Visitor Information


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.

The current direction can be found below.

Effective Thursday July 22, 2021 all inpatients with a hospital stay greater than three days will be allowed two dedicated Care Partners (and one alternate when required) for their length of stay.

Each inpatient may only have a Care Partner at the bedside at one time and a maximum of two visits per day. It can be any combination of Care Partner #1 and Care Partner #2.

Here are some examples:

  1. Care Partner #1 could visit at 11 a.m. and Care Partner #2 at 5 p.m. or vice-versa
  2. Care Partner #1 can come at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

All names and phone numbers must be provided to the unit and documented in the Health Centre’s electronic system.

*Patients with a length of stay of three days or less will continue with access for one designated Care Partner (and one alternate when required).

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 the two-hour limit and could be different people each day.  Everyone must be able to appropriately physically distance.

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

Up to one person may remain with an inpatient or outpatient at all times and is not restricted to the two-hour 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.

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

Important reminders for NBRHC care partners

  • You must be identified as the Care Partner (or alternate) of an inpatient before arrival
  • Care Partners are permitted one entry each day.
  • Care Partners must be screened before every entry and wear their mask at all times—even in the patients’ room.
  • 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.

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), click here for more information.

Care partner responsibilities

We are asking our Care Partners to help us ensure we can continue to safely welcome them into our facility by following these additional guidelines:

1) Avoid arriving before visiting hours start

We know that to avoid some of the line ups experienced at the beginning of our Care Partner process, some of you began arriving early and waited in the lobby. By arriving right at the start of visiting hours we can avoid crowding in our common areas.

2) Limit your travel in the building

Our Care Partners are asked to go straight to the unit and patient room they are here to visit, and straight out when they are ready to leave.

3) Wear your mask at all times – this includes both inside and outside of the building

We ask all our Care Partners to wear their mask at all times while in the facility, even when in the patient’s room.

4) No food or drink while visiting

To support wearing a mask at all times while in the facility, we are also asking you to avoid bringing food or drink into the hospital and/or purchasing food items to bring with you to the unit. Eating and drinking requires removing your mask and we require our Care Partners to wear their masks at all times. If you are bringing in food or beverage for the patient, please ensure it is individually packaged. Do not share. Discard waste and leftovers immediately after consuming.

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 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. & 5 to 8 p.m.). 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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Visitors Guide

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