COVID-19 Protocols Continue at Eastern Health Hospitals and Health-care Facilities

September 24, 2021 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health reminds the public of ongoing COVID-19 protocols and guidelines in place at hospitals and health-care facilities throughout the region. These are necessary precautions designed to help keep patients, clients, residents, visitors, staff and physicians safe during the public health emergency in support of ongoing quality care for patients, clients and residents.

Screening: Upon arrival at an Eastern Health hospital or other facility, individuals continue to be screened for COVID-19 through a series of questions.

  • Patient Screening: The COVID-19 screening tool allows for any necessary precautions (e.g. personal protective equipment and isolation protocols) to be put in place, as required, to help protect patients, staff and physicians as they provide health-care services. Patients are directed to refer to their COVID-19 appointment letter insert for more information regarding screening and/or to contact the relevant clinic prior to arriving for their appointment at an Eastern Health hospital or facility if, for example, they are experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating.
  • Visitor Screening: Anyone who is feeling unwell or sick should not visit patients/residents. Visits will only proceed for individuals who meet the screening criteria. This precaution is in place to help in the prevention and the spread of infection to patients and residents.

Visitor Guidelines: While general visitation is permitted, there are important visitation guidelines in place, which are necessary for the safety of our patients, residents, staff and physicians.

  • Visitation: Two adults (18+) may visit a patient at the same time, which is in accordance with Eastern Health’s existing visiting policy. To comply with physical distancing requirements, the support person is included as one of the two visitors during visiting hours. Visitors are not limited to one visit a day. Some areas across the organization may not be able to accommodate multiple support people/visitors due to physical distancing requirements. In these cases, health-care teams will work with families to identify visitation options.
  • For more information about current visitation guidelines, please visit the Visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic webpage via https://www.easternhealth.ca/covid19/visiting-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/.

Mask Requirements: Masks continue to be mandatory at all Eastern Health facilities, sites and clinics; during home visits from Eastern Health staff; as well as in congregate living facilities for seniors and within personal care homes and long-term care facilities. The provided mask must be worn throughout the duration of the individual’s time in our hospitals and other health-care facilities, including while visiting patient/resident rooms. Wearing masks is one of the key strategies in preventing the spread of infection, and is especially critical within health-care settings to protect patients, clients and residents as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Physical Distancing 

  • To assist with physical distancing for out-patient or emergency department visits, patients are asked to consider the necessity of bringing a support person for out-patient and/or emergency department visits. Patients who can safely manage without assistance/support should proceed to an Eastern Health facility unaccompanied. The clinical care team will accommodate one support person in the treatment area when requested by the patient and if sufficient space is available to do so safely.
  • Visitors/support persons are reminded that physical distancing (two metres/six feet) is required in all spaces throughout our hospitals or sites, including common areas, such as cafeterias, as well as patient and resident rooms. 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.

Eastern Health thanks the public for their support and reminds them of the importance of continuing to follow public health guidance to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.

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