Whether you are a patient, visitor or staff, when you arrive at Queensway Carleton Hospital, you will see handwash stations set up at each entrance and outside patient rooms. We are asking all patients and visitors to wash their hands before and after entering the hospital and before and after entering a patient room.
As part of Ontario’s new normal, we are also asking you to self-screen before entering the hospital.
What is self-screening?
Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself before entering QCH. Do you have:
- A new cough (not associated with your current illness)
- Shortness of breath (worse than usual)
- Severe headache (worse than usual)
- Unexplained extreme fatigue
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, please leave the hospital and visit your family physician or the closest Emergency Department. This applies to patients and visitors.
All our patients, visitors, volunteers, and essential care partners must wear a medical-grade mask – this is important to protect the vulnerable patients in our care.
If a patient or Essential Care Partners is unable to wear a mask, staff will ask if there is any ability to wear a mask temporarily for movement through occupied spaces in the facility. If the patient or ECP is unable to tolerate a mask for any period, screening staff will ask the individual to stand at least 6 feet away from all other persons and will contact a member of the clinical team who will further discuss the limitations, including medical exemptions.
- For outpatients: The clinical team will be contacted to determine if the appointment can be delayed or take place virtually. Appropriate appointments will be rescheduled. If the patient must be seen immediately, a face shield will be offered. While this is an inferior form of protection, it helps to limit spread of some respiratory secretions. If an ECP is unable to wear either a mask or face protection, consideration must be given to finding alternative care supports for the patient. Those patients who must be seen immediately who are also unable to wear a face shield will be escorted directly a separate waiting area. If space is limited, some patients may have to wait outside (e.g. in their car) until arrangements can be made.
- For Emergency patients: The screener will contact the Care Facilitator in the Emergency Department to further discuss the patient’s limitations and care needs. For patients who are unable to tolerate a mask, a face shield will be offered for the patient to wear while in hospital, including in the waiting area. Those patients who are unable to wear a face shield will be accommodated to the extent possible. Efforts will be made to find an appropriate location in which the patient can wait for their assessment. All triage decisions in the Emergency Department are based on the presenting medical issue for the patients. A patient’s inability to wear a mask is not a factor to speed the assessment of that patient ahead of others.
- Visitors: No exemption from the mask requirement is allowed for visitors.
There are limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement. They include:
- Those visiting patients at the end-of-life
- An Essential Care Partner in the Emergency Department in consultation with the care team
- An Essential Care Partner for labor and delivery
- Parents or guardians of patients under the age of 18
- Essential Care Partners who are needed to safely accompany patients to appointments or participate in delivering care
- Other critical or urgent circumstances requiring family presence
- Those who have a documented medical exemption
If you are dealing with an exceptional circumstance, please speak with the care team to determine if you meet the criteria.
Units in outbreak
If a unit is experiencing an outbreak, there will be increased visitor restrictions on that unit to ensure the safety of patients, staff and Essential Care Partners. This means that, in some cases, visitors may not be allowed on that particular unit. Before visiting a unit experiencing an outbreak, please consult with unit staff.