KHSC will require proof of vaccination for inpatient visitors

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The Kingston Health Sciences Center will soon require proof of vaccination for people visiting inpatients at Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the KHSC explained that starting October 22, all people visiting patients staying at KHSC will be required to provide full proof of vaccination.

The schedule for the policy change is intended to align with the planned rollout of the province’s digital vaccine passport and the deadline by which KHSC staff must be fully immunized.

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The new policy is another effort by the KHSC to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in hospitals.

“We are taking this additional step necessary to protect the region’s most vulnerable patients, their families and our staff from COVID-19,” Elizabeth Bardon, KHSC Incident Commander, said in the statement. “We need to do everything we can to make sure we are able to continue providing care in the face of any wave of COVID-19 coming to Ontario. “

KHSC experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this summer, and two deaths have been linked to the outbreak.

“We know that unvaccinated people played an important role in a COVID outbreak at our KGH site this summer. The science is also clear: the COVID vaccine not only decreases an individual’s chances of spreading the virus, but also decreases the severity of COVID symptoms, the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. This is an important step in ensuring the safety of our patients and their families, as well as the staff, ”said Bardon.

Currently, KHSC has limits on family visitors, allowing each hospital patient to have two people registered, and patients have been encouraged to choose fully vaccinated visitors.

In addition to visitor limitations, KHSC’s vaccine verification requirement will be similar to other locations in Ontario. Visitors will be asked to present their full proof of vaccination as well as photo identification at the entrance to the hospital.

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There will be few exemptions from the policy, although decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

“We anticipate that exemptions to this policy will be rare but may be made in situations such as life-threatening emergencies where the presence of the family without delay is absolutely vital to the patient, family and the care team. “said Bardon.

While vaccination requirements for visitors can be onerous, the policy is to ensure that patients receive the support they need in the safest way possible.

“We recognize the important role families play in the lives of hospital patients. It’s another way for families to help keep our hospital safe for their loved ones, ”Bardon said.


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