The key word is “essential” in the latest restriction on visitors to Timmins and District Hospital.

Infection control coordinator Jodie Russell says the new policy is based on a definition from the chief medical officer of Ontario, in response to COVID-19.

“Visitors for a dying patient,” he says, beginning the list. “Visitors or support person or guardian for an ill child or youth and essential visitors for a person giving birth during labour and up to four hours post-delivery.”

One of the four current local cases of COVID-19 is in intensive care at TADH.  Russell says with most regular services suspended, he hospital looks dramatically different from normal.

Hospital CEO Blaise (Blaze) MacNeil says it’s working with colleagues across the north on a regional COVID-19 response.

“In addition we’re working with the other hospitals in the Cochrane subregion,” he elaborates.  “We’re clearly working on a surge plan to see how many hospital beds to be freed up in th event of further requirement for C-19 hospitalization.”