Visitor Information

Please note that for the safety of everyone, in-person visits are not allowed for COVID-19 suspected or positive patients except in extenuating circumstances such as end-of-life or labour and delivery and trauma.  Where a care partner is permitted to be with a COVID-positive patient, they will isolate with their family member and must adhere to all infection prevention and control requirements.  In all other cases, the unit will help accommodate virtual care and support.  

 Care Partners that choose not to follow all requirements put in place to protect our hospital community will be asked to leave immediately.


As the province, and our district, move through the various stages of the Roadmap to Reopen, our Health Centre will take a cautious approach to assess the impact of reopening. A period of stabilization will follow these changes to allow our hospital to assess the impact of changing case counts or upticks as a result of major external developments.

Generally, Care Partners will be encouraged to attend the hospital between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., however some areas such as Critical Care Unit (CCU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Oak/Nickel Lodges have specific times set based on the care needs of their patient population.

Each inpatient may have up to two Care Partners at the bedside at one time and Care Partners have the option of entering and exiting throughout the day.

Please note that for the safety of everyone, in-person visits are not allowed for COVID-19 suspected or positive patients except in extenuating circumstances. In these cases, the unit will help accommodate virtual visits using technology such as iPads.

Previous restrictive entry is still in place in outpatient areas (Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinics) except in extenuating circumstances.


Two dedicated visitors are allowed in the building at one time to provide end-of-life support to a patient. These visitors are also not restricted to a time limit and could be different people each day.  Everyone must be able to appropriately physically distance.

Up to one person may remain with an inpatient or outpatient at all times and is not restricted to the time limit if they are:

  • support for a vulnerable patient (under the age of 18, cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate)
  • support for a patient experiencing a life altering event (end of life, critically ill, trauma)

Care partner access is subject to change based on a number of internal and external factors including COVID-19 activity in the community and Health Centre and the individual patient’s progression of care.

Process for care partners supporting inpatients

  1. Enter at East Main Entrance.
  2. Receive screening before entering the hospital–could be turned away if they don’t meet the criteria.
  3. Present to Information Desk and provide name, patient name and phone number.
  4. Receives the following:
    1. Care partner guide
    2. Care partner identification (sticker “I am a care partner”)

If you are visiting a loved one in Kirkwood Campus (Sudbury).

Care partner responsibilities

To continue to safely welcome Care Partners into NBRHC there is the expectation that the following guidelines continue to be carefully followed:

  • Provide Care Partner names and phone numbers to the unit, so they can be documented in the Health Centre’s electronic system.
  • Avoid arriving before visiting hours start. Care Partners must be screened before every entry.
  • Care Partners are asked to present at team station upon arrival at the unit, only go to the patient’s room and limit travel within the building.
  • Follow infection prevention and control measures: wear your mask at all times, wash your hands and practise respiratory etiquette (cover sneezes, coughs) and physical distancing.
  • Refrain from eating and drinking in the patient’s room.
  • Use public washroom(s) and not patient washrooms.

Thank you for working with us to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at NBRHC.

Frequently asked questions

What is the definition of a designated care partner?

It refers to people—family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, community members—who provide critical and often ongoing personal, social, psychological and physical support, assistance and care, without pay for people in need of support due to frailty, illness, degenerative disease, physical/cognitive/mental disability, or end of life circumstances.

Designated care partners are distinct from casual visitors as they are most familiar with the patient’s diagnosis and health status, have been performing health care, treatment and personal tasks for a patient with complex needs, they know their loved one best and are uniquely attuned to subtle changes in their behaviour or status.

It is recommended that care partner presence include, but not be limited to:

  • Those with critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end of life, and medical assistance in dying and the deceased.
  • Presence paramount to the patient’s physical care and mental well-being, including:
    • Assistance with meals;
    • Assistance with mobility;
    • Assistance with personal care;
    • Communication assistance for persons with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments;
    • Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities;
    • Provision of emotional support;
    • Supported decision making; and
    • Pediatric care, labour and delivery.
  • Presence required to move belongings in or out of a patient’s room.
  • Presence to support discharge.

Children could be a dedicated care partner. A care partner who is a child (a young caregiver, defined as children and youth as young as 8 years old) has to be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member.

Who determines who is a care partner?

Patients should be the one to determine their designated care partner. This could be a loved one, friend, family, neighbour, colleague, community member.  A patient who has a substitute decision maker (SDM) can choose someone other than their SDM to be their care partner.

What is the definition of end of life?

End-of-life is defined as having a Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) of 30 percent or less.

Do the same visitor restrictions apply if I am discharged or transferred from another hospital?

It’s important to note that care partner access varies by organization (other hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes) and patients might experience different restrictions between facilities.

Are outdoor visits appropriate?

In some areas, outdoor visits (weather permitting) could be an appropriate option and is at the discretion of the care team.  Visitors must follow the same requirements set out for indoor visits and these visits must take place in designated areas (as approved by the unit manager) and only with the designated care partner.

I heard that long-term care homes require visitors to get mandatory testing, why is testing not mandated for hospitals?

Currently, testing is not mandated for visitors entering our Health Centre.  The decision to move to new visitor limitations was based on low COVID-19 activity in our district, strong screening precautions and on-site surveillance being done by infection prevention and control.

If I am not a designated care partner, how can I stay connected to my loved one?

While we have visitor limitations in place, we want to ensure that you stay connected with your loved one who is in the hospital during this time. Virtual care and family connection is strongly encouraged and should be supported where in-person connection is not possible.

Below are some ways you can stay connected.

Telephone calls:
There are no fees for local calls on bedside phones.

Internet access:
There are no fees for internet access at the bedside.

Free Wi-Fi:
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we are pleased to be able to provide free basic Wi-Fi internet access until further notice, to help everyone stay better connected with family and friends.

How can I drop off items for my loved one?

With the introduction of care partners (essential visitors) into the facility, we ask that food deliveries (please ensure it is individually packaged, do not share & discard waste and leftovers immediately after consuming) and patient belongings (e.g. clean clothing, electronic device with the charger, toiletries) now be brought in with care partners during dedicated visiting hours. If the assigned care partner is unable to assist, special arrangement can be made for personal belongings that are dropped off at the screening desk. NBRHC does not have capacity to accept food deliveries for inpatients.

North Bay

50 College Drive,
P.O. Box 2500
North Bay, ON
P1B 5A4
Tel: 705-474-8600

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680 Kirkwood Drive,
Sudbury, ON
P3E 1X3
Tel: 705-675-9193
Fax: 705-675-6817

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Floor Plans

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Visitors Guide

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