WINDSOR, ONT. -- Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare has announced its phased plan to allowing visitors, starting with designated care partners.

HDGH's Patient Visitation Plan outlines a phased approach to easing visitor restrictions, including its Coordinated Care Plan which allows for trained designated care partners to provide “specific aspects of the care plan to a patient within a defined period of time.”

"A Designated Care Partner or DCP is any person that the patient and/or substitute decision-maker (SDM) identifies,” Joe Karb, vice president of restorative care said in a news release. “The patient and DCP works with the health care team to define how they will be involved in care, care planning, and decision-making."

Visitor restrictions have been in place at HDGH since March 21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital says it has been working along with its Patient and Family Advisory Council to slowly welcome visitors on campus.

“As a post-acute care hospital, we care for some of the community's most vulnerable individuals. This phased approach will ensure that HDGH maintains the health and safety of its patients, visitors, staff, and physicians,” the news release states.

Designated care partners are identified for patients who are planning for discharge and a care partner is needed for health teaching, or for those who may have language barriers, are non-verbal, or have cognitive, emotional or physical disabilities.

HDGH welcomed nine designated care partners on site to start training Friday, and will welcome more over the next several weeks.

The hospital says palliative care visitation will continue to be available only to those patients who require end of life care. These patients may have up to two visitors present at any given time while adhering to restrictions.

These restrictions include:

  • Visitors will answer screening questions at the main entrance prior to entering the facility (if screening failed then entry is denied)
  • No Children under the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult)
  • All visitors must wear a surgical mask
  • All visitors will be restricted to visitation in the patient's room with no access to any common area

For patients who do not require coordinated care of palliative visitation, the hospital says “virtual visitation is strongly encouraged.” HDGH says updates to COVID-19 measures will be posted on its website.