Visitor restrictions being tightened at London, St. Thomas hospitals

(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / 4774344sean)

Patients at London hospitals temporarily won’t be allowed to have any visitors deemed non-essential.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) announced tighter visitor restrictions as the number of new COVID-19 cases in the region reached a record  high on Thursday.

Under the new rules, all non-essential visits to Victoria Hospital, University Hospital, and Children’s Hospital are prohibited. One essential caregiver will be allowed to visit patients at a time and two essential caregivers will be permitted for inpatients at Children’s Hospital and those in palliative care.

“As the Omicron variant spreads rapidly, it’s imperative to implement these measures to maintain a safe environment for patients, families, staff and physicians at LHSC and Children’s Hospital,” Robert Sibbald, the hospital’s director of patient experience, said in a statement. “We know that families and friends help patients heal and we are working hard to balance this factor with the need for enhanced safety during this difficult time.”

The new rules go into effect Friday.

Essential caregivers include individuals supporting women who are in labour, parents of children, and relatives of those in palliative care.

Patients are encouraged to work with their healthcare team to identify essential caregivers who can visit based on “safety, ability to support care delivery, or compassionate reasons.”

St. Joseph’s Health Care London and St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital have similar visitor restrictions in place. All essential caregivers wanting to enter St. Joseph’s Health Care are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, along with government issued photo identification.