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Welcoming back visitors and expanding Support Person guidelines

Posted Jun 24th, 2021

We know that loved ones play an integral role in the care and well-being of our patients.

With lower COVID-19 transmission rates in the community, we are at the point in our recovery that we can begin welcoming back visitors in our inpatient units starting today. We are also expanding the guidelines for a Support Person to accompany patients in our Emergency Departments (EDs) and Urgent Care Centres (UCCs).

New inpatient visitor guidelines

  • Visiting hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • There are no restrictions on total number of visitors in a day but inpatients can only have one person at their bedside at a time.
  • Essential Care Partners (ECPs) can be present 24/7 and need to coordinate with other visitors to ensure only one person is at the bedside at a time.

Expanded guidelines for Support Person in EDs/UCCs

We are expanding guidelines so more patients are eligible to have a Support Person. This includes patients who are 80 years of age and older. Please see the guidelines posted on our website.

Essential Care Partners program continues

The Essential Care Partners (ECP) program, which began in January 2021, continues to be an option for loved ones. Different than a visitor, an ECP becomes part of the care team and plays an invaluable role in the care of our patients who are staying in the hospital for longer than seven days or have a preplanned surgery. We have trained over 2,000 ECPs since the program started. Members of the healthcare team can assist those interested in this program.

Learn about our visitor, Support Person and Essential Care Partner guidelines to support loved ones while they are in hospital.

Everyone entering the hospital, including those who have been vaccinated, must pass COVID-19 screening and follow all infection prevention and control protocols while they are on site.

We will provide updates on these guidelines as changes are made.

Niagara Health System