SAH Reinstates Visitor Restrictions as COVID-19 Cases Rise in Community

Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Algoma and to maintain hospital readiness for surges in patient volumes, Sault Area Hospital (SAH) is reinstating enhanced visitor restrictions beginning Friday, January 8, 2021.

These enhanced visitor restrictions, only allow labouring mothers, paediatric patients (2 parents/guardians), patients undergoing urgent surgery, long-stay patients with identified support, or patients who are at end-of-life (two at bedside) to have one consistent visitor throughout their stay. Designated visitors will be screened for symptoms, recent exposures, and are required to check-in at the front entrance and nurses’ station. This restriction is consistent with other hospitals across the province. Visitors will not be allowed to visit suspect or confirmed COVID patients, except under exceptional circumstances. If you are unsure if you can visit, please contact the unit for further direction before coming to the hospital.

Given the rise in cases and the continued community spread of COVID-19,  SAH is taking additional measures to ensure it remains safe. The safety of our patients, our people, and our community is paramount.

Understanding that patients and families are already feeling the impact of isolation, SAH continues to offer virtual visits for inpatients that can be accessed by connecting with the appropriate nursing unit. Those who have access to their own devices are encouraged to connect through Skype, FaceTime, or telephone calls.

SAH remains committed to the safety of our community, our patients, and our people, by closely monitoring COVID-19 developments within our community and making decisions based on best practices.

Additional visitor guidance can be found on our website; sah.on.ca

Expectations for Designated Visitors:

  • Please be aware that visitors from outside of Algoma, those who have travelled outside of Algoma or those who have had close contact with an individual from outside of Algoma will not be permitted to visit for 14 days. Exceptions will only be made for compassionate reasons.
  • Visitors with illness symptoms will not be permitted to visit.
  • Visitors must enter through the main lobby for their scheduled visit.
  • Visitors must check in with the door screeners. In addition, all visitors must sign-in at the nursing station on the unit, in the event that contact tracing is required.
  • Visitors must follow instructions given by staff; failure to follow instructions may result in a visitor being asked to leave the hospital.
  • Visitors are reminded to maintain 2 metres or 6 feet of physical distance with the patient and others at all times.
  • Visitors and patients are not permitted to wander on the unit or leave the unit; including accessing common areas of the hospital.
  • Visitors must wear masks at all times while in hospital and must wash their hands when entering and leaving a patient’s room.  Please note, visitors who are exempt from wearing a mask will no longer be permitted for in-person visits.  SAH will accommodate virtual visits in these circumstances.  These visitors are asked to contact the appropriate nursing unit to arrange these virtual visits.
  • The care team will work with patients to establish an appropriate visiting schedule for the Designated Care Support person for long-stay patients.