ESHC Moves to Pandemic Response Stage 1A and Phase 2 of Visitor Policy

August 10, 2020

Erie Shores HealthCare has collaborated with our regional partners to create a plan that increases non-Pandemic services in a staged process. ESHC will now transition from Pandemic Response Stage 1B to 1A and move to Phase 2 of our visitor policy.


What does Stage 1A Mean?

Pandemic Response Stage 1A involves, among other things:

  • increased scheduling of urgent and non-emergent OR cases
  • increased utilization of outpatient and surgical clinics
  • increased outpatient bookings in the Diagnostic Imaging and Nuclear Medicine departments 

Yes. Depending on the increase of COVID-19 in the area and the amount of patients we see at ESHC.


These changes will impact every department in the Hospital and we will collectively need to monitor the impact. Our priority remains the health and safety of our staff and patients, ESHC continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally and globally and will address changes to the stages as needed.


What types of precautions are in place for patients coming in for procedures and surgeries? 

Consistent screening tools and risk assessment guidelines will be used. Patients will also be assessed 24-72 hours prior to surgery and upon arrival the day of surgery. Surgeries will be scheduled with time to accommodate additional cleaning and infection control measures.



All patients having elective surgery:

1. Pass screening questions or assessment at time of booking (by Dept. or Surgeon)

2. Pass screening questions or assessment day prior to appointment (by Dept.)

3. Pass screening questions or assessment on arrival to hospital (upon entry)


Testing:Patients booked for a procedure within the Operating Room (including Endoscopy).


  • COVID-19 testing 4 days prior to procedure date.
Precautions - All patients booked for a procedure in the Operating Room:
  • Request patient self-isolation for 7 days prior to procedure whenever possible.
  • Request limiting public activities and socialization for up to 14 days prior to appointment date.






*If you cannot keep your appointment, please call to cancel!*


Mammography: Screening mammography to be scheduled consistent with provincial guidelines. Max 85% utilization.


CT Scan: Priority 4/Non-urgent requests cancelled. Max 85% utilization.


Ultrasound: Routine requests cancelled (Injections, routine MSK, FNAs, reassessments, TV for ovarian cysts). Max 85% utilization.


Nuclear Medicine: The following tests will be cancelled: BMD, Carbon 14, Gastric emptying studies, Esophageal transit studies, Hepatobiliary studies with CCK for chronic acalculous cholecystitis or without for chronic calculous cholecystitis, CSF cisternograms for NPH, SPECT perfusion brain scans for dementia/MCI, Thyroid scans for nodules, RBC liver scans for hemangioma, Liver spleen scans for suspected FNH, Bone scans for: investigation of chronic pain, RSD/complex regional pain syndrome or Post Arthroplasty pain/loosening. Max 85% utilization.


Gastric: All outpatient gastric exams will be triaged.


X-ray: All x-rays will be scheduled. Max 85% utilization.



PFT: Perform only those outpatient requests for patients who need to qualify for new homeoxygen, scheduled surgeries and pre-transplant workups. Max 60% utilization.


Echocardiogram: Perform only those requests for new cardiac arrhythmia, suspected CAD to r/o WMAs, CVA/TIA related testing, clinical indication of tamponade, endocarditis, new or worsening CHF, precardioversion, pericarditis,or pre-chemotherapy. Max 85% utilization.


Stress: All elective/screening stress tests cancelled. Diagnostic stress testing to continue at MRP discretion. Max 85% utilization.


Holters: Holters will be performed for Syncope.



General Surgery Clinic: MRPs to cancel any patient with non-oncologic or non urgent need. Max 85% usual volume, max 1 person in waiting area.


Pain & Injection Clinics: MRPs to cancel any patient with non-urgent need. Max 85% usual volume, max 1 person in waiting area.


Ambulatory Care:

Blood Transfusion: Max 85% utilization, no use of waiting area.


IVIG: Max 85% utilization, no use of waiting area.


IV Iron Fusion: Orders considered on basis of urgency (e.g. Hgb <90 in general population, Hgb <100 in pregnant/high risk population). Max 60% utilization, no use of waiting area.


OTN Visits: Only acute based services will continue to run over OTN (i.e. Chemo. consultations). All

other appointments redirected.


INR Clinic: All arrangements for INR consultation or follow ups will be done in the community.


Pediatric Clinics: All pediatric clinics will be postponed/ cancelled or relocated within the community.


Infant Hearing: All infant hearing clinics will be postponed/ cancelled or relocated within the community.



Operating Room Waiting Areas: Visitors asked to remain off premises whenever possible and will be telephoned for information and pick up details. Maximum one person in waiting room.


Pre-Admission Surgical Screening: Closed.


Stress: All elective/screening stress tests cancelled. Diagnostic stress testing to continue at MRP discretion. Max 85% utilization with maximum 1 patient in waiting room.


Operating Room (General Surgery,Gynecologic, Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Dental Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Endoscopy): 2 lists per day, Max 85% utilization. All elective surgeries cancelled unless deferral poses life-threatening risk or serious health consequences anticipated by delay. Patient prioritization via standardized framework.


Obstetrics: Unchanged from baseline.



In addition to the essential visitation under Phase 1, the following is added under Phase 1 for Inpatient Units: family members of patients will select ONE essential visitor that will choose ONE time block to visit with the patient each day. The one essential visitor cannot attend both blocks. 



 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
1. One essential family member may be identified by each inpatient as their designated family member for the duration of their stay. This designated family member must be registered by the patient’s clinical unit and will be required to show ID at the hospital entrance.


2. Visitors will answer screening questions at the main entrance prior to entering the facility (if a visitor fails screening failed they will be denied entry into the hospital and referred to the Assessment Centre if required)


3. No Children under the age of 18;


4. All visitors must wear a surgical/procedural or cloth mask and/or additional PPE as required;


5. All visitors will be restricted to visitation in the patient’s room with no access to any common area.


6. Members of Spiritual Care allowed into facility for palliative patients


7. Emergency Department: A patient who is at imminent risk of dying may have a loved one present with them during their Emergency Department (ED) stay. Patients with cognitive or mobility difficulties may be accompanied by one person during their ED stay. Pediatric patients in the Emergency Department are permitted to be accompanied by one adult family member