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COVID-19: The Ottawa Hospital restricting visitors to essential caregivers only

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The Ottawa Hospital is further restricting who can visit patients starting this week as the surging COVID-19 Omicron variant of concern pushes hospitals across the province to postpone surgeries.

As of Wednesday, general visitors will not be allowed to see patients, according to a hospital announcement.

The hospital will still let in one “essential care partner,” typically a family member or close friend familiar with the patient’s medical history and considered critical to their safety and well-being.

Some visitors may also be allowed in based on “compassionate grounds.”

Read more: Ottawa hospital declares ‘Internal Code Orange’ due to staff shortages

The new measures are tighter than restrictions implemented two weeks ago, when The Ottawa Hospital said it would allow patients to have one fully vaccinated visitor for up to one hour at a time.

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The hospital also said it is postponing non-urgent surgeries, procedures and ambulatory care for the foreseeable future, in line with Monday’s directive from the Ontario government.

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Decisions on which surgeries are rescheduled will be made on a case-by-case basis. Patients affected by the move will be contacted by the hospital.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore said the directive, alongside other restrictions on gatherings and businesses in the province, was made to maintain health-care capacity as a continuing surge of Omicron cases is expected to lead to more hospitalizations in the weeks to come.

As of Monday, there are 24 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, four of whom are in the intensive care unit.

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