COVID-19 Information For PRH Patients, Visitors and Our Community

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution - For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution including eligibility and appointment booking process, please visit www.rcdhu.com


Major changes have taken place at the Pembroke Regional Hospital to protect our health care team and our patients during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Hospital Access 

Access to our hospital for patients is now restricted four public entrances: Emergency Department (24/7), Tower B (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Tower C (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Tower D (7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

Please follow the signage posted onsite and be prepared to be screened on arrival for symptoms, travel history and contact history.


The Lunch Box (cafeteria)  

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, our cafeteria is currently closed to patients and visitors.


Visitor Restrictions 

In an effort to protect the health of our patients, staff and community against COVID-19, visitor restrictions are now in place.


Our Visitor Policy (Family Caregiver/Care Partner Presence During COVID-19)  


Visitor Policy Updates November 29, 2021 


Effective today, patients admitted to the hospital will be permitted up to two individuals (general visitors or essential caregivers/care partners) to be present at the patient’s bedside at the same time.


Visitors and essential caregivers/care partners must continue to follow physical distancing and masking protocols and must continue to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


General visitors are permitted during regular hours of visitation (1130-2030). Both general visitors and essential caregivers/care partners must continue to sign in upon arrival to the unit for contact tracing purposes.


Essential caregivers/care partners should continue to be identified by the patient to facilitate integration and communication.

Special considerations regarding caregivers/care partners and visitors for the following departments/situations remain unchanged from the previous policy:


• Patients within the Emergency Department
• Patients admitted to LDRP
Please refer to our website (www.pembrokeregionalhospital.ca) for more details or speak directly with a member of the health care team.

• Patients approaching end of life


Visitor Policy Update - List of Exceptions for Mandatory Vaccination Policy, September 30, 2021  

As part of our ongoing efforts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our patients, the Pembroke Regional Hospital will soon be aligning with other hospitals in the Champlain region by implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for our visitors and essential caregivers / care partners, effective October 15, 2021. 


Under the new policy, all hospital visitors and essential caregivers / care partners will need to be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days since the second dose) in order to enter the hospital, unless they qualify under on of the following exceptions: 


- Individuals under the age of 12.  

- Those who have a documented medical exemption.  

- Those visiting patients at the end-of-life.

- Labor and Delivery (Essential caregiver can be unvaccinated. All visitors must be vaccinated.)  

- Parents of children under 16 who are receiving care.
- Emergency Department (1 support person per patient).
- Individuals who are essential to accompany patients to appointments or participate in care planning discussions.
- Other critical or urgent circumstances requiring family presence.


In alignment with the new Ontario vaccination passport system, visitors and essential caregivers / care partners will be required to show proof of vaccination along with photo identification.

Changes to Visitor Policy Effective October 15, 2021 - Mandatory Vaccination Policy  

Mandatory Vaccination Policy For Hospital Visitors, Essential Caregivers, Care Partners Will Be Implemented October 15th at All Renfrew County Hospitals

With regards to the mandatory vaccination policy coming into effect October 15th for hospital visitors, essential caregivers and care partners at all hospitals in Renfrew County, please note the following points of clarification:


- Regardless of vaccination status, no one will be denied care or services at the Pembroke Regional Hospital.

- The new mandatory vaccination policy which will come into effect October 15th ONLY applies to visitors, essential caregivers/ and care partners. The new policy DOES NOT apply to patients.

- There will be a number of exceptions to the new policy. Those exceptions are in the process of being finalized and will be shared by the hospital next week (the week of September 27th).

We appreciate you have questions regarding specific circumstances, and thank you for your patience as we finalize the details which should help address some of the concerns being expressed about the new policy.


Changes to Visitor Policy Effective July 26, 2021 

With guidance from the Renfrew County and District Health Unit, we will be welcoming additional Caregivers/Care Partners into the hospital for admitted patients effective July 26th. 


Patients may identify as many Caregivers/Care Partners as they require to support them throughout their inpatient stay. Caregivers/Care Partners will continue to be identified by patients or substitute decision makers and be provided with the "I am a Caregiver" badge. One Caregiver/Care Partner is eligible to visit daily 24/7. Caregivers/Care Partners must pass entrance screening and will be required to sign in on the inpatient units. 


One General Visitor per day will also be permitted between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. General Visitors must pass entrance screening and will be required to sign in on the inpatient units.  


Patients who are approaching end of life may have an unlimited number of Caregivers/Care Partners and General Visitors at one time.  


Changes to Visitor Policy Effective June 10, 2021 

With guidance from the Renfrew County and District Health Unit, the Pembroke Regional Hospital will once again be welcoming visitors back into the hospital for admitted patients - one per patient per day during the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. effective June 10th, 2021.  


These visitors will be allowed in addition to the patients’ essential caregivers / care partners who have 24/7 access as long as they pass entrance screening.

This latest change to the hospital’s visitor policy does not affect outpatient appointments to areas such as the Emergency Department and Ambulatory Clinics where only one essential caregiver/care partner is able to accompany patients as required. Special considerations continue to be in place for patients nearing end of life.

Different from “visitors” in terms of the role that they play, essential caregivers / care partners are designated by the patient – one for the duration of their hospital stay and provide:

• Assistance with meals, mobility and personal care
• Communication assistance for patients with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments
• Assistance as the designated representative for patients with disabilities
• Emotional support
• Supported decision making


All visitors coming to PRH are required to sign in at the patient’s Nursing Station before the visit can take place.  


In addition, all visitors and essential caregivers /care partners must pass the hospital’s entrance screening criteria in order to be allowed to visit and must:

• Be feeling well.
• Continuously wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.
• Refrain from bringing in food or drink for consumption since a mask must be worn for the entire duration of the visit.
• Remain in the patient’s room and minimize movement within the facility.
• Perform hand hygiene (hand washing or using hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the facility and when entering and leaving the patient’s

 Graphic depiction of new caregiver badge


 A graphic depicting guidelines for visitors


Use of Masks 

If patients admitted to hospital catch COVID-19, they are at a high risk of becoming seriously ill or experiencing serious complications. As a safety measure for our patients, staff and visitors, scheduled/approved visitors must wear masks while indoors at any hospital in the Champlain region. If you are approved to visit, as per hospital policy you will be provided with a procedure mask when you arrive. 


Please note: 



  • You are expected to wear a mask at all times while inside the hospital, including while in patient rooms. 
  • If you are not wearing a mask, hospital staff will ask you to put on your mask. 
  • You will be asked to leave the hospital if you refuse to wear a mask at any time during the visit. This is to protect patients, staff and other visitors. 
  • At this time, there is no known substitute for a face mask that reduces the risk of transmission as effectively as a mask that covers the mouth and nose. Given the risk of transmission to patients in hospital, we are unable to allow anyone not wearing a mask to enter the hospital, even if you have a medical exemption.
  • Essential caregivers are individuals who are not staff who must be present to provide essential care to the patient. Essential caregivers will be required to wear a mask at all times. If they are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons, they must discuss with the medical/care team regarding other options. 



Thank you for helping us keep everyone in the hospital safe!  


Frequently Asked Questions  

Can I visit a friend or loved one in the Hospital?

Patients in Hospital are at extreme risk if exposed to COVID-19, therefore strict restrictions are necessary.
PRH may allow designated Family Caregiver/Care Partner(s) to support the patient’s care and mental well-being. The patient and/ or substitute decision maker is the one to decide who they would like to designate as their Family Caregiver/Care Partner. Only one Family Caregiver/Care Partner will be permitted at a time.  


In addition to the above, patients may now have one visitor per day between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and also may have a visit from their clergy/faith leader if the request for this visit has been approved by the Spiritual Care Coordinator and they have passed the screening at the hospital entrance.


Can I accompany a friend or loved one to the Emergency Department or an outpatient appointment?


Patients may designate one essential caregiver / care partner to accompany them while attending an outpatient appointment or the Emergency Department.
If you are accompanying a friend or loved one to a same-day procedure or surgery, you may be asked to wait outside or return when the procedure or surgery is complete.
If you are accompanying a friend or loved one to the Emergency Department, you may be asked to wait outside until the patient is brought to a designated room/treatment area.


Can I visit a friend or loved one who is dying in hospital?


Yes. Visits need to be coordinated with the care team and the hospital. While it is difficult to be precise around when an individual is at end of life, this generally refers to the last week of life.


What are the Rules for Visiting?


To visit a patient in the Hospital you must:

  • Be a designated Essential Caregiver / Care Partner as identified by the patient and wear your caregiver badge for the duration of the visit. One one Caregiver/Care Partner will be permitted at a time. 
  • Be feeling well.
  • Complete the health screening prior to entering the facility. You may be denied access based on symptoms and/or travel history.
  • Continuously wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.
  • Report directly to the Nursing Station prior to each/every visitation and sign in upon arrival.
  • Remain in the patient’s room as much as possible to minimize movement within the facility. Use the call bell system to alert the nurse if assistance is required.
  • Perform Hand Hygiene (hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the facility and when entering and leaving the patient’s room.
  • In some circumstances, additional protective equipment may also be required. Please consult with the patient’s nurse.
  • If an Essential Caregiver / Care Partner does not follow the public health requirement during their time at the hospital, they will be asked to leave. 
  • The cafeteria is restricted to staff only. Visitors may access the Mural Cafe for food and drink . Visitors are not permitted to eat or drink in the patient's room. 
  • Once the patient is discharged, hand in your caregiver badge to the nursing staff. 
  • General Visitors will be permitted between 11:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Only one visitor per day will be permitted.   



What can I bring into the Hospital?


For the health and safety of our patients and staff, we ask that you only bring items for patients which can be cleaned or wiped down with Hospital Grade Disinfectant.


For the Maternal Child Care Program:

We are currently allowing an essential caregiver / care partner to accompany you on the unit when you come for an assessment. If you are admitted, you will be allowed to have an additional support person to attend your birth (for a total of two). This support person will be the only person who can come on that day. After day of delivery, if you would like a different support person to come, they can visit during general visiting hours (11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.). This has to be the same person in 24 hours. They cannot change. Please note, if you have a Doula, the Doula will count as your additional support person. 


The mother and support person(s) will be screened upon entry into the hospital. If your support person(s) does/do not pass screening, you will be able to choose another support person.  


Personal Belongings for Patients  

At this time, personal belongings for patients (for activities of daily living as well as minimal personal items) will be permitted into the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic as per the following process for drop off: 


  •  All items must be dropped off to Tower B (Emergency Department) entrance and left with the screener. 
  • Items must be wipeable with hospital grade disinfectant or placed in a bag or container that is wipeable. 
  • When items are dropped off, they must provide the screener with the patient's name and unit they are currently on. 
  • The screener will disinfect the item/bag/container. 
  • The screener will call the unit and ask someone from the unit to come and retrieve the items and deliver them to the patient. 



Some examples of items for activities of daily living or minimal personal items may include: hearing aids, glasses, dentures, personal brushes, books, electronic devices, slippers, clothes (clothes must be laundered before patient use). 


Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre

Renfrew County now has a new pandemic healthcare service to strengthen access to primary care and reduce the demand on our region's Emergency Departments.


If you have a health concern, including concerns or questions about COVID-19, and you don't have a family physician or can't access your family physician, call 1-844-727-6404 to connect with care and support from a nurse practitioner, family physician and/or community paramedic. For more information on this service, visit their website at http://www.rcvtac.ca/


information slide with details on how to book a COVID test  


 information graphic


General Information on COVID-19  

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit the Renfrew County and District Health Unit's website at www.rcdhu.com .


For the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 situation in Ontario, visit www.ontario.ca.   


For the most  up-to-date information about COVID-19 from the World Health Organization (WHO), visit www.who.int


COVID-19 Mental Health and Addictions Resources

Resource for Ontarians Experiencing Mental Health and Addictions Issues During The Pandemic


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COVID-19 Community Resources  

Renfrew County COVID-19 Resources and Helpful Information (Grouped by Community)   




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