Pandemic Visitation Policy

What to know when visiting a patient during the pandemic at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute

The City of Ottawa is now classified as a COVID-19 Red Zone: general visitation is therefore restricted. Visitors may be approved for compassionate or practical reasons (e.g., for translation or decision-making purposes or to provide consent on behalf of a patient receiving care).

Staff of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute understand this is an unpreceded time in our history, and one made ever more difficult for you and your family while a loved one is recovering from a cardiac surgery or procedure.

Our patients, many who come to us with pre-existing heart conditions, are particularly vulnerable to infection and face a higher risk of illness and mortality resulting from COVID-19. We are taking every precaution to keep our patients safe. For this reason, the Heart Institute must continue to restrict visitation for the time being.

Here are the steps we are taking to keep everyone safe (applicable to all visitors):

  • Families must contact the unit where the patient is admitted requesting visitation.
  • When you come in for a visit, you will be screened at the entrance. 
  • In some instances, it is possible that you could be denied access based on your symptoms and travel history. 
  • You will be asked to restrict your presence to the patient’s bedside as much as possible.
  • If you leave the building, please be advised it is possible you might be denied re-entry.
  • Our staff will inform you about the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE), will provide direction on how to remove your PPE, and will escort you out. Designated hospital staff must meet with visitors to observe their application of PPE. After the visit, staff must observe the removal of PPE and escort the visitors from the hospital.
  • Our staff will provide you with information about self-monitoring based on your clinical risk of exposure and screening. You may be subject to additional testing or quarantine after visitation.
  • In the case of a COVID-19 outbreak, no visitors will be permitted into the affected area.

We thank you for your understanding and collaboration.

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