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Further restrictions at QHC Belleville as visitors testing positive for COVID-19

Quinte Health Care (QHC) is taking additional action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by further limiting access to inpatient units currently in outbreak at Belleville General Hospital (BGH).

Over the past few days, there has been an increase in the number of visitors and care partners testing positive for COVID-19 on screening and being refused entry.

To avoid added risk to patients and the health care team, effective Tuesday, Jan. 17, with very few exceptions (e.g. end-of-life situations), QHC Belleville is temporarily pausing all visitor and care partner access to inpatient units currently in a COVID outbreak, or on COVID-watch (at heightened risk for an outbreak) at BGH.

The units include Quinte 6, Sills 3, Quinte 5 (currently on COVID-watch) and Sills 4 (currently on COVID-watch).

In mid-December, in response to continued COVID activity in the region and the prevalence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, QHC moved to its most restrictive visiting policy – Phase 3: Red. Since then, all permitted care partners and visitors must undergo and pass a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test at the screening station before they can visit their loved one on an inpatient unit.

“Care partners have an essential role in our patients’ wellbeing and recovery. Further restricting access at a time when we are already at our most restrictive level for care partners and visitors was an extremely difficult decision,” said Sarah Corkey, Interim Chief Nursing Officer, Quinte Health Care. “The visiting restrictions will be re-evaluated weekly, and when each outbreak is declared over, in order to resume visiting as soon as possible, based on community prevalence and unique risk level in each unit. In the meantime, we have virtual options in place to connect care partners and visitors to their loved ones in hospital.”

Virtual social visits can be set up by contacting virtualvisit@qhc.on.ca directly or by calling our Patient Experience direct line at 613-969-7400 extension 2033.

All units at QHC hospitals that are not in outbreak remain under the Phase 3: Red level of the care partner and visiting policy. Visit https://www.qhc.on.ca/visiting-hours-p12.php for more information.

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  1. Dee says:

    Realizing this is a serious move on the part of QHC and a significant and emotional restriction impacting both patients and family, I believe it is a necessary move in order to protect the life of patients who are already in a vulnerable state, and health care staff who are desperately needed to care for our loved ones.

    The health care system’s main purpose is to care for and ultimately heal the public who pass through their doors. Omnicron has threatened the achievement of that goal. Protecting all from exposure to this virus and variant through more restrictive policy in order to save lives and curb long term effects of the virus provides a safer environment for our family members and health care workers.

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