OCTOBER 29, 2021 – For the protection of staff, physicians, and vulnerable patients, Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) will require visitors and essential care partners to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to enter the hospital starting November 1, 2021. This will not apply to patients.
By implementing this direction, CCH joins other hospitals in the Champlain region who have already started or will begin requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for visitors and essential care partners in the coming weeks.
“From the onset of the pandemic, we made a commitment to our staff, physicians, and community to do everything we can to ensure their safety. To do so we have taken guidance from trusted public health authorities and have received clear direction that vaccination is one of the most effective ways to control the transmission of COVID-19 and to reduce the severity of the illness,” said Jeanette Despatie, President and CEO.
In August, CCH announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for its staff and physicians following direction from the provincial government. According to the policy, anyone working or learning onsite at CCH had to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15. Approximately 98% of 1151 active employees and all physicians at CCH provided proof of full vaccination by the October 15 deadline.
“Our staff and physicians have stepped up to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for their own protection and that of our patients. We now expect visitors to provide that same level of protection for our staff and vulnerable patients at risk,” added Despatie.
CCH recognizes that exceptions may have to be granted for compassionate reasons, which is why the hospital will be providing exceptions for certain circumstances which may require family presence.
Residents are still urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as these exceptions will be limited to exceptional circumstances and also because Cornwall has been experiencing uniquely high rates of infections and hospitalizations in Ontario due to the city’s lagging vaccination numbers.
Recently the hospital announced it would again be temporarily closing operating rooms and postponing elective surgeries due the strain that the pandemic was having on its resources.
“It’s all the more reason why we need to implement this direction as soon as possible to protect our staff, physicians and vulnerable patients who may be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, even if they are vaccinated,” noted Despatie.
If you are coming to the hospital and are not a patient, please ensure that you have proof of vaccination and a piece of government-issued photo identification readily available.
For more information on CCH’s current visitation restrictions, proof of vaccination requirements and exceptions, please visit: www.cornwallhospital.ca/en/VisitingHours.