Coronavirus: Guelph General Hospital restricting visitors, cancelling elective surgeries

Preventing the spread of COVID-19
Health Inspector Matt Faris gives a demonstration of how to properly wash your hands and gives some tips on how to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Guelph General Hospital says it is restricting visitors and cancelling elective surgeries in an attempt to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The safety of staff and patients is paramount,” hospital president and CEO Marianne Walker said in a statement on Monday.

READ MORE: Guelph, Laurier university students have to vacate ASAP due to the new coronavirus

The hospital said many tests, procedures and surgeries have been cancelled for at least two weeks, and those affected will be contacted directly by the hospital.

Visitors are being restricted to one at a time per patient and public access to the hospital will only be through its main entrance behind the hospital except for those who require treatment in the emergency department.

The hospital’s Delhi Street entrance has been closed for the foreseeable future.

Story continues below advertisement

New visiting hours are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and all visitors and non-emergency patients will be screened before entering.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“This simply means that when you come to the hospital, staff will ask you why you are here, your travel history and your health,” Walker said.

How to properly practise self-isolation
How to properly practise self-isolation

Visitors who are unwell will not be allowed in the building and patients who fail the screening will be given a mask and identified with a yellow sticker, and then taken to the necessary care area.

Those who do pass will be given a green sticker to wear while in the hospital and will have to sign in and out.

After-hours access into the hospital will remain through the emergency department where the screening will be done.

Story continues below advertisement

All visitors to the hospital must be free of COVID-19 symptoms, not had contact with a confirmed or probable case and not have had contact with a person with an acute respiratory illness who has been outside of Canada in the last 14 days.

READ MORE: Public Health confirms COVID-19 case at Orangeville hospital

The hospital said exemptions can be made for close relatives of a terminally ill patient who is near the end of life. but that patient’s unit manager or director will decide if the circumstance meets the exception criteria.

The situation is changing rapidly and the policies could change again, the hospital said.