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HSN eases hospital visitor restrictions

‘Designated Care Partners’ will be allowed to accompany a patient in the ER or or who have been admitted
Health Sciences North. (File)

Health Sciences North (HSN) in Sudbury has moved to a new stage of welcoming care partners to support loved ones who are in the hospital.

The new visitors regulations went into effect this week for the first time since the COVID crisis began. Up until now visitors were not allowed unless in extreme situations where a patient was near death or critically injured. In the case of pediatrics, one visitor per child was allowed. 

HSN said the new rules mean that two visitors will now be allowed to visit a child and in the case of adults, one visitor is allowed.

That visitor will be known as a ‘designated care partner’.

"Only Designated Care Partners are allowed to visit the hospital at this time but care partners are more than just visitors. They are crucial members of the care team and provide essential physical, emotional, social and spiritual support," said a statement from HSN.

This will apply to patients in the Emergency Room or for patients admitted to HSN.

The hospital also directed that in order to maintain physical distancing, there will still be limits on designated care partner visitation but HSN is expanding allowances for some areas. HSN is asking friends and family members to check out the updated Visitor Restrictions webpage for more information on who can be a designated care partner if you are coming to the hospital.   

In addition, HSN is also reminding everyone that face masks are required whenever you attend at the hospital 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 the city. 

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. Visitors must wear a mask at all times when in the hospital.

Masks serve as an added step to protect others from your germs when physical

distancing is challenging or not possible, such as getting into an elevator, said HSN. A mask is not a replacement for handwashing or physical distancing. Patients and visitors coming to

the hospital should continue to practice safe physical distancing of two meters, wherever

possible, and regular handwashing, especially when entering and exiting the building.

About the Author: Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

Len Gillis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter at covering health care in northeastern Ontario and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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