WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has cancelled visiting hours “until further notice” citing a staff member testing positive for COVID-19 and the increase in local cases.

The CKHA issued a news release Wednesday stating visiting hours are cancelled at both Chatham and Wallaceburg sites. Only “essential visitors” will be allowed at the hospital to ensure the safety of patients, staff physicians and the community.

“A staff member at the organization has tested positive for COVID-19 and with the increase in positive cases locally, CKHA has taken the precaution in cancelling visiting hours to all non-essential visitors,” the release states. “CKHA continues to work closely with CK Public Health to take all appropriate precautions and safety measures.

The organization will only allow essential visitors to the hospital. The visitor must check in to the nurses’ station before visiting. All visitors will be screened before entering.

CKHA says visitors must wear a mask at all times while in the hospital and will be required to wear any additional PPE necessary.

The following patients are allowed visitors at this time:

  • Patients who are actively dying: An inpatient who is actively dying, as determined by the Most Responsible Physician (MRP), may have one visitor present at a time.
  • Patients who require support (inpatient or outpatient): A small number of patients (e.g. very frail/elderly, patient with dementia, person who is non-verbal or severely disabled) require a support person or advocate to be present, whose absence may negatively impact the provision of safe care.  In this case and at the direction of the clinical provider/team, this patient may be accompanied.
  • Paediatric Patients: Paediatric patients (18 and under) may be accompanied by one adult caregiver.
  • Emergency Department: A patient who is at imminent risk of dying may have a loved one present with them during their Emergency Department (ED) stay. Patients with cognitive or mobility difficulties may be accompanied by one person during their ED stay. Paediatric patients in the ED are permitted to be accompanied by one adult.
  • Women in Labour/Post-Partum: Women in active labour may be accompanied by one adult visitor. This includes the duration of their post-partum stay.
  • Requests for Exceptions: Exceptions are only considered in rare and truly exceptional circumstances. If a family member wishes to seek an exception to the visitation policy, they should contact CKHA's Patient Relations department.

CKHA is also requesting only essential items be delivered to in-hospital patients. This would include eyeglasses, hearing aids, and hygiene items. Non-essential deliveries will not be accepted.