Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is reintroducing essential visits at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge and Huntsville District Memorial Hospital.

A patients’ designated or alternate care partners are now able to visit once a day between 10 AM and 4 PM. Officials with MAHC add the the patient will have to pick one person that falls under each category. Only one person will be allowed to visit per day.

All inpatients will be swabbed on admission and visitors will only be allowed in once the test comes back negative with contact tracing information also taken down. A hospital-issued mask will have to be worn during the visit along with additional protective equipment, if necessary. The personal protective equipment will have to stay on during the visit, so no eating or drinking will be allowed by the visitor. Physical distancing will also need to be adhered to.

Officials say you won’t be able to wander the halls either. You will be required to go right to the patient’s room and stay there during your visit.

“Family presence is an important part of patient-centred care at MAHC,” says CEO Natalie Bubela. “We are allowing this essential visiting as a means of balancing the importance of reuniting inpatients with a loved one and protecting the safety of all patients and staff. 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.”