All enhanced infection control measures, including universal masking, remain in place

(Peterborough, ON) – The unique challenges of the Omicron wave of COVID-19 have required a different approach to many of PRHC’s practices. As we continue working to keep patients, visitors and healthcare workers as safe as possible while taking into account the importance of family presence to the overall well-being of our patients, we have adjusted our visiting restrictions as the situation has evolved.

As we begin to see a decrease in hospitalized cases and in patients requiring critical care for COVID-19, PRHC will move to a less restrictive phase of our temporary visiting policy, while continuing to keep all enhanced infection prevention and control measures in place throughout the hospital.

Beginning today, Tuesday, February 22:

  • Designated essential caregivers will be permitted for all inpatient groups, including general inpatients. In most cases, patients may have two designated caregivers registered, but only one caregiver per patient may be on the unit at a time.
  • Emergency Department (ED) patients aged 65+ will now be permitted to have a designated essential caregiver accompany them for support. This is in addition to ongoing ED guidelines, which permit essential caregiver presence for all patients with serious illness who require caregiver presence for assessment, diagnosis or support.
  • Newborns in the NICU and all pediatric inpatients will now be permitted two (2) caregivers per day.

Beginning March 1 (in conjunction with the next stage of provincial reopening), a limited number of seats will be reserved in the PRHC cafeteria to provide designated caregivers and hospital outpatients with a space to sit and eat/drink.

 Visiting hours for designated essential caregivers will continue to be 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., subject to additional restrictions as detailed on PRHC’s website.

PRHC continues to encourage the use of our Virtual Visiting program to support ongoing family presence while helping to keep our patients, staff and community safe. For more information about booking a visit through this program, read the FAQ document provided here.

What is a designated essential caregiver?

In the hospital setting, an essential caregiver or care partner is a person who provides support to an individual with limited capacity, an urgent medical condition, age-related issues, disability or chronic health concerns. Caregivers may be family, friends or neighbours, and there is no age requirement to provide care. Young caregivers, adult children, spouses and peers can all provide support. These individuals are considered essential when their presence is deemed beneficial to the assessment, diagnosis, and physical and/or mental health care of the patient.

Designated essential caregivers coming will continue to be screened at both public entrances and will be required to check in with their name and phone number at the hospital’s main information desk. They will be provided with a medical-grade mask which is to be worn at all times when in the hospital, including at all times when in the patient/bed area.

This phase of PRHC’s temporary visiting policy will remain in effect until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation and diligence as we work together to keep our patients, families and community safe. For other news, updates, information and resources related to COVID-19, visit our website at:


For more information: Michelene Ough | Director, Communications |