January 3, 2022 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health advises patients and the public of some changes at facilities across the region as we adjust to the current COVID-19 situation and restrictions implemented across the health-care system.
Visitor Restrictions: All in-person visits to inpatients in a hospital setting and residents of long-term care homes, personal care homes, community care homes and assisted living facilities are suspended until further notice and the general public are asked not to visit any patients or residents during this time. 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, consistent with Eastern Health’s Family Presence and General Visitation policy. Information regarding 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/.
Television and Telephone Service Fees: To enhance patient comfort, hospital television and telephone service fees are being waived temporally while visitor restrictions are in place. This applies to televisions in all inpatient areas throughout the region where patient televisions and telephones are available.
Patient/Resident Belongings: Arrangements can be made for the drop off of personal belongings for residents and patients admitted to any of Eastern Health’s health-care facilities from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (daily). Hours of operation may be adjusted, as needed. Please consult the resident/patient’s health-care team for further details and to confirm the drop off time prior to arriving at the health-care facility. Please ensure that clothing items are freshly laundered, that food items do not require refrigeration, and that personal toiletries should be non-scented. In addition, flowers with strong scents or are allergy inducing including, but not limited to, lilies, poinsettias, and baby’s breath are not permitted. All personal items should be placed in a clear bag with the resident/patient’s name clearly written on the package along with the sender’s name. Packages will be accepted at the door and delivered by a staff person to the resident/patient.
Resident and Patient Day Passes: All day and overnight passes for long-term care residents are discontinued, except in the most extenuating circumstances, which must be approved by a manager of the home. In such circumstances, the resident and their escort are given information about infection prevention and control measures, including use of personal protective equipment, social distancing and hand hygiene. The resident and escort are advised that where there is a risk of potential exposure to COVID-19 this may result in isolation of the resident upon return to the home or the resident may not be permitted entry into the home. In addition, there are no day or overnight passes for patients in acute hospitals.
Public Health measures: Eastern Health has implemented a series of measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including reduced seating in cafeterias, entry and access points at sites, and increased cleaning of spaces and particularly, of touchable surfaces, such as parking pay stations. Individuals are reminded to wash their hands or use the alcohol-based sanitizers; maintain physical distancing (two metres/six feet) in the waiting areas and all common spaces throughout our hospitals or sites; and to wear the mask provided while in our facilities. These are necessary precautions to keep people safe while in our health-care facilities. For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19.
Retail Food Services: The Tim Hortons location near the main entrance area of the Health Sciences Centre is closed while the Tim Hortons location directly outside the hospital’s cafeteria will continue to operate 24 hours a day from Sunday to Thursday, and from 7:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Other regional cafeterias remain open at this time.
Eastern Health understands that the pandemic has brought many changes and 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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