COVID-19 Visitors Policy

    The latest visitors status for West Park Healthcare Centre

    Visitors in hospital

    UPDATED APRIL 11, 2022

    As public health measures are being eased across the Province, we have received guidance from Ontario Health on taking a cautious approach to lifting restrictions, as we continue to monitor COVID case counts in the community and in the hospital setting. At this time, we will be easing visitor restrictions to allow each patient to have 2 visitors per day (not at the same time).  Please see below for details.

    Visitor Guidelines 

    All patients may designate up to 5 Essential Visitors and/or Essential Care Partners, (see below for Essential Visitor/Essential Care Partner definitions).

    All patients may have 2 Essential Visitor/Care Partner visits per day, but only 1 scheduled at a time due to our limited indoor space. Visits may take place on the unit or one of our designated visiting areas within the Centre (Rotunda, Auditorium or Cafeteria). Visits may be scheduled for 1 hour with an Essential Visitor, or up to 3 hours with an Essential Care Partner (depending on the care being provided and unit capacity).

    All patients may arrange a visit with 2 or more Essential Visitors/Care Partners (up to 5) at the same time, based on the availability of a bookable group room (available evenings and weekends).  

    Patients who are at the end of life (high risk of dying in the next 2 weeks) may have 2 or more Essential Visitors/Care Partners at the bedside at any time. 

    Outdoor visits – Effective April 15th, patients may arrange an outdoor visit with up to 2 Visitors at a time (Essential Care Partners or Essential Visitors); Under special circumstances, exceptions may be made for up to 7 visitors at a time (2 Essential Visitors/Care Providers and up to 5 additional visitors), on a case by case basis.  See below for details on designated visiting areas.  

    Outpatients: All patients attending an outpatient appointment may have 1 Essential Care Partner accompany them for support. 

    Children: A child may attend a group visit (booked in a designated group room or outdoor space). A child less than 2years of age is not required to wear a mask, and does not count as one of the visitors; a child more than 2 years of age is required to follow IPAC measures, including masking, and counts as one of the visitors. 
     
    All Essential Visitors/Care Partners must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, it must be at least 14 days since you received your second dose of a Health Canada-approved vaccine. All eligible patients and essential visitors/care partners are encouraged to get a third (or fourth) booster vaccine.

    Proof of Vaccination

    While the Province has ended its proof of vaccination QR code system, we continue to require all visitors to be vaccinated prior to visiting.  You will need to show our screeners your proof of vaccine, along with proof of identity in order to enter the Center.   We will continue to accept printed copies of the vaccine QR code, or printed or digital copies of vaccine receipts (showing a minimum of 2 doses).  Vaccine receipts can be downloaded or printed from the Province’s web-site:  covid19.ontariohealth.ca. You will need your OHIP card to download your vaccine receipt. Please allow extra time for this process.  

    Exceptions for unvaccinated visitors may be made under the following conditions:

    The visitor has an approved medical exemption 
    The visitor is supporting a patient who is near end-of-life (i.e. actively dying, death expected within two weeks)
    The visitor is supporting a patient experiencing an urgent/time limited life-altering event, i.e. critical illness, mental health crisis; (note: patients who require long-term mechanical ventilation, through a tracheostomy or non-invasively, who are medically stable, do not meet the criteria of critical illness)
    The visitor is accompanying a patient attending an outpatient appointment for support related to cognitive, physical or communication-related challenges

    Exceptions must meet the criteria above and be approved by the clinical care team, in advance of any scheduled visits.  Proof of a medical exemption will be reviewed by our Appeals Committee. If an exception is approved, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, received within 48 hours before the visit, is required. Rapid antigen tests are available at the entrances ONLY for visitors who meet the vaccination exception criteria AND have a special circumstance or emergency. 

    Scheduling visits: 
    All Essential Visitors/Care Partners and designated alternate visitors must be approved by the care team, prior to scheduling a visit (please contact the clinical team to become an approved visitor)
    Once approved, Essential Visitors/Care Partners can schedule visits two ways:
    - Call the Centralized Visit Scheduling line at 416-243-3600 x2108 to leave a message or send an email to visits@westpark.org to request a visit. You will need to provide the patient’s name (unit and room number, if known), the Essential Visitor/Care Provider(s)’ name(s), and the date/time of the visit request.
    - Please submit your visit request at least 48 hours in advance. Telephone and email messages will be responded to within 24 hours between Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm.

    Visiting Hours: 10:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Sunday (including statutory holidays).

    Designated Visiting Areas: Visits may take place at the bedside (1 visitor per room) or in one of the following designated areas, ensuring social distancing of 2m (6 ft) is maintained:

    Unit rotunda – maximum 4 patients & their visitors at one time.
    Auditorium – tables/chairs have been set up to support visiting when group programming is not happening in the space.
    Cafeteria – may be accessed for visiting during “non-peak” hours (i.e. not between 11am-2pm Monday to Friday); NOTE: food is not to be consumed during the visit.
    Bookable group room – must be booked in advance – up to 5 Essential Visitors/Care Partners. 
    Outdoor Areas: Rooftop patio – accessed from the 2 East Pod, or via the ramp near the main entrance; Cafeteria patio – accessed through the cafeteria on the ground floor; Main Floor patio – accessed near the Prosthetics & Orthotics department, near main entrance.
    No visits are permitted outside of the Main Entrance, related to safety. 

    All visitors are required to adhere to the following Infection Prevention Measures:
    - All visitors must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival to the Centre (whether visit is indoors or outdoors). Visitors who do not pass WPHC screening tool, will not be allowed to visit on West Park property.
    - Patients and visitors are required to wear a medical mask at all times during the visit. A medical mask will be provided to visitors upon entering the building at screening. 
    - No In and Out privileges – when the essential visitor/care partner leaves the hospital they cannot return to the hospital on the same day.
    - Social distancing (2m or 6 ft) must be maintained between patients and visitors during the visit.
    - Hand Hygiene must be practiced upon entering the Centre, and during visit.
    - No Eating is permitted during the visit.

    Leaves of Absence (LOA) for Inpatients
    West Park Healthcare Centre is pleased to resume short leaves of absences for our patients that are fully vaccinated and follow infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures. These IPAC measures are in place to help keep patients, staff and visitors safe while at the Centre. Please review these measures and discuss any questions you may have with your Nurse, Care Coordinator or Unit Manager. All LOAs must be approved by your medical team.  It is strongly recommended that patients visit with friends/family members who are fully vaccinated and have not tested positive for COVID or are experiencing symptoms. 

    1. Fully vaccinated patients who are well are welcome to leave the hospital grounds for up to 8 hours.
    2. Overnight leaves may be permitted for rehab patients on an exceptional basis to support rehabilitation goals, in consultation with the clinical team and IPAC; upon return to the Centre, PCR testing and isolation may be required.
    3. Upon return to the Centre you will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and asked about contacts. For example “Have you come into contact with anyone with COVID-19?” If you pass the screening you will not require isolation upon return.
    4. Contact the unit manager or care coordinator for more information.

    Patients will be asked to continue taking the following precautions while away from the Centre:
    Wear a mask at all times, if tolerated; otherwise, wear a face shield
    Maintain physical distancing (2m or 6 ft)
    Practice frequent hand hygiene
    Follow public health recommendations

    Appeals
    To appeal any decision made regarding visitor access or vaccine proof requirement, please contact our Patient Experience Coordinator by email at patientexperience@westpark.org or by phone at 416-243-3600 ext. 2337.

    Definitions:

    Essential Visitors
    An Essential Visitor is any person, such as family, including friends, neighbors, and/or relatives whose presence supports the health and well-being of a patient. 

    Essential Care Partner
    An essential care partner is a person who is key to supporting the care of the patient and trained by the care team to participate in the delivery of care at a time mutually agreed upon by the care team. An essential care partner visit can be 2-3 hours in length, depending on the care being provided and the capacity of the unit to support the patient and the care team with the provision of care. To apply to be an essential care partner, please contact the Clinical Care team, or the Patient Experience Coordinator.