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HPHA Updates Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines
June 22, 2020

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) continues to review our Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent memorandum issued from the Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding visitors to acute care settings and the low prevalence of COVID-19 in Huron-Perth, HPHA is taking a careful, staged approach to relaxing family and caregiver presence restrictions. The health and safety of everyone will continue to be priority with each phase carefully monitored over time. As the pandemic evolves, HPHA will determine if it is necessary to change course, at any time, to maintain the safety of staff, patients and the community.HPHA also looks to support from our community to adhere to these guidelines.

“At HPHA, we understand that loved ones, families and caregivers are essential to the health, well-being and quality of life of our patients and we are committed to supporting this,” says Andrew Williams, President & CEO. “The updates to our Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines keep public health measures in place to protect our patients and staff and will be carefully monitored.”

Effective immediately,inpatients will be permitted one visitor per day who will be allowed to visit from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.Presence out of these times will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Patients who are in isolation precautions will not be allowed family or caregiver presence at this time but staff will help assist these patients with virtual and telephone visits.

Some other updates to HPHA’s Family and Caregiver Guidelines include:

One family, caregiver or guardian accompanying a patient:

  • Who is giving birth.
  • Who is an infant or child attending an outpatient procedure.
  • Who is an infant or child attending an emergency department visit.
  • Who requires assistance to manage their condition, disability or language barrier.
  • To an outpatient appointment.
  • To one of our Emergency Departments.
  • Undergoing a surgical procedure.

It is important to note for outpatient, surgical and emergency department accompaniment, family or caregiver may be asked to wait outside or in their car while the patient receives care and treatment to facilitate physical distancing.

Patients who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care will be allowed support by multiple family members and/or caregivers however, only one person will be permitted at a time with the patient.

Family and caregivers must be 16 years or older. Younger individuals will be considered on a case-by-case visit.

As is the current practice, all those entering HPHA hospital sites will be screened at the designated entrances which are as follows:

  • Clinton Public Hospital – Emergency Department
  • St. Marys Memorial Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Seaforth Public Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Stratford General Hospital
    • Main Entrances (Cambria & West Gore St. from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
    • Emergency Department (for emergency care and after hours 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.)


Family and caregivers will be given a mask after passing screening and must wear the mask throughout their visit, along with wearing any other personal protective equipment as required. Frequent hand-washing is encouraged and visiting can only take place in the patient’s room.

There are times when family and caregivers should not visit their loved ones in the hospital, especially if they are not feeling well.

“To keep our patients safe, we ask that family members and caregivers not visit if they are feeling unwell, have been outside of Canada in the last 14 days, have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results, or if they have had close contact with a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19,” adds Williams.

Click here to see the full update to HPHA's Family and Caregiver Guidelines.