Image: McLaren Thumb Region

Following limitations put in place by the Bay region branch, McLaren Caro and Thumb region will be implementing similar visitors restrictions.

The move comes as local COVID19 numbers continue to rise and the new Omicron variant begins to spread.

Effective 7am, Wednesday, December 8th, only visitors deemed “necessary” may be permitted at their main hospital campuses.

Visitors will be deemed “necessary” and may be allowed if they meet one of the following criteria, and have passed COVID-19 screening:
-A designated family birth partner
-A visitor who is a guardian/power of attorney for a patient
-A visitor who is a family of a patient during imminent death, under direct care of the facility
-A patient requires a sitter, and a family member is qualified to act in that capacity
-Pastoral care visits
and Additional exigent circumstances (to be determined on a case-by-case basis)

For surgical, procedural, and other outpatient areas:
Visitors who are waiting to drive a patient home after care such as sedation, post-surgical, or cardiovascular procedures, one visitor may be allowed up if they pass the screening. The visitor may be asked to provide a phone number and wait outside for the physician to call after the patient’s procedure. A visitor who fails the screening will be asked to wait in their vehicle until the patient procedure is complete.

A inpatient who is having surgery may be allowed one visitor on the day of surgery in the pre-op area; however, they will be required to leave after the patient is discharged from the surgical area.

Any patient who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who is on droplet precautions awaiting test results, will not be able to have visitors (even if they meet the requirements for a “necessary” visitor) unless an exception is approved by hospital administration.

Dr. Norman Chapin, McLaren Chief Medical Officer said in a statement regarding the limitations moving to new branches of the healthcare provider’s system “[…]we have made the difficult decision to put in place these visitor restrictions. It is our responsibility to help keep our patients, staff, and community safe, and we believe limiting the number of individuals entering the hospital will help do so.”

He adds McLaren will assist patients with virtual visits whenever possible through FaceTime, Zoom, or other appropriate technology to ensure they can stay connected with their loved ones.”