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COVID-19: LHSC implementing visitor vaccine policy Nov. 1

London Health Sciences Centre says the policy will not apply to patients. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

Starting Nov. 1, visitors at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) will be subject to a COVID-19 vaccine policy.

Under current pandemic protocols, LHSC only allows “care partners” to visit or accompany patients. Often family members or close friends, these visitors typically have a knowledge of the patient’s medical history, lifestyle and personal values.

Read more: COVID-19: LHSC to fire 84 employees after vaccine policy hits deadline

“Social visitors,” which are traditional visitors not identified as a care partner, are not allowed at this time.

Under the upcoming vaccine policy, all care partners will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 before they can gain entry.

The policy does not apply to patients and LHSC advises people to not delay seeking or receiving care based on vaccination status.

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A breakdown of how visitors are categorized at London Health Sciences Centre under current pandemic protocols. London Health Sciences Centre / lhsc.on.ca

LHSC’s chief medical officer Dr. Adam Dukelow says there will be limited exceptions to the policy, including those supporting labouring patients and parents or guardians accompanying children to appointments.

Visitors who fall under the exceptions will also be subject to additional protocols aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

“Those that are allowed in the building that are not vaccinated as care partners will be asked to go directly to the patient room of the patient they’re helping to care for and not visit any public spaces, such as cafeterias or other parts of the building, and will be required to wear a mask for the duration of their entire visit,” Dukelow said.

Read more: COVID-19: Capacity limits out, optimism in for London, Ont. businesses

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Last week, LHSC shared the results of another vaccine policy that targeted staff.

The policy had given workers until Oct. 22 to provide proof of vaccination or proof of an accommodated exemption.

The hospital network says 84 employees will be fired after they failed to meet the deadline and “fewer than five” physicians have had their privileges suspended due to the same reason.

Another 81 employees who committed to becoming fully vaccinated have been placed on unpaid leave and will resume duties once they receive their second dose.

The firings make up for less than one per cent of the total number of people LHSC employs.

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