Information on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV)

Please follow public health directives to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.

We update this section of our website when new information related to COVID-19 brings changes to our hospital operations.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19

June 10, 2022 – We continue to ask everyone to wear a mask at HGH even as the province continues to remove restrictions related to COVID-19. Thank you for helping us making HGH a safer place for patients, staff and visitors.

Every patient and visitor entering HGH must wear a mask.

  • If you are coming for an appointment in Ambulatory Care, we strongly encourage you to arrive at the hospital wearing your own mask, whether it is store-bought or homemade.
  • We will provide masks for Emergency, Family Birthing Center and Intensive Care patients.
  • We screen everyone coming into the hospital through a questionnaire. We will inform you if additional preventive measures are needed in addition to your mask.
  • For more information on face coverings and masks, please visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

How to use a mask during the pandemic?

  • Please follow guidelines in the image below.

 

How to wear and make good use of a mask

COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever (37.8°C or greater) and chills
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or new or worsening respiratory problems
  • Cough, sneezing, stuffy nose, nasal congestion, runny nose
  • Sore throat, hoarse voice or difficulty swallowing
  • Sudden loss of smell or taste
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Unexplained fatigue, muscle pain, unusual uneasiness
  • Eye infection (conjunctivitis)
  • Sudden worsening of a chronic condition
  • Delirium, confusion
  • Unexplained or increase in falls
  • A decrease in blood pressure or abnormally fast heart beat (tachycardia)

On October 4, 2022, we have lifted several pandemic-related restrictions. Please review the following information to help you prepare for your visit to HGH. We are here to provide expert and compassionate care to keep everyone safe.

The following preventive measures will apply until further notice and may change without notice to protect patients, volunteers, staff and physicians.

  • We will use passive patient screening at hospital entrances. Please read posters and follow instructions.
  • Visitors must be fully vaccinated, meaning having received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Visitors must wear a hospital-approved surgical mask when entering the hospital, practice hand hygiene, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when visiting a patient. Mask and Purell dispensers are located at hospital entrances.
  • Go directly to the area for your appointment and do not circulate elsewhere in the hospital.
  • Sit in designated areas of the waiting rooms or in the care room. Leave immediately following your appointment.
  • The cafeteria is closed to the public. Vending machines are available. You may bring your own water or snack.
  • Use your credit card tap option (contactless) for paying parking fees at the exit gate.

We support Ontario’s plan to require proof of vaccination to access businesses.

As of January 4, 2022, to protect our patients, employees and physicians, we are only permitting essential caregivers in exceptional circumstances. Visitors will only be permitted in end-of-life circumstances.

Authorized persons are required to show a proof of vaccination, and if possible, a proof of a negative rapid antigen test, unless they are part of the exception list.

Exceptions are:

  • Those visiting patients at the end-of-life
  • Children under the age of 12
  • Support person for mothers giving birth
  • Essential caregivers (defined as a friend or family member helping a hospitalized patient with daily living activities)
  • Those who are essential visitors to accompany a patient to appointments if there is a need for translation or for vulnerable patients (i.e.: unilingual, developmental disabilities, vision, or hearing impairments).
  • People with medical exemptions who show their identification and a written document from a physician or nurse practitioner that confirms an allergic reaction to a component of the vaccine (confirmed by an allergist or immunologist), or a case of myocarditis or pericarditis after a first dose of a vaccine.

This policy does not apply to people receiving care in the Emergency Department, Medical Imaging and Cardiology, Ambulatory Clinics and Therapeutic Services.

Can I get tested for COVID-19?

On December 30, 2021, the province has updated its COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines.

Publicly funded PCR testing is now only available to high-risk individuals who are symptomatic or at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

  • If you have symptoms or were exposed to COVID-19, use the self-assessment tool to get a recommendation on what to do next. The tool is on the Ontario COVID-19 website.
  • If you have symptoms that you can manage, and your condition is stable, do not seek testing at the Emergency Department. Follow public health guidelines and isolate at home.
  • If you have symptoms that you are unable to manage and your condition is worsening, come to the HGH Emergency Department. For example, breathing difficulties or chest pain require prompt medical attention.

For more information on public health testing and isolation guidelines, visit:

Notice to international travellers
As of December 16, 2020, Ontario COVID-19 Assessment Centres will no longer provide testing for individuals before leaving for an international trip. You need to use paid testing services from Shoppers Drug Mart.

How do I book an appointment for COVID-19 testing?

You should only book an appointment if you are a high-risk individual with symptoms or if recommended by the provincial self-assessment tool.

Yes, HGH has opened a COVID-19 vaccination centre, by appointment only.

  • To be vaccinated, you must be part of an eligible group.
  • To verify your eligibility to vaccination and book an appointment, please use the Ontario online booking system.
  • The HGH Vaccination Centre is located at 750 Laurier Street in Hawkesbury.

Yes, the Emergency Department remains open 24 hours a day and provides safe care.

  • We offer the same level of emergency medical care as before.
  • Do not neglect your health. If you are worried about your condition, please come to the Emergency.

Note on COVID-19 testing

  • The Emergency Department is not a COVID-19 Testing Centre. Please follow guidelines in the testing section.
  • If you have symptoms that you can manage, and your condition is stable, do not seek testing at the Emergency Department. Follow public health guidelines and isolate at home.
  • If you have symptoms that you are unable to manage and your condition is worsening, come to the HGH Emergency Department. For example, breathing difficulties or chest pain require prompt medical attention.

Note on the Emergency Department services and wait times
The hospital is asking for the community’s support — by saving the Emergency Department for emergencies. We also ask for your collaboration and patience when you come to the Emergency as wait times may be longer than usual.

The following preventive measures will apply until further notice and may be modified without notification to ensure patient, staff and physicians’ safety.

  • All persons (patients and support persons) arriving will be verbally screened through a questionnaire.
  • You will have to disinfect your hands and wear the provided mask.
  • One person may accompany a patient to tirage. The person accompanying a patient is subject to the vaccination policy for visitors. People who have travelled outside of Canada or live with someone who has travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days are not permitted to accompany a patient, except for compassionate reasons.
  • In exceptional circumstances, a support person may remain with a patient after triage.
  • Only one parent can accompany a sick child (aged under 18) coming to the Emergency for care.

People who have travelled outside of Canada or live with someone who has travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days are not permitted to visit or accompany a patient except for compassionate reasons.

If someone is coming with you, they should leave you at the entrance and not enter the hospital, unless you have special needs. Authorized visitors are required to show a proof of vaccination, in accordance with our vaccination policy for visitors.

  • If you have a minor mobility problem, please arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. When you go through screening at the entrance, ask for a porter if you need help to travel within the hospital.
  • Only one parent can accompany a child under 18 years of age coming to HGH for an appointment.

One support person may accompany a patient that:

  • Has mobility problems;
  • Needs help to communicate;
  • Has complex mental health problems

Essential care partners are allowed only if the safety of patients, staff and physicians can be maintained.

Directives may change without notification.

Can I visit a patient at HGH?

Several pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted. The following guidelines will apply as of October 4, 2022 and may be modified without notification to ensure patient, staff and physicians’ safety.

  • Visitors must be fully vaccinated, meaning having received two doses.
  • We will use passive screening at hospital entrances. Please read posters and follow instructions.
  • Visitors must wear a hospital-approved surgical mask when entering the hospital, practice hand hygiene, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when visiting a patient. Mask and Purell dispensers are located at hospital entrances.
  • Visiting hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • A maximum of 2 visitors at the bedside are allowed on the MedSurg and Complex Continuing Care (CCC) units. This does not apply to ICU, ED and Family Birthing Centre (FBC) units.

Intensive Care Unit

  • Visitation is limited to one visitor per patient per day, except in exceptional circumstances.

Can I call a patient at HGH?

Yes, we strongly encourage families to in touch with their loved ones during their hospital stay. All patient rooms are equipped with a telephone.

  • To call a patient, dial 613-632-1111, then 0, and ask for the room number.
  • You may also communicate with patients through their cellphones and keep in touch with applications such as FaceTime or Zoom. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hospital.
  • If your loved one in the hospital has their own device (cell phone or tablet), but is having a hard time in contacting family through technology, you may call the nurses’ station and ask that we help this patient.

Can I deliver personal belongings to a family member hospitalized at HGH?

Yes, you can deliver personal belongings in a bag labelled with the patient’s name. Leave the bag at a screening table according to this schedule:

  • Monday to Friday between 6:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. – at the Main Entrance
  • Saturdays and public holidays between 6:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. – at the Main Entrance
  • Sundays and outside hours indicated above – at the Emergency Entrance

The bag will be delivered to the patient’s room within 2 to 3 hours. Porters have a fixed scheduled for these runs.

Please keep drop-offs of personal belongings to a minimum.

HGH is not responsible for personal belongings dropped off at screening tables.

Can I bring or have food delivered to the hospital for a patient?

Yes, it is possible. We recommend the use of disposable containers that a patient can warm up in a microwave oven. The cold food must be well packaged and placed in an insulated bag labelled with the patient’s name. It must be left at a screening table at the Main Entrance during the following hours only:

  • Monday to Friday between 6:45 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Saturdays between 6:45 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Deliveries to patients’ rooms are made according to porters’ fixed schedule and may take a few hours. Any non-disposable container will only be returned when the patient is discharged.

Restaurant food orders

Ordering food from a restaurant is strongly discouraged, however, if you must order, food must be prepaid.

  • The food must be labelled with the patient’s name and delivered at the Main Entrance during opening hours only.
  • Deliveries to patients’ rooms are made according to porters’ fixed schedule and may take a few hours.

We understand this is a difficult change, but this important precaution is to ensure the safety of everyone.

The cafeteria is currently closed to the public, but vending machines are available.

  • If possible, avoid eating while at HGH.
  • However, if you must eat, please respect physical distancing.
  • You may bring your own water bottle, snacks or meals.

Visitor Parking: the fees are $5.00 without in and out privileges. There is no charge for 30 minutes or less, according to the time posted on your entry ticket. This 30 minute grace period is valid during the pandemic only.

  • Use the tap feature on your credit card for contactless payment to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Tap is only available at the exit gate pay station.
  • If you do not have a tap credit card, you can pay with debit or cash at the indoor pay station.

All patients requiring hospitalization at HGH due to COVID-19 will receive all needed care and will be isolated to prevent the spread of the virus. This measure will allow us to safely care for and protect other patients.

Follow public health guidelines to protect everyone

  • Stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others outside of your household.
  • Practice physical distancing if you must go out. Stay at least two meters away from other people during your outings.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public places and when maintaining a safe physical distance is challenging.
  • Follow the recommendations of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

What can the COVID Alert Mobile App do for me?

  • The app is designed to protect yourself and your community by sending phone alerts to let you know that you may have been exposed to the virus. It also alerts others if you test positive without sharing any personal information.
  • For more information or to download the app, visit Covid-19 Ontario.

Should I screen my kids before sending them to school or child care?

Public health officials and governments publish regular updates on the number of cases as well as guidelines and preventive measures to follow. To stay informed, please visit the following websites: