Changes to some Ross Memorial guidelines: Community update

By Lindsay Advocate

Ross Memorial Hospital and partners are working together to prepare for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine locally, according to provincial guidelines, as more doses become available.

The province has launched a webpage to share updates and information about the vaccine. Until COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, it’s important to follow public health guidelines, according to a press release from RMH, and abide by the provincial lockdown measures.

“I am so proud of our team at RMH,” says Kelly Isfan, president and CEO, of RMH, “who have been working through the pandemic for a year now, continuing to provide safe care for our community. And, we continue to be grateful to the community for their support. While we are apart physically, our community is in this together.”

As cases rise in our community and across the province, the release notes there has been an increase in positive cases at our hospital as well. Ross Memorial Hospital has three COVID-19 positive inpatients in hospital. These patients are in isolation and their medical team continues to follow appropriate safety measures for the care of these and all patients, including appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Due to rising cases in our area, says the release, additional measures are being promoted for the safety of all patients, visitors and the hospital team.

Designated Visitors

Effective Jan. 6, visiting guidelines change from one visitor per patient, per day, to one designated visitor per patient, one visit per day. This means that each inpatient may select only one person as their designated visitor.

Masks Provided to All Patients and Visitors

Effective Jan. 7, RMH will be provide medical-grade masks for all patients and visitors. Patients and visitors should continue to wear their own cloth mask upon entering the hospital, and will be given a new mask at the screening station. This mask must be worn over the nose and mouth throughout the visit.

Care Programs and Surgeries Continue

RMH continues to provide in-person appointments for most care programs, while some programs can be conducted virtually. If an appointment were to change, your care provider or clinic will contact you. The surgical program has added additional days to their schedule to continue to address the backlog created by the earlier shutdown.

Heading to RMH for an appointment or to the Emergency Department

Come alone unless a support person is essential (for palliative patients, critically ill, children under the age of 18, or those with cognitive impairments). Do not bring food or drink. Bring your health card.

COVID-19 Testing at RMH

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre is by appointment only, Monday to Friday. Booking requests can be made by leaving a message at 705-328-6217 or by submitting a form at Depending on the individual’s symptoms and age, they may be instructed to proceed to Entrance A (the south Kent St. Entrance) for a test only or to proceed to Entrance B (west side of the building, past the Administrative entrance) for a test and physician assessment. If symptoms are severe, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion or losing consciousness, call 911 or proceed to the Emergency Department immediately.

Don’t Wait to Seek Emergency Care

The Emergency Department has seen a significant decrease in visits, but this does not mean our community members are not experiencing medical emergencies. “We’re here for you,” says Isfan, “and we don’t want you to delay a hospital visit if you need care.” If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please visit the Emergency Department:

  • Seizure or convulsions
  • A broken bone or wound requiring stitches
  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Stiff neck and sensitivity to light
  • Continuous vomiting or severe diarrhea with signs of dehydration
  • Sudden severe headache, weakness, vision problems, numbness/tingling, trouble speaking, dizziness

And, any infant under three 3 months old with fever over 38.5C/101F or has a fever and is difficult to wake should be seen at the Emergency Department.

For the latest information about Ross Memorial Hospital visitor guidelines, COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 activity, please visit:

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