As a result of the rapidly evolving situation with the Omicron variant, Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) is implementing changes to its visitor policy.
Effective Wednesday December 22, BCHS will move to an Essential Care Partner (ECP) only visitor policy, which means general visitors will not be permitted. All ECPs must be fully vaccinated (i.e. 14-days since their second dose) and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination at screening, including a vaccine receipt or enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code and government-issued ID. Inpatients can have one ECP at the bedside at a time between the visiting hours of 9am-8pm, with a maximum of two designated ECPs.
The updated visitor policy is consistent with visitor guidelines in place at neighbouring hospitals located in the greater region of Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant and Burlington.
“We know how important Essential Care Partners are to our patients. Changes to our visitor policy are made in consultation with our Patient and Family Advisors”, said Dr. David McNeil, President & CEO. “Ensuring that everyone inside the hospital is vaccinated – healthcare workers as well as Essential Care Partners – is critical to ensuring the safest care environment possible and protecting vulnerable patients”.
ECPs will be denied entry to the hospital if they are unable to show proof of vaccine. There will be limited exceptions:
- Families of End of Life patients – as determined by the clinical team
- One ECP for patients in the Emergency Department
- One ECP for patients in Labour and Delivery
- One parent or ECP of patients under the age of 18 years old
- Proof of medical exemption or human rights exemption for COVID-19 vaccine
- ECP who agrees to be vaccinated with proof of 1st dose by January 4th
All exceptions will require a proof of negative COVID test result at screening. This includes proof of a negative rapid test within 12 hours or a negative PCR swab result within 48 hours.