Coronavirus: Hamilton General, Juravinski among hospitals screening staff, visitors for COVID-19

On Thursday, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) hospitals will begin COVID-19 screening protocols, and the agency is recommending patients and visitors arrive earlier than expected to its health-care facilities.

In a release, the agency said it’s not only running screenings for the new coronavirus but that it has also begun restricting visitors to the hospital, allowing only one visitor per patient at a time between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

With the new screening process, access to the hospitals will be reduced to main entrances as well as parking and emergency entrances, where available.

The affected hospitals are Hamilton General, Juravinski, Juravinski Cancer Centre, McMaster University Medical Centre, St. Peter’s, and West Lincoln Memorial.

Upon arrival, patients and visitors can expect to be asked general questions about their current health, recent travel history and contact with those who have recently travelled overseas.

Earlier in the week, HHS converted some clinic appointments to online virtual care sessions to reduce traffic in its hospitals.

All non-urgent, scheduled care and procedures, as well as ambulatory clinics, have already been paused.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton began their COVID-19 screening protocols on Tuesday and is recommending staff, patients and visitors arrive at health-care facilities at least 30 minutes before any scheduled appointments.

St. Joe’s also began restricting visitors to the hospital, allowing only one family member at a time between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The hospital goes on to say it’s suspending elective surgeries and other non-emergency activities in addition to encouraging online virtual visits to reduce face-to-face, non-essential clinic visits as set out in guidelines by the provincial government to maximize resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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