SLMHC pausing non-urgent procedures, introducing temporary visitor restrictions

Due to the rapidly changing environment, and the dramatic increase in positive COVID-19 cases in our region, Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) is introducing new visitor restrictions, as well as pausing non-urgent procedures, effective January 5, 2022.

The decision to pause non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries and procedures comes after the announcement of the reinstatement of Directive 2 for Ontario hospitals.

In the interest of best protecting our patients and staff, general visiting will also be paused. Until further announced, SLMHC will permit only one (1) Essential Care Partner for pediatric patients, patients requiring support when coming to the emergency department, palliative patients, and maternity patients. There will be limited exemptions for additional essential care partners, including families of a patient at end-of-life.

At this time, it is important to note that:

  • Our vaccination policy for visitors/essential care partners, announced December 29, is still in effect. This new vaccination policy affects visitors, escorts, and essential care partners ONLY.  Patients coming for outpatient appointments, emergency or acute care services are not required to show proof of vaccination.
  • Fabric masks will no longer be permitted in the hospital and anyone entering the facility will be asked to wear hospital-issued medical masks (available at our screening stations at the Main entrance and Emergency entrance).
  • Patients impacted by the rescheduling or cancelling of non-urgent procedures will be contacted by a member of our health care team.

Across the province, effective December 31, COVID-19 PCR testing will only be available for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Please see the full news release issued by the provincial government and the full list of those eligible for testing

SLMHC’s Emergency Department is open 24/7 for anyone requiring emergency care.  

  • Please note that SLMHC does not have Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) available at either the Assessment Centre or the Emergency Department.
  • Individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who do not meet the requirements for testing are presumed positive and should follow isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines.
  • For those who meet requirements for PCR testing, please contact our COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 737-5880 to book an appointment. The Assessment Centre is receiving a high volume of calls so we remind the public to leave your name and phone number so we can call you back to book your appointment.
  • For those looking to get their vaccination or boosters, please contact the Northwestern Health Unit or your local pharmacy.

For all information about how COVID-19 is impacting our services and policies at SLMHC, please visit  For general information about COVID-19, including directions on self-isolation, self-monitoring, testing results, the rollout of the vaccine and public health best practices, visit