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You can’t sing there just yet

Many protocols continue.

It must be a great relief for hospital patients and personal care home residents to have the doors opened just a little wider for visits. In a place where you cannot easily leave, family and other guests who come in, and the entertainment they bring, can mean the world.
However, the days of choirs, singsongs and dances are not back, yet. Here’s the most recent information from Prairie Mountain Health.
Since March, when COVID-19 protocols changed, the use of vaccination ID cards was dropped. You don’t need one for visits to a friend or loved one at a Prairie Mountain Health facility.
However, many protocols continue. Essential Care Partners (ECP) and general visitors must be on a list identified by the patient prior to visiting. The facilities continue to screen visitors to ensure they are not ill. And, although mask wearing is no longer obligatory throughout Manitoba, visitors to PCH facilities are required to wear a provided medical mask.
General visitors are allowed to see a patient, one at a time, and only during visiting hours.
If you are going to a clinic or hospital for a procedure, your driver or escort cannot wait within a PMH facility. But, if someone cannot manage on their own, it pays to inquire with the facility because escorts will be allowed for special circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
The rules could change. As stated on their website, PMH is continually evaluating the need for adjusted visitor restrictions as developments evolve.
Visiting a Personal Care Home 
A spokesperson for PMH answered a few questions about visiting at care homes. General visitors and designated family caregivers who the PCH resident has identified previously are allowed to visit in PCHs, which are not in outbreak, in the resident’s room. When a PCH is in outbreak general visits are not allowed but designated family caregivers are allowed. Should there be changes in a resident’s condition this is adjusted.  
General visitors do still need to schedule times to come and visit. All visitors including family caregivers are screened for their wellness and provided personal protective equipment (medical masks and/or eyewear).  
Family gatherings cannot happen just yet. There are still limitations to the number of visitors at one time as social distancing must still occur.
We asked if choirs, musicians and other groups can visit and perform. External entertainment as part of the Recreation Program can come in and perform, with restrictions. Singing is not allowed; however, pre-recorded audio is acceptable. And, of course musical instruments are fine, as long as they are not wind instruments.
Those expensive installations, the visitation pods, are still present and could be used if a visitor wants to visit there rather than the resident’s room. 
With nicer weather ahead, seniors will be able to enjoy the occasional handivan outing to see the water run and the countryside spring to life.
However, singing and family gatherings in care homes bring joy that is much needed for the human soul. These also need to be restored. 

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