Current Outbreaks

3A, 3B, 3C and 2A Inpatient Units Introduce Visitor Restrictions

Effective May 3, 2024, 3A, 3B and 3C Inpatient Units at Sault Area Hospital (SAH) have implemented visitor restrictions due to an outbreak of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) and the heightened risk of infection for our patients.  

Visiting Guidelines:

  • Visiting hours will be between 8:30 am – 8:30 pm daily (Exceptions may be made)
  • There will be one visitor or one essential caregiver allowed to visit the patient at a time 
  • All visitors must adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines directed by staff
  • Families will need to coordinate visits to ensure only one visitor is present at the patient’s bedside
  • Visitors will not be allowed to visit multiple patients on the unit at one time
  • Visitors’ eating and drinking in the patient rooms is not allowed
  • Visitors who demonstrate disruptive behaviour will be limited in their ability to visit

Exceptions will be made if a visitor provides support for a vulnerable patient (under the age of 18, with cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, or inability to effectively communicate) or if a patient is at the end of life.

SAH is committed to supporting our patients and their families during this time. If you have a loved one in the hospital, please reach out to the respective nursing station. Our team will facilitate regular check-ins or phone calls to help you stay connected.

Essential Caregivers and Visitor Guidance

Sault Area Hospital (SAH) respects and values friends and families of patients as integral partners in providing excellent patient care.  We recognize family members and loved ones are important to the healing and overall well-being of our patients.  As such, the presence of visitors continues to be a priority to support patients coming for care at SAH.

Our Compassionate Person-Centered Care philosophy differentiates between Visitors and Essential Caregivers.  We recognize that Visitors and Essential Caregivers are a great resource and comfort to our patients’ which improve quality of life and their experience in care.

We’ve put together the following Essential Caregiver-Visitor Guidance to help you understand when you can visit SAH, your responsibilities as an essential caregiver – visitor, and important safety tips to follow while in the hospital.

    • Visiting hours will be between 8:30 am – 8:30 pm daily (Exceptions may be made in rare circumstances.)
    • From time to time, further visiting restrictions may be required with little notice (such as in the case of a patient’s change in condition). We will endeavour to meet visitor needs during these times.
    • All visitors must adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines directed by staff.
    • Families will need to coordinate visits to ensure only the allowed number of visitors are present at the patient’s bedside.
    • Visitors (including children) who demonstrate disruptive behaviour will be limited in their ability to visit.
    • Visitors’ eating and drinking in the patient rooms are not allowed.
    • GUIDANCE FOR OUTPATIENT CLINICS AND DAY SURGERY VISITS: Space in our waiting rooms is prioritized for patients. If space permits, we will support the presence of Essential Caregivers/Visitors in the waiting room. Essential Caregivers/Visitors may be asked to wait outside if the waiting room reaches maximum capacity.

NO VISITORS

Exceptions may be made if the person provides support for the following:

  • a vulnerable patient (under the age of 18, cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate)
  • a patient at the end of life

NO VISITORS

Exceptions may be made if the person provides support for the following:

  • a vulnerable patient (under the age of 18, cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate)
  • a patient at the end of life

 

  • Two (2) Essential Caregivers/Visitors at the bedside at any given time
  • There is no limit to the total number of Essential Caregivers/Visitors a patient may have, but only two (2) can visit at a time during visiting hours

The maximum number of persons (Essential Caregivers/Visitors) per individual at one time is based on room space; exceptions can be made; please contact your loved one’s care team to discuss your family’s needs.  

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Labour & Delivery:

  • Triage: One (1) person until admitted to labour
  • Labour: Two (2) support persons (same) during labour and delivery
  • Post-partum: One (1) support persons at a time from the Two (2) support persons during labour and delivery

No other visitors allowed in the program.

All support people must adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines directed by staff

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Paediatrics and NICU:

  • Paediatrics: Two (2) parents + one (1) designated support person; two (2) individuals only at a time. Only one parent to stay overnight.
  • NICU: Two (2) parents.
    • Grandparents may also visit one (1) at a time with one of the parents. Two (2) individual only at a time in the NICU.

No other visitors are allowed in the program

All support people must adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines directed by staff.

  • One (1) Visitor at the bedside at any given time. Additionally, an Essential Caregiver may be present.  
  • There is no limit to the total number of Essential Caregivers/Visitors a patient may have.
  • Each outpatient may bring one (1) support person (Essential Caregiver/Visitor).

SAH Masking Policy for Members of the Public

Sault Area Hospital is Mask Friendly

Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask or face covering upon entering Sault Area Hospital or SAH community-based locations.

Anyone choosing to wear a mask will be provided with a hospital-approved surgical/procedural mask to wear while in the hospital. Masks will be available near all exterior entrances and nursing stations.

The mask, when worn, must cover the nose, mouth and chin.

NOTE: In response to an outbreak or increased risk to the hospital or community, the IPAC Medical Director, Chief of Staff, or Chief Nursing Officer may require patients, visitors or caregivers to wear a mask in designated areas within Sault Area Hospital (SAH) or SAH off-site facilities.

General Essential Caregivers and Visitor Information

Essential Caregivers at SAH

An Essential Caregiver is an essential individual chosen by the patient or their Substitute Decision Maker to support them during the hospital stay.  The Essential Caregiver comes to the hospital to assist with daily care of the patient providing comfort, social and cultural interaction, emotional and physical support, as well as speaking on behalf of the patient when they cannot speak.

The Essential Caregiver may be allowed access to the hospital in periods of heightened restriction, when casual visitors may be prohibited.

All Essential Caregivers must be on-boarded through the SAH Essential Caregiver program before they are considered an Essential Caregiver at SAH.  Please, speak with the Leadership Team on your loved one’s unit to discuss if identifying an individual as an Essential Caregiver would be appropriate as part of the patient’s care plan.

Visitors at SAH

A Visitor is a guest or family of the patient who have not been identified by the patient as the Essential Caregiver and may or may not be the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM). 

Essential Caregivers and Visitors Expectations

  • Be without illness symptoms; individuals with symptoms will not be permitted to visit
  • Follow instructions given by staff; failure to follow instructions may result in a visitor being asked to leave the hospital
  • Families will need to coordinate visits to ensure only the allowed number of visitors are present at the patient’s bedside
  • Must wash their hands when entering and leaving a patient’s room
  • Wear a mask when additional occupational health or infection prevention and control measures are in place

NOTE: The list of reasons for support for a vulnerable patient (e.g. cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate, mobility issues) is not an exhaustive list; considerations beyond this list should be discussed with the Care Team.

Self-Screening

Please do not visit the hospital if you or your children have any of the following: new or worsening cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, severe headaches, unexplained muscle aches, unexplained extreme fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, or rashes.