March 4, 2022 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health advises the public that visitor restrictions at all health-care facilities are being eased, in line with provincial guidelines. Effective Friday, March 4, inpatients in a hospital setting and residents of long-term care homes, personal care homes, community care homes and assisted living facilities can have two visitors at the same time.
Patients and residents are no longer required to identify designated visitors and support persons for visitation. Multiple visitors/support persons are permitted with no more than two visiting at the same time. To comply with physical distancing requirements, a support person is included as one of the two visitors during visiting hours. If a patient, resident or loved one feels that a support person is required for additional support or assistance outside of regular visiting hours, they should discuss their request with the clinical care team.
Please note that some areas/units may not be able to accommodate two visitors at the same time 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.
Support persons/visitors are advised of the following visitation guidelines:
- COVID-19 Screening: Visitation is not permitted if the support person/visitor is symptomatic (i.e. experiencing any one or more symptoms of COVID-19) or self-isolating (except in specific situations such as labour and delivery and end-of-life visitation and only in consultation with the patient/resident’s clinical care team).
- Proof of vaccination requirements: Visitors to long-term care facilities, personal care homes and community care homes are required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination status and ID (digital/paper QR code or copy of an official vaccination record) or an approved medical exemption.
- Mandatory masking: Visitors/support persons must wear a well-fitted medical mask for the duration of their time in our hospitals and other health-care facilities, including while visiting patient/resident rooms. Visitors/support persons can wear their own medical mask or wear a mask provided at the health-care facility. Cloth masks are not permitted at this time.
- Perform hand hygiene and maintain physical distancing (two metres/six feet).
- Additional 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/.
In addition, Eastern Health also advises of upcoming updates to the COVID-19 screening process at point of entry to health-care facilities and hospitals across the region, in line with updated provincial guidelines. Sites will transition from verbal screening by a staff member at point-of-entry to self-screening for visitors/support persons. During the transition period, visitors may notice the introduction of screening signage and are directed to follow signage and/or instructions from staff at the health-care facility they are visiting. The transition period is expected to be complete by Monday, March 14, 2022. Patients, residents and clients will continue to be screened at point of registration.
In addition to using screening signage at health-care facility points of entry, visitors/support persons can visit Eastern Health’s website to complete self-screening prior to arrival at the facility. Updates on this process and more information will be provided once the transition period is complete.
Ongoing COVID-19 protocols and guidelines are critically important in hospitals and health-care facilities and are necessary precautions designed to help keep patients, clients, residents, visitors, staff and physicians safe. 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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