Hospital tightening visitor rules in response to rising community COVID cases

Guelph General Hospital is further tightening its visitor rules based on the increasing number of COVID cases in the community and the Omicron variant. Starting Thursday, Dec. 23, only one person can be designated as an essential visitor per patient for the duration of his or her stay. A list of who can be considered an essential visitor can be found here.

It’s not a decision made lightly, says Melissa Skinner, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “We know how important family members and loved ones are to the patient experience and to their care journey,” says Skinner. “However, we have to be mindful of the risks associated with this new variant and take extra precautions to ensure our hospital remains as safe as possible.”

Bringing in tighter visiting rules just before Christmas made the decision even harder. “No one wanted to see a return to tighter restrictions, especially just days away from the Christmas holidays,” Skinner says. “However, given the transmission risk of the Omicron variant and the rapid increase in community cases, it’s a necessary step to help ensure the safety of both patients and our staff.”