Hamilton hospitals are imposing new rules on visitors in response to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.
Both of the city’s hospital systems now require visitors to be fully vaccinated and show a vaccine receipt or a QR code with a government ID before they are allowed entry.
St. Joe’s in Hamilton implements a mandatory vaccination policy for visitors
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is also matching an existing St. Joseph’s Healthcare policy by limiting the number of visitors.
As of Wednesday, up to two caregivers or support persons can be pre-identified for each hospitalized patient, with only one caregiver or support person at the bedside at a time, HHS says.
“Making adjustments to our visitation protocols again at this time truly reflects the severity of this disease and its multiple impacts, and the importance of being able to continue serving HHS citizens,” says Kirsten Krull, Vice President of Quality and Performance.
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There are limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement in all hospitals, including families of a patient at the end of life, partners of a patient giving birth, and essential caregivers or parents of children and infants in the NICU.
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The number of COVID-19 cases in Hamilton has skyrocketed in recent weeks due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
Another 168 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Hamilton on Wednesday.
There are 916 active cases in the city, and more than eight percent of tests are now positive.
Hamilton Public Health says there have been no more deaths this week from the virus, but the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital has risen to 43. Nine of them are in intensive care.
The largest of the city’s 32 current outbreaks now involves 14 cases, dating back to a Gray Cup-themed event on December 10 at Corktown Irish Pub.
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