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North Shore Health Network updates visitor restrictions

Two essential caregivers are permitted to visit emergency department patients at all NSHN sites
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The North Shore Health Network (NSHN) updated its visiting restrictions as the province enters step one of the Roadmap to Reopen plan.

A news release issued today includes updates such as up to two essential caregivers are permitted to visit in collaboration with the Emergency Department workers at all NSHN sites.

Full text of the NSHN release follows:

As Ontario enters Step 1 of the Roadmap to reopen, the North Shore Health Network (NSHN) is providing patients and families with an update on visiting restrictions and access to outpatient services.

NSHN will continue to monitor key public health indicators and provide ongoing communication of changes to these policies as the province moves through each step.

  • General precautions remain in place:
    • All visitors and outpatients will continue to be actively screened. Those passing the screening process will be asked to perform hand hygiene and wear a mask and in some circumstances, eye protection.
    • If it is not possible or advisable for in-person visits, NSHN will continue to offer the Virtual Visiting Program.
    • Patients / Residents who are tested for COVID-19 will not be permitted visitors until a negative test result is back unless the patient is requiring end-of-life care.
    • No symptomatic visitors will be allowed to visit under any circumstances.
  • Effective immediately:
    • Emergency Department (all sites):
      • Up to two essential caregivers are permitted to visit in collaboration with the Emergency Department workers.
    • Acute Care Unit (Blind River):
      • General visiting is not permitted at this time.
      • Two essential caregivers may be designated for each patient with both essential caregivers able to visit at the same time.
      • Visits must be booked in advance, and all essential visitors are subject to COVID-19 testing.
      • Special circumstances will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
    • Long-Term Care (Blind River):
      • General visiting is permitted outdoors with up to two general visitors permitted.
        • In situations where the Resident has mobility or health issues, a maximum of one general visitor is permitted indoors.
        • General visitors who are visiting outdoors are not subject to Rapid Antigen Testing.
        • Outdoor visiting hours will be from 1 – 4 p.m., and 7 – 8 p.m. Note: there may be exceptions due to inclement weather and/or staffing needs.
        • All visits will be scheduled in advance.
          • To schedule a visit, please contact the unit at 705-356-2265 ext. 2350.
    • Patients are requested to attend out-patient appointments alone. However, individuals who require assistance are permitted to have one person accompany them. Attendants must also pass the screening process.
    • Laboratory: Routine scheduled bookings. All Outpatient Laboratory appointments must be pre- scheduled through the dedicated Appointment Line: 1-705-356-2265 or toll-free 1-888-425- 0321 Ext. 2660. Clearly provide your name and best daytime telephone number on the messaging service, a staff member will return your call within two business days.
    • Medical Imaging: Routine scheduled bookings. One partner is permitted to attend obstetrical ultrasound appointments provided they pass screening protocols. To book a Medical Imaging appointment:
      • Blind River Site: 705-356-2265 ext. 2570
      • Thessalon Site: 705-842-2014
      • Richards Landing – Matthews Site: 705-246-2570
    • Physiotherapy: In-person physiotherapy appointments continue. Due to volumes, the department is only able to see acute cases (post-surgery, after cast removal, or recent injury) at this time. Virtual visits will continue where appropriate. If you have a Physiotherapy referral, do not drop it off at the hospital – please contact the department at 705-356-2265 ext. 2480.
    • Nurse Practitioner Clinic: Patient visits will take place virtually or by phone. Orphan patients (individuals who do not have a family provider) may also access this service. To book an appointment please call 705-356-2265 ext. 2616 and leave your name and contact information, or send an email to

To book an appointment for COVID-19 testing, contact an NSHN COVID-19 Assessment Centre:

  • 705-356-2265 or toll-free 1-888-425-0321
    • ext. 2661 (Blind River) or ext. 2662 (Thessalon)
  • Or, complete the online form

If you need immediate medical attention, please call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.  

The North Shore Health Network has a zero-tolerance policy towards violence and harassment in the workplace. No worker should be subjected to violent, threatening and/or abusive behaviour. Any such behaviour may result in the loss of access to visiting or services. Thank you for treating our workers with respect.