Visiting Norfolk General Hospital

Due to the high number of COVID-19 transmission and risks associated with the current COVID-19 outbreaks throughout our facility, Norfolk General (NGH) has made the difficult decision to implement enhanced visitor restrictions at the hospital, effective Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

This means there will be NO SOCIAL VISITORS ALLOWED at NGH for the foreseeable future.

To ensure that patients have the support they need, patients will be allowed two designated Essential Care Providers (ECPs); however, only one ECP will be allowed at a time.

ECP visiting hours will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

NGH understands how critical the presence of family members and loved ones are to our patients; however, by limiting the number of people in our facilities through visitor restrictions, we are ensuring safety for our patients, clients, staff and physicians.

All Essential Care Providers (ECPs) must:

  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms before each visit. Symptomatic or COVID exposed/positive ECPs (regardless of vaccination status) are not permitted to visit.
  • Complete the self-screening questions posted at our entrances.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including the hospital issued mask received at self screening, and keep it on for the duration of the visit.
  • Only ONE designated Essential Care Provider (ECP) will be permitted at a time (some exceptions may apply – see below)
  • TWO Essential Care Providers can be designated and are not interchangeable.
  • Follow strict hand hygiene guidelines
  • All ECPs visiting our inpatient units must sign a form that indicates that they will be compliant with the hospital’s guidelines.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained.
  • No eating or drinking is permitted while visiting.
  • Not use a patient washroom.
  • Be 18 or older.

ECPs are not permitted:

  • If they have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • If the ECP has had close contact with a confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19.
  • If they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If they have been outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
  • Access to the cafeteria or the coffee kiosk.
  • Share food.

Who is an Essential Care Provider (ECP)?

An essential care provider is a person identified and designated by the patient/resident – a family member, friend, neighbour – who provides important personal, social, psychological and/or physical support, assistance and care. An ECP does not have to be living with the person they are supporting or biologically related to the patient/resident. An ECP must be at least 18 years of age.

A patient who has mobility, cognitive or translation needs can identify/designate an essential care provider. Based on space restrictions and the need for physical distancing, essential providers may be asked to wait outside the exam room during appointments.

Additional Reminders:

All ECPs must follow all safety guidelines during their visit, especially keeping their masks on at all times and refraining from eating or drinking while visiting. ECPs who refuse to follow safety guidelines may lose their visiting privileges.

Staff may need to reduce visiting abilities if care services in the department are jeopardized by the increased visiting capacity, or if more than one ECP is found at a bedside.

Emergency Department Care:

  • Patients visiting Emergency Departments who require assistance may have ONE support person only. No other visitors permitted.
  • Only ONEperson per pediatric patient is allowed (parent or caregiver only).

End of life/ gravely ill:

Palliative/end of life patients may have up to four designated Visitors: two can visit at a time and have no time frame.

  • Suspect or COVID positive patients who are palliative/ end of life may have two designated Visitors, and will need to isolate following Public Health regulations.

Outpatient Care:

Patients can have one Support Person for the duration of their diagnostic procedure.

Restrictions remain in place for surgical daycare patients only, however, some exceptions may apply.  

Personal items for patients:

ECPs can bring personal items into the hospital for patients. Please note that patient areas must remain decluttered. Items may be sent home if interfering with the ability to clean or provide care. All items are to be for individual use only and are not to be shared or passed to other patients.

The patient is responsible for all belongings and/or valuables in their possession during admission. NGH assumes no responsibility and or liability for lost or damaged valuables and or belongings brought to the hospital. It’s important to note that visiting days alternate.

For the safety and well-being of everyone in the hospital, there are some general guidelines that we ask you to follow:

  • Please do not visit if you feel unwell or have symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, or a new rash.
  • Your visit may be interrupted to provide patient care. We ask that if care is being provided by the care team that you wait until they are finished to visit.
  • Patient safety is a top priority at NGH. In hospitals, the risk of infection is high and extra care needs to be taken to reduce the spread of germs. Visitors are reminded to regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water, especially after eating, coughing, sneezing and using the washroom.
  • If you develop symptoms within 48hrs after visiting please call the unit on which you visited so that we can appropriately asses and monitor the situation.
  • NGH has provided hand sanitizer for visitor use throughout our hospitals. Please use this often during your visit. Remember to make sure your hands are dry after applying the sanitizer before you touch anything.
  • Respecting each other is important when we experience challenges. Being in the hospital can be frustrating and stressful. We would like to hear and discuss any concerns you may have. Together we can find a way to resolve them.
  • If you are feeling unwell, you can send your wishes to your loved one through our Send an E-card


To ensure the privacy of our patients, visitors and staff, consent is required for any photograph, recording or interview.  Without consent, the use of photography, video or sound recordings are not permitted on hospital property.