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Coronavirus: Hamilton hospitals allow 2 visitors per day

Hamilton hospitals are now allowing inpatients to designate two family members or caregivers for daily visits.
Hamilton hospitals are now allowing inpatients to designate two family members or caregivers for daily visits. Don Mitchell / Global News

Inpatients at Hamilton hospitals will be able to see a few more friends and family members as the facilities begin allowing two visitors per day instead of one every other day amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Tuesday, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) began allowing two designated visitors per day during visiting hours between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Patients are allowed to designate two individuals for visits with one caller at a time on a given day. Guests on an inpatient’s list can be updated after a 14-day period.

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Meanwhile, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) hospitals began two visits per day as of Wednesday, allowing two family members or caregivers over 18 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. with one person at a bedside per visit.

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Both hospitals expect outpatients to attend appointments alone, however, a single family member or caregiver may be able to accompany them with staff approval.

Both hospitals may allow additional guests per visit based on compassionate grounds for palliative patients and other special needs pending hospital approval.

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One support person is allowed overnight stays for women in labour or with a newborn. That person will also be allowed admission to the special care nursery.

Read more: Coronavirus — Hamilton hospitals implement no-visitor policy during COVID-19 pandemic

Visitors will still not be allowed in emergency departments, psychiatric emergency, urgent care, outpatient clinics and day surgery departments.

In June, after four months with a no-visitor policy, Hamilton hospitals began a “staged and gradual” return of family members and caregivers to their facilities.

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The move came after both St. Joe’s and HHS hospitals stopped allowing visitors in their facilities as part of the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.