COVID-19: Guelph General Hospital eases visitor restrictions

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Guelph General Hospital is easing some of its visitor restrictions as COVID-19 cases drop and the province enters Step 2 of its reopening plan.

As of Wednesday, all non-COVID-19 patients will be allowed one visitor per day.

“I am so glad we are now able to loosen our restrictions,” said Melissa Skinner, vice-president of patient services and chief nursing executive. “We know family and friends play an important part in a patient’s healing process.”

For most of the pandemic, visiting the hospital has been tightly controlled.

All visitors will still have to pass a screening at the hospital’s entrance and will have to wear a mask at all times while inside along with maintaining a two-metre distance, cleaning hands often and not eating or drinking in a patient’s room.

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The hospital added that visitor restrictions will loosen further when the province enters Step 3.

“Just as people are doing a great job following public health guidelines in the community, we need them to do the same while here. It keeps everyone safe, both patients and staff,” Skinner said.

Most of the province moved into Step 2 on Wednesday, except for Waterloo Region due to a surge in Delta variant cases.

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Provincial health officials said this week that Step 2 will likely last for at least three weeks due to concerns about COVID-19 variants.

“With Delta being present, we obviously have to watch what is going on around the world where Australia and multiple cities have had to lockdown, Israel is back with masking in public spaces, (and) Europe might be looking at further public health measures,” Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s new chief medical officer of health, told reporters on Tuesday.

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“We’re going to be watching internationally, nationally, provincially, locally — being data-driven and advise government based on data.”

— with files from Global News’ Nick Westoll

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