Eastern Health Provides Update on Visitation

July 22, 2021 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health advises that, in line with provincial guidelines, general visitation is permitted, effective Friday, July 23, for all provincially-operated acute care facilities, health centres and long-term care facilities as well as privately-operated long-term care homes, personal care homes, and community care homes. While restrictions are eased, alternatives to in-person visiting are encouraged such as virtual visits, outdoor visits when possible, and phone calls when possible.

Registration and screening

All visitors/support persons must continue to register and be screened upon arrival to a health-care facility. Please note that there could be a delay in screening upon entry to a facility if high number of visitors arrive at the same time.

Public health guidance

Two adults (18+) may visit a patient at the same time which is in accordance with Eastern Health’s existing pre-COVID-19 visiting policy. All visitors/support persons will be required to adhere to public health guidance at health-care facilities to ensure the safety of patients/residents and staff. Those who are required to self-isolate are permitted to visit/provide support in certain situations for obstetrics and end-of life care and are asked to discuss visitation with the patient/resident’s health-care team before visiting. Some areas across the organization may not be able to accommodate multiple support people/visitors due to the need to maintain physical distancing requirements. In these cases, clinical care teams will work with families to identify visitation options.

Precautions around confirmed/suspect cases of COVID-19

Patients/residents who are suspected to have COVID-19 must wear personal protective equipment for the visit as per protocol. If a patient/resident is confirmed COVID-19 positive, limited visitation can occur in consultation with the care team. Individuals who are required to self-isolate are permitted to provide visit/support only in the specific situations such as obstetrics and palliative care, and only in consultation with the clinical care team of the patient/resident. As well, anyone who is feeling unwell or sick should not visit patients/residents.

Physical distancing

Visitors/support persons are reminded that physical distancing (two metres/six feet) is still required in all spaces throughout our hospitals or sites including patient and resident rooms, and that visits will only proceed for individuals who meet the screening criteria.

Face masks

Visitors/support persons will be provided with a face mask and are required to wear it at all times while inside Eastern Health facilities. Visitors will also be asked to clean their hands. The clinical care team will advise visitors when additional personal protective equipment is required to be worn while with the patient/resident.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours are determined by facility and visitors/support persons are advised to contact the patient/resident’s health-care team for further information. Visitors entering a health-care facility should proceed directly to the patient/resident’s room and once visitation is complete, they should immediately exit the facility to assist with physical distancing within our facilities. We ask visitors to be mindful of physical distancing requirements and the total number of people in a shared room. As well, please keep in mind the comfort level of the other patients/residents of the room. For more information on Eastern Health’s visiting hours, please visit www.easternhealth.ca/visitors/visiting-a-health-care-facility/.

In addition, for out-patient or emergency department visits, patients are asked to consider the necessity of bringing an additional person. Patients who can safely manage without assistance/support should come independently. Support persons may be asked to wait outside the facility to ensure adequate space is available in the waiting area for patients. The clinical care team will accommodate the support person in the treatment area when requested by the patient.

For additional information, please visit the “Visitation and Support Person” webpage via www.easternhealth.ca/covid19/.  For updates pertaining to Eastern Health’s ongoing services, please visit Eastern Health’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. General contact information for Eastern Health’s programs and services is available at: www.easternhealth.ca/contactus.

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