New visitor restrictions at Niagara's hospitals will come into effect Thursday Jan. 28th


New visitor restrictions at Niagara's hospitals will come into effect this week.

Beginning Thursday, January 28, Niagara Health will restrict general visitation across all sites to limit traffic in the hospital as part of its ongoing COVID-19 response. 

Visitation at the hospital will be permitted if the individual is supporting a patient in exceptional circumstances, or has been designated as an Essential Care Partner (ECP) for a patient.

"We understand that patients may need support while in hospital, and as part of our commitment to patient- and family-centred care, there will be options available to them."

ECPs provide emotional, cognitive or physical care to their loved ones and function as another member of the care team. Eligible patients can designate up to two ECPs, and they receive training on safety protocols.

Support persons may accompany outpatients and visit with inpatients to provide support in exceptional circumstances. 

Exceptions would also be made for patients coming to Emergency Departments/Urgent Care Centres. 

Among the factors the care team may consider are: supporting patients in life altering circumstances, experiencing a mental health crisis, are at end of life, or are vulnerable (cognitive, developmentally delayed, language impairment, physical challenges). 

In the case of outpatients and inpatients, support persons should contact the care team in advance to discuss the process. 

In the case of our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres, the triage nurse will assess a patient’s eligibility for a support person.

To learn more about these guidelines, you can call the unit directly where the patient is receiving care, visit the website or call the Switchboard at 905-378-4647.