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What to Expect at HPHA During COVID-19: Screening & Temporary Changes to Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines
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What to Expect at HPHA During COVID-19: Screening & Temporary Changes to Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines
April 27, 2020

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) is taking special precautions to keep patients, families, caregivers and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. These precautions include screening and temporary changes to our Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines.


HPHA has closed all non-essential entrances in an effort to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Patients and family/caregivers are asked to enter through the following entrances:
  • Clinton Public Hospital – Emergency Department
  • St. Marys Memorial Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Seaforth Community Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Stratford General Hospital
    • Main Entrances (Cambria St. & West Gore St.) 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Emergency Department (for emergency care and after hours, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
Anyone entering an HPHA hospital site will be asked to share:
  • your name
  • purpose for your visit
  • if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness
  • recent travel history
  • a body temperature reading
Screening information will be recorded to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing and case management if needed. Patient, family and caregiver privacy will be maintained.

Screening may lead to line-ups and delays entering the hospital. Plan ahead. Leave early and allow for extra time. We appreciate your patience.

If you are screened without risk, you will be permitted entry to the hospital. Staff will direct you to your appointment location/loved one’s unit.

Please note you will be provided with a disposable medical grade mask and asked to wear it for the duration of your visit. If you come to the hospital wearing a cloth mask, you will be asked to remove that mask. If during your visit, your mask becomes wet or soiled, it must be replaced. New masks can be obtained from health care staff.

If you arrive at a hospital site with gloves on, you will be asked to remove your gloves and perform hand hygiene frequently during your visit.

Same-day Re-entry
If you leave the hospital and plan to return the same day, you will be screened again.

If You Do Not Pass Screening
Anyone who does not pass active screening will be provided with the appropriate next steps.



Temporary changes were made to our family and caregiver presence guidelines on March 19, 2020.

We understand that loved ones, families and caregivers are essential to the health and well-being of our patients. In these times, it is necessary to protect the well-being of all patients by limiting traffic in and out of the hospital and practicing physical distancing.

We ask that only 1 (one) family member/caregiver be present under the following exceptional circumstances:
  • Your loved one is receiving end-of-life care or is critically ill
  • You are a care partner of a patient giving birth
  • You are a parent of an infant or child in hospital
  • You are a caregiver providing care and support to a patient who needs assistance to manage their acute and/or chronic condition or disability and would otherwise be at risk if you were not available
We ask that the family member / caregiver be 16 years of age or older; special circumstances will be considered.

HPHA will help loved ones, families and caregivers stay connected with free WiFi and telephone services. Free television services will also be offered as appropriate.

Food and Personal Items for Patients
Patients may want to receive personal items such as clothing, toiletries or other essential items for their care.

ONLY the approved items listed below can be dropped off. We ask that you put these items in a clear plastic bag. Staff will write the patient’s name and room number on the bag ensure it is delivered to your loved one.

We can only accept minimal food and personal items for patients for infection control reasons and the safety of our staff and patients. These items include:
  • glasses, hearing aids and dentures
  • NEW toiletries only
  • NEW grooming items – toothbrushes, combs, hair brushes, razors
  • Personal items- books, magazines, puzzle books, family photos etc.
  • Mobile phone/tablet,
  • Clean clothing required for patients who are being imminently discharged.
  • Food from family/caregivers will only be accepted if it was prepared in a kitchen inspected by the Public Health (i.e. Commercial Kitchen such as a restaurant). Food in manufacturer’s packaging that is unopened is also acceptable.
We will not accept items from a person delivering them that does not pass the screening criteria. Please do NOT Bring items to hospital if you:
  • Are symptomatic
  • Have been outside of Canada in last 14 days
  • Have been tested for COVID-19
  • Have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
If you are requesting special approval for non-approved items or if you are ill, you will be instructed by a staff member at the entrances to contact the manger on the unit where your loved one is for further instructions. For certain items that cannot be wiped down we will store them in a safe location for 72 hours prior to providing to your loved one.

Outpatient Appointments & Emergency Department Visits
We ask that 1 (one) family member/caregiver accompany a patient to routine outpatient procedures and/or our Emergency Department if support is needed to help manage the patient’s condition or disability and they would be at risk if they were alone.

Please note that if you or a loved one needs urgent medical attention, please don’t delay visiting our Emergency Departments. They continue to be a safe place to receive care.

We thank you for your partnership in helping us keep our patients, staff, and community safe during these challenging times.