December 23, 2021 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health advises the public that temporary visitor restrictions are now in place at facilities and sites across the region, as per updated provincial guidelines. Effective immediately, two designated visitors and one support person (if required) are permitted for inpatients in a hospital setting and residents of long-term care homes, personal care homes, community care homes and assisted living facilities.
- Hospital patients can identify two designated visitors and one support person, if required. Please note that some areas may not be able to accommodate multiple support people/visitors at once due to the space available and the need to maintain physical distancing requirements. In these cases, clinical care teams will work with families to identify visitation options.
- Residents of long-term care, personal care homes, community care homes and assisted living facilities can identify two designated visitors and one support person, if required. Please note that some areas may not be able to accommodate multiple support people/visitors at once due to the space available and the need to maintain physical distancing requirements. In these cases, clinical care teams will work with families to identify visitation options. Visitors are advised to connect with the resident’s health-care team to discuss visitation hours.
- Out-patients and Emergency Department 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.
- Palliative care and end-of-life visitation should be discussed with the health-care team.
- Virtual visitation can be an alternate way to connect with loved ones during these visitor restrictions. To arrange for a virtual visit, please discuss your request with the care team.
In certain exceptional circumstances, inpatients and residents may be permitted one designated support person/caregiver for the duration of their stay while these restrictions are in place, as referenced above, consistent with Eastern Health’s Family Presence and General Visitation policy. A support person may be a relative, legal guardian, friend, or formal/informal caregiver who provides direct care to the client (e.g. feeding support, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, and assistance in decision-making). If a patient/resident feels a support person/caregiver is required, they should discuss their request with their care-team.
Visitation hours are determined by facility and visitors/support persons are advised to contact the patient’s/resident’s health-care team for further information. As per provincial government guidelines, individuals who arrive at an Eastern Health hospital or other facility will continue to be screened for COVID-19 through a series of questions and will also be asked for contact information for contact tracing purposes. Details can be found on the Eastern Health website. All support persons/visitors must check-in upon arrival to the facility and be screened prior to the visit. Visits will only proceed for individuals who meet the screening criteria. Visitors/support persons are advised that if they show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they should not enter a health-care or long-term care facility or personal care home. Instead, individuals are directed complete the COVID-19 self-assessment and testing referral tool or call 811.
Full details about current visitation guidelines can be found on the ‘Visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic’ webpage via https://www.easternhealth.ca/covid19/visiting-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/.
Visitor restrictions during the pandemic have been critically important to the safety of our residents, patients, staff and physicians. We would like to thank the public for their understanding and co-operation during this time.
Eastern Health also reminds the public of ongoing COVID-19 protocols and guidelines in place at hospitals and health-care facilities throughout the region. These precautions are designed to help keep patients, clients, residents, visitors, staff and physicians safe and help in the prevention and spread of infection.
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 for seniors within personal care homes and long-term care facilities. The mask provided at point of entry 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.
Vaccine Passport: Visitors to long-term care facilities, personal care homes and community care homes are required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination status (digital/paper QR code or copy of an official vaccination record) or an approved medical exemption. More information can be found on the Eastern Health website.
Physical Distancing: 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.
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.
We also understand that the pandemic has brought many changes and we would like to thank the public for their patience and kindness. Let’s work together to make civility and respect part of every interaction at clinics, hospitals and health-care facilities across the region.
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