KAWARTHA LAKES-Effective Thursday, November 25, 2021, visitors entering Ross Memorial Hospital who do not qualify as an essential care partner, or meet specific exceptions, will be required to present proof of full vaccination status.
“Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for everyone who works at and receives care at our hospital is our highest priority,” said Anne Overhoff, Vice President Clinical and Chief Nursing Executive, Ross Memorial Hospital. “Immunization against COVID-19 helps decrease transmission of the virus to vulnerable populations and minimize serious illness and overall deaths. We feel our policy strikes the appropriate balance between limiting potential transmission and maintaining visitation that is required in the delivery of exceptional care.”
It’s unclear if this means patients and staff are not safe at the hospital between now and Thursday when the policy comes into effect or if they weren’t considered safe over the past few months.
“Ross Memorial is committed to providing exceptional care and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for everyone who works at and receives care at our hospital. To meet that expectation, we continually assess and adapt our services and policies. Today’s announcement is an additional measure to further protect staff, patients, volunteers and the community.” said the hospital.
Recently there has been more COVID cases locally in the fully vaccinated than the unvaccinated.
Since last Wednesday there have been nine new cases of COVID-19 in the Haliburton Kawartha Piner Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit area. Three of them were unvaccinated and six of the cases were fully vaccinated according to information on the HKPR website. Find the stats here: https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiOTJkYWRmODgtYzg5Ni00MmMyLWIzODgtNDU4ODYxZTVlNzc3IiwidCI6IjdkYzFmZjlkLTA1ZjEtNGNhNi1iYWZlLTIyNmZmNWYxNmJkYSJ9
Since November 8th there have been nine cases of COVID in the unvaccinated population locally and twelve cases in the fully vaccinated.
Today Ontario reported 282 cases in the unvaccinated and 286 in the fully vaccinated.
There are zero cases of COVID admitted at Ross Memorial hospital today.
Regardless, officials say when entering the hospital on and after November 25, 2021, every visitor will need to:
- Present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and valid government-issued identification. Only Health Canada-approved vaccines will be accepted (two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD; or one dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson). There must be at least 14 days from the time the second vaccine was administered for a visitor to be permitted entry.
- Pass screening, practice hand hygiene, wear a mask at all times when in hospital and on hospital property, and refrain from eating or drinking while in hospital and on hospital property.
Visitors who do not provide proof of vaccination and government-issued identification, and who do not meet the definition of an essential care partner (someone who is required to enable care for safety or compassionate reasons), will only be permitted to enter the hospital if they are supporting patients under one of the following exceptions:
- Those visiting patients at the end-of-life (within weeks).
- A birthing partner or doula of a patient giving birth at the hospital.
- Patients who require a support person in the Emergency Department.
- Parents of children under the age of 18.
- Individuals under the age of 12.
- Patients receiving a life altering diagnosis.
- Patients who require a support person to safely attend their appointment. This includes physical, cognitive and developmental disability, and who have challenges with communication and mobility.
- Experiencing a mental health crisis.
This policy aligns with many other hospitals in Ontario according to officials at RMH. It does not apply to patients.