SAULT STE. MARIE -- The Sault Area Hospital is easing its visitation restrictions.

Hospital administration staff say patients are now able to have a single, designated visitor daily.

"We've had patients here for some time now without visitors and it isn't our normal practice and certainly, they're missing their friends and family," said Sue Roger, vice-president of the hospital.

Roger said visits will be scheduled for patients by their care teams, based on the frequency recommended by staff.

She said visitors must enter through the main entrance and will also be restricted to the patient's room.

"We will still have heavier restrictions in place at outpatient areas of the hospital," Roger said. "Those being things like our emergency department."

Roger said designated visitors will be chosen by the patient, with the hospital then booking their visits.

Visitors must also wear a mask or face covering at all times when entering the hospital.