Update on COVID-19 Screening and Continued COVID-19 Protocols at Health-care Facilities

March 14, 2022 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health advises the public of updates to the COVID-19 screening process at points of entry to health-care facilities and hospitals across the region, in line with provincial guidelines. Effective March 14, 2022, visitors/support persons are directed to self-screen for COVID-19 and verbal screening by a staff member at facility entrances will be discontinued. Patients, residents and clients will continue to be screened at registration and should proceed directly to registration upon arrival at the health-care facility.

In addition, Eastern Health advises the public that COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, including mandatory masking and visitation guidelines, remain in place at hospitals, long-term care facilities and health-care facilities throughout the region. These are necessary precautions designed to help keep patients, clients, residents, visitors, staff and physicians safe and support quality care for patients, clients and residents.

COVID-19 screening for visitors/support persons:

  • Visitors/support persons are directed to follow signage at health-care facilities and must meet the screening requirements before proceeding inside of the health-care facility. In addition, visitors/support persons can complete self-screening prior to arrival at the facility by visiting Eastern Health’s ‘Screening and COVID-19 Testing’ webpage at https://www.easternhealth.ca/covid19/screening-and-covid-19-testing/.
  • 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).

Masking requirements continue at all Eastern Health facilities:

  • Clients, patients and visitors/support persons must wear a well-fitted medical mask for the duration of their time in hospitals and other health-care facilities, including while visiting patient/resident rooms.
  • Individuals can wear their own medical mask or a mask provided at the health-care facility. Cloth masks and masks with exhalation valves are not permitted.
  • Masking stations are currently in place at some facilities and will continue to be added across the region. At this time, individuals who require a new medical mask are directed to take a mask from a masking station or to accept a mask from a staff person at the entrance of the health-care facility.

Visitation guidelines and additional protocols:

  • Visitation: Visitors/support persons are permitted with no more than two visiting at the same time for inpatients in a hospital setting and residents of long-term care homes, personal care homes, community care homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Please note that some areas/units may not be able to accommodate two visitors at the same time due to available space and physical distancing requirements. In these cases, clinical care teams will work with families to identify visitation options. In addition, visitation may be limited in areas of COVID-19 outbreak depending on the site circumstances and severity of the outbreak.
  • 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/.
  • Perform hand hygiene: Clean your hands with hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Physical distancing is recommended: Whenever possible, please maintain physical distancing from others while in all Eastern Health facilities. Please also follow any signage for physical distancing in cafeterias and other common areas.

Ongoing COVID-19 protocols and guidelines continue to be critically important in hospitals and health-care facilities. Eastern Health thanks the public for their continued support and reminds them of the importance of continuing to follow these protocols to help protect themselves and those who receive care, visit, and work at hospitals and health-care facilities.

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Last updated: 2022-03-14