Visiting Guidelines

Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Before visiting our hospital, there are a few important things you should know:

Screening/Masking

Norfolk General Hospital no longer requires patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks at the hospital. However, masking will still be required in the following scenarios:

Masking required for/when:

  • Patients who are symptomatic or isolated for respiratory illness, and their visitors will be required to wear a mask within patient care areas and hallways.
  • Outpatients with symptoms of COVID-19 or a respiratory illness and/or who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last seven (7) days must continue to wear a medical grade face mask.
  • Visitors may be required to wear a mask in outbreak units.

Before visiting a patient, visitors must sanitize their hands and pass the following COVID-19 self-screening questions prior to entering the hospital.

Medical masks are available from mask dispensers at designated hospital entrances.

  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?

o Fever

o Sore throat

o New or worsening cough, or shortness of breath

o Loss of sense of smell/taste

o Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting

Have you or a close contact tested positive for COVID in the last 10 days?

If you answer YES to any of these questions, please stay home until you are well or no longer at risk of exposure.  If you are feeling unwell, you can send your wishes to your loved one through our Send an E-card

Inpatients

Patients admitted to the hospital (inpatients) have no restrictions on total number of visitors in a day, but inpatients can only have TWO visitors at their bedside at a time.  Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

  • Visitors are permitted between the h
  • ours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Please note that only TWO visitors may visit at a time. The time and frequency of the visits are to be determined by the patient and or in collaboration with their visitors.
  • Patients will connect with their care visitors to help establish the schedule for visiting. If they are unable to do so, visitors may create schedules between themselves.

Outpatients    

Patients attending ambulatory visits may have one person accompany them during the visit. The department reserves the right to temporarily restrict visitors to specific areas if needed.

Emergency Department Care

Patients may have two visitors at their bedside at a time. *Please note that visitors in the Emergency Department may be asked to leave if the number of visitors impacts the ability of patients to enter the department and get medical attention.

Patients who are pregnant, in labour, or postpartum

Labour & Delivery patients may have two visitors at their bedside at a time and have no time frame.

Surgical Day Care Patients

One designated support person is permitted to support the patient upon discharge.

End of life/ gravely ill

Palliative/end-of-life patients can have FOUR visitors at their bedside at a time and have no time frame.

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

Additional Reminders

Visitors must follow all safety guidelines during their visit. Visitors 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.

Frequently asked questions

Food & Beverage

• Outside food brought in for patients must be individually packaged and not shared. All leftovers must be discarded as they cannot be kept in unit fridges.
• The NGH Cafeteria is limited to take-out packaged options only. Following COVID-19 requirements, cafeteria seating areas are for staff use only.
• The Coffee & Crumbs café is open to dine in and take-out options.
• Please practice good hand hygiene at all times, including when entering and leaving the hospital and before eating food.
• Practice physical distancing (2 metres/6 feet apart)

Personal items for patients

Visitors 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.

Recordings

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.

Exceptions

Some units may have exceptions. Please check with the unit before visiting the hospital to address any exceptions with the clinical manager or care team.

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

• Rest and sleep are important for our patients. You may need to shorten visits if the patient is tired and needs rest.
• 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.
• 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

All visitors must

• Complete the self-screening questions posted at our entrances.
• Follow strict hand hygiene guidelines.
• Ensure any food brought in for the patient is individually packaged and not shared. All leftovers must be discarded and cannot be left at the hospital.
• Practice physical distancing (2 metres/6 feet apart)
• Use public washroom(s) and not patient washrooms.
• Consult with clinical team to determine length of visit.
• Going for walks with the patient in the hallways is permitted.
• Please note that visitors may be asked to leave if the number of visitors impacts the ability of patients to receive medical attention.

Visitors are not permitted

• For patients located on a unit in a COVID outbreak.
• If they have tested positive for COVID-19.
• If the visitor 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 and have been told to isolate when entering the country
• Share food