Kingston Health Sciences Centre introduces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for visitors

Emergency department of the Kingston General Hospital. (Kimberley Johnson/CTV News Ottawa)

Visitors will soon need to be fully vaccinated to enter the Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital.

The Kingston Health Sciences Centre announced that as of Oct. 22, individuals visiting inpatients at the hospital will need to show proof of vaccination to enter.

Registered family visitors will be asked to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 along with photo ID at either hospital’s entrance, similar to what is already required to access venues such as restaurants and theatres.

"We anticipate that exemptions to this policy will be rare, but may be made in situations such as life-threatening emergencies where family presence without delay is absolutely vital for the patient, family and care team," said Elizabeth Bardon, Incident Commander at KHSC.

The proof of full vaccination to visit patients matches the deadline for all Kingston Health Sciences Centre staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On Sept. 23, the hospital announced 136 employees were placed on an unpaid leave for failing to comply with the hospital's vaccination policy to have a first dose by Sept. 22.

The Ottawa Hospital now requires all visitors to show proof of vaccination to enter the Civic Campus, the General Campus and the Riverside Campus.

CHEO also requires all visitors to be fully vaccinated to enter the hospital.  Parents and caregivers accompanying a child are asked to be vaccinated, but will still be permitted to enter CHEO if unvaccinated.

The Montfort Hospital is now asking visitors and people accompanying patients to an appointment their vaccination status. Beginning Oct. 6, visitors will need to show that they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days.