restrictions in its Emergency Department

Increased volume and spike in COVID-19 cases prompts hospital to restrict visitors at Emergency Department
Health Sciences North has reintroduced visitor restrictions for its Emergency Department.

Health Sciences North has reintroduced visitor restrictions for its Emergency Department.

Patient volumes in the hospital's Emergency Department have been steadily increasing in recent weeks and these volumes combined with an increase in the number of visitors who are coming to the ED, are making it extremely difficult to maintain physical distancing requirements in the waiting room.

Additionally, COVID-19 is circulating in the community with the sudden increase in positive cases in Sudbury.

"As the safety of patients, caregivers, staff and physicians is our number one priority, HSN is re-introducing visitor restrictions for the Emergency Department as of July 30," said an HSN news release.

No visitors/care partners are allowed at HSN’s Emergency Department until further notice, except where circumstances require special consideration. 

Special consideration for one care partner  may include: 

  • Patients very ill or at risk of imminent death - 1 care partner
  • Child or youth – 1 care partner
  • Patients with communication, physical or cognitive impairments or those experiencing mental health crisis preventing the appropriate provision of care – 1 care partner

"HSN apologizes for any inconvenience this causes patients and families," said the news release.

" All other visitor restrictions remain unchanged for other areas of the hospital. Only Designated Care Partners are allowed at HSN until further notice."

While HSN’s Emergency Department remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for all urgent and emergency medical needs, please note that patients may experience longer wait times due to the recent increase in patient volumes.

HSN is reminding the public to please be kind to our staff and physicians if they are coming to the ED. 

For non-urgent needs, patients can also visit walk-in clinics where wait times are often significantly shorter or phone Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

HSN requires all patients and visitors coming to HSN to wear a mask as an added step to reduce the spread of germs and protect vulnerable patients.

Handmade masks are acceptable as are those available at retailers in our community. Patients will still be seen in the Emergency Department, regardless if they are wearing a mask.

Patients going for a procedure where they must remove their mask will be asked to store it with their personal items. 

With an increase in COVID-19 cases in Sudbury this week, HSN is seeing an increase in the number of people calling to book appointments for testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

The centre remains open throughout the long weekend to book appointments and test patients. To book your appointment you can call the Assessment Centre at 705-671-7373 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week.

For safety reasons, walk-ins are not allowed.