MUSKOKA, ON-With the local COVID-19 transmission rate low in the community, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is easing its visitor restrictions. 

This move will allow essential visitations during the appropriate hours of 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. by a designated care partner. 

MAHC says eligible inpatients would be able to select one care partner to visit them, and they must follow all of the guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. 

“Early in the pandemic MAHC made the difficult decision to restrict visitors,” said CEO Natalie Bubela. “We know that visitor restrictions have been hard on everyone, and we have appreciated the understanding of our patients and their family members with these restrictions. As part of a phased plan to resume visitation, we are happy to reintroduce essential visitation in line with strict guidelines and infection control measures.”

For inpatients to select a designated care partner, that visitor must first pass a COVID-19 screening at the entrance and leave a phone number for potential contact tracing if necessary, they must also wear a mask and visitor identifier sticker, and practise hospital hand hygiene protocols as well as physical distancing. 

“We are allowing one designated care partner to visit as a means of balancing the importance of reuniting inpatients with loved ones and protecting the safety of all patients and staff” Bubela added. “As open visitation has not resumed, we regret that visitors are not permitted for outpatients except for special circumstances where a support person is necessary.” 

The designated care partners will also be permitted to leave and return to the hospital only once during the visit per day.

Bubela noted MAHC’s new normal is ensuring safe, high-quality service during this pandemic, and those accessing the hospitals will have a different experience than they might anticipate.

For more information about MAHC’s guidelines, visit its website here