COVID-19

July 7, 2020 Cases reported to Halton Public Health

Joseph Brant Hospital is currently caring for 0 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Joseph Brant Hospital is working closely with regional and provincial health partners to monitor the evolving situation, assess local risk and keep our community informed. 

This page is reviewed daily and updated as needed. Please check back regularly.

Information for patients and families about COVID-19

We are working closely with regional and provincial health partners to monitor the situation, assess ongoing risk and keep our community informed.

The latest evidence from local data suggests that physical distancing and other public health measures are helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region. 

To continue flattening the curve, it is important for we continue to take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Stay home as much as possible and practice physical distancing.

You can find up-to-date information about COVID-19 from the: 

What to do if you believe you have COVID-19

Symptoms 

Symptoms range from mild (like the flu and other common respiratory infections) to severe. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever 
  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath 
  • sore throat
  • nasal congestion, runny nose or sneezing (without other known cause, such as seasonal allergies)
  • hoarse voice
  • difficulty swallowing
  • loss of sense of smell or taste
  • nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • chills
  • pink eye

Symptoms in children, older persons and people living with a developmental disability may be atypical (such as unexplained fatigue or falls).

For a full list of symptoms, please refer to the Ontario Ministry of Health website.

Assessment & Testing

The Government of Ontario is now encouraging all Ontarians to get tested for COVID-19 if:

  • they have at least one symptom of COVID-19, even mild.
  • they are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. 
  • they are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment.   

No one who is symptomatic or is concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19 will be declined a test at an Assessment Centre.

Joseph Brant Hospital COVID-19 Assessment Centre

If you are concerned you have COVID-19, you can get tested at the Joseph Brant Hospital COVID-19 Assessment Centre. To ensure physical distancing and avoid crowding, testing at the centre is by appointment only.  

How to book an appointment

To book an appointment, please call 905-632-3737 ext. 6550. Leave a message with your name and contact information.  You will be called back to arrange your appointment.

Where to go for your appointment

When you arrive for your scheduled testing appointment, please park in the North Shore parking lot. The entrance to the testing centre is at the rear of the parking lot, facing the intersection of North Shore and Maple.

Please go directly to the centre. It is the former Cancer Clinic entrance.

When to go to the emergency department instead

You should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department if you are currently experiencing:

  • severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)
  • severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)
  • feeling confused or unsure of where you are
  • losing consciousness
For infants under 3 months

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department if your child:

  • has a fever
  • is having trouble breathing
  • appears unwell
For infants and children over 3 months

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department if your child has any of the following symptoms:

  • fever longer than 7 days
  • fever with a rash
  • has a compromised (weakened) immune system with a fever
  • breathing faster than usual or trouble breathing
  • bluish skin colour
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • not waking up or not interacting
  • is so irritable that they do not want to be held
  • constant vomiting

Test Results

If you have been tested for COVID-19, you can view your results online using MyChart™. MyChart™ is a free, secure online tool providing patients access to medical records and personal health information

If you do not have a MyChart™ account, you can register for one online. Test results will be available in 3 to 7 days.

If your results are positive, you will receive a call from Halton Region Public Health.

Screening measures for COVID-19 at Joseph Brant Hospital 

Infection prevention and control screening measures are in place to protect patients, visitors and staff. Patients arriving to the hospital or moving between care areas will be asked: 

  • your name and contact information
  • purpose for your visit
  • if you have symptoms associated with COVID-19 
  • contact with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19

If you are a patient and symptomatic:

  • in consultation with the care team, diagnostics or treatment may be provided with additional precautions
  • in consultation with the care team your diagnostic test, procedure or treatment may be cancelled or rescheduled

If you are a visitor or vendor who is symptomatic:

  • you will not be permitted access to the hospital
  • instructions and contact information for follow up will be provided

Screening information will be recorded to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing and case management if needed. Patient and visitor privacy will be maintained.  

Active screening locations

As we gradually reintroduce hospital programs and services, we are re-opening additional entrances to ensure patients and visitors can safely and easily access the hospital from all parking locations.

Entrances to the North Tower, South Tower and the Pedestrian Bridge linking the hospital to the Parking Garage will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with active screening.

The Emergency Department entrance is open 24 hours a day for emergency patients and can be used for entry after hours.

To get to where you need to go more quickly, we would suggest you choose the entrance closest to your destination.

North Tower Entrance

Access for patients visiting ambulatory care (outpatient) clinics and to visitors to North Tower units.

South Tower Entrance

Access for Oncology Clinic and Surgical patients and visitors to the South Tower.

Please talk to your care team if you have any questions.

Parking

Visitors are asked to park in the parking garage and North Tower Lots #1-4, with the exception of COVID-19 Assessment Centre patients who can park in Lot #5.

Please note that the doors from the parking garage to the Hamilton McMaster Family Heath Centre will remain locked. Please enter through the main entrance on the ground level.

Map of Parking Lots and Entrances

Effective June 15, the hospital will resume paid parking for its visitors. Please visit our Parking & Directions page for an overview of our rates and permits.

Same-day Reentry

If you leave the hospital and plan to return the same day, you will be screened again. 

Wearing a mask 

Joseph Brant Hospital is taking special precautions to keep patients, visitors and staff safe. With this in mind, we have made changes to our masking policy. 

Starting July 9, we are mandating the use of masks while in hospital.

Mask Policy for Patients and Visitors

  • Patients and visitors must wear a mask when in hospital. Whereever possible, they are asked to bring a mask from home. If they do not have a mask, a mask can be provided upon entry.
  • Inpatients must also wear a mask when they leave their rooms.
  • Patients who fail screening and are granted admission to the hospital will be provided a mask on entry. 
  • Visitors who do not pass screening will not be permitted to visit.

While our hospital remains a safe place, we want to provide the highest level of safety possible. This policy is consistent with other hospitals in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant area, and reflects our commitment to addressing the need of our community.

The safety of our patients, visitors, staff and physicians is our top priority.

Visitor guidelines

Joseph Brant Hospital appreciates the vital role family and caregivers play in supporting patients while in hospital. As the situation begins to stabilize, we have begun to gradually and safely welcome visitors back to our hospital.

Inpatient care areas

Each inpatient can identify up to two designated consistent visitors for the entirety of their stay. The names of approved visitors will be shared with hospital screeners and confirmed on entry.

Only one visitor may be at the bedside at a time on the designated day

Ambulatory Care

Ambulatory Care patients are not permitted to have a visitor accompany them at this time. Some exceptions apply: 

  • Oncology and medical daycare
    • Limited to one adult visitor in exceptional circumstances only (determined by clinical team based on patients clinical condition)
  • Paediatric outpatients
    • One parent/caregiver
  • Diagnostic Imaging
    • Obstetrical Ultrasound: one visitor
    • Sedated procedures: one visitor
    • Paediatric patients: one parent/caregiver
    • Interventional Radiology: one visitor pre-procedure and pre-discharge.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitor screening closes at 7:30 p.m. Entry will not be permitted after this time.

Designated days

Designated days are determined by bed (for shared rooms) or room number. Patients with odd bed numbers can receive visitors on odd days; patients with even bed numbers can receive visitors on even days.

Visitor Conditions

All visitors must:

  • Be designated by the patient and recorded by the care unit
  • Go through and pass active screening
  • Wear a mask 
  • Follow strict hand hygiene guidelines
  • Stay in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit
  • Eat in the patient’s room to reduce community exposure. This is not permitted if the patient is on additional isolation precautions
  • Ensure any food brought in is individually packaged and not shared. All leftovers must be discarded and cannot be kept in unit fridges
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Use public washroom(s). Visitors are not to use patient washrooms.
  • Consult with clinical team to determine length of visit
  • Not come in and out of the unit, or the hospital. Once you leave, you cannot come back until the next visiting time

Please understand these rules are intended to keep everyone in the hospital safe

Visitor Responsibilities Handout for Family Members & Caregivers

FAQs Visitor and Mask Guidelines

Sharing your feedback

Patients and visitors with concerns about our visitor policy are asked to share this information with their health care team so that they can work with you to meet your needs.  If further support is required, please contact Patient Relations

Keeping you connected

Wherever possible, patients are encouraged to connect with their loved ones by telephone or by video. To help keep you connected, we are offering free telephone and WiFi to patients.

Having a baby during COVID-19

The changes are based on guidelines provided by the Ontario Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health. 

Care Partners & Visitors

Labouring women may be accompanied by a single care partner during labour, birth and the postpartum period. Visitors are not permitted. 

Labour & Delivery 

The care partner can stay for the labour and birth of the baby with no time restrictions. Some conditions apply. 

  • The care partner must wear personal protective equipment at all times.
  • The care partner must remain in the room at all times. 

Mother and Child Unit (Maternity)

After the baby is born, the new mother will be moved to the Mother and Child Unit (Maternity). The care partner is welcome to stay overnight with mother and baby starting on July 2, 2020. 

We realize that many new mothers require additional support and help during the night. Extra staff have been added to help support these needs. 

Gradual reintroduction of programs and services 

Joseph Brant Hospital is working to gradually and safely reintroduce programs and services paused by COVID-19. We have developed a plan to gradually phase in non-urgent procedures and services — balancing the need for care with a readiness to respond to surge of COVID-19.

The following services are now resuming on a non-urgent basis:

  • Surgeries
  • Diagnostic Imaging

If your appointment or procedure was cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, your physician or surgeon’s office will contact you with the new date.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your doctor’s office for support. If you are experiencing serious symptoms, please call 9-1-1 or go to their nearest emergency department.

Infection prevention and control

Joseph Brant Hospital is committed to providing a safe environment for patients, families, visitors and staff. To help prevent the spread of infections we ask that you refer to our:

Physical distancing and self-isolation

Physical distancing (social distancing) involves taking steps to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting close contact with others. Help protect the safety and health of you, your family and friends, and the community by following these measures:

Physical distancing do's

  • Stay home as much as possible, only going out for essentials.
  • If you must go out in public, keep a 2 metre (6-foot) distance from other people.
  • Use technology to keep in touch.
  • Shop online and arrange to have things dropped off at home if possible.
  • When in public, wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub.

Physical distancing don'ts

  • Don't leave home if you feel sick.
  • Don't congregate in public, including street parties, pick-up sports or meetings at playgrounds and parks.
  • Don't have visits with neighbours and friends, play dates, coffee dates, sleep overs or parties.
  • Don't visit long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other institutional care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential.
  • Don't shake hands, hug or kiss cheeks in greetings.

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