PARRY SOUND, ON-The West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC) is reviewing the safety conditions for changes to the essential visitor policy.

The health centre said while visitor restrictions have not gone away, they are taking a cautious approach to revisit its ongoing essential visitor policy.

Following the initial mid-March decision to all acute care hospitals to restrict visitors, a June 16th memo to all facilities from the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams recommends that existing visitor policies regarding essential visitors should be revised.

The current policy states no visitors are being allowed for all in-patient units, out-patient clinics, emergency departments, and intensive care units.

Patients, obstetrics and palliative care are being allowed one visitor at a time, all authorized visits are absolutely restricted to one visitor in the health centre at a time, and all visitors must be symptom-free.

While the Chief Medical Officer of Health would like to see more residents returning to hospitals, the memo also notes that important health and safety precautions will also have to be in place.

The staff at WPSHC are currently considering the visitor policy revisions as part of the health centre’s overall return to normal conditions.

“Changes to our current visitor restrictions will prioritize safety, careful use of all resources and will be considered as part of the health centre’s gradual resumption of services,” said the health centre. “Current restrictions will not be revised until we can fully evaluate and understand the impact of having additional members of the public inside the health centre. Input will be sought from the WPSHC Patients and Family Advisory Council.”

Health centre CEO Donald Sanderson said that due to the pandemic continuing throughout the province, the precautions necessary to provide safety for the patients and staff cannot be relaxed.