Hospital visiting is cautiously being allowed as of June 8 in Prairie Mountain Health region.
In March when COVID-19 cases began to appear in Canada, in-hospital visiting was stopped cold. Even extremely sick people could not have loved ones at their side. It was a very tough time for patients and families.
More support for the very ill came when the medical system opened up compassionate end-of-life visitation and support.
Now, across the province, including in Prairie Mountain Health, inpatient visiting is being allowed on a limited basis.
Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced the partial visitor access on June 3. He said, “Connecting with family members, loved ones and support systems are an important part of the healing process for someone in the hospital. During the peak of the pandemic, in-person visits had to be limited as we took every necessary step to prevent the spread of this virus.”
This expanded visitor access follows the successful introduction of outdoor visits at Manitoba’s personal care homes last week, the minister noted, adding Manitoba’s hospitals and health centres have also been tasked with finding ways to accommodate outdoor visits following the trial earlier this week at Victoria General Hospital.
“We recognize that solitude and separation can have a significant and negative impact on a patient’s health and well-being. Our goal is to find a balance for the longer-term; a balance that will enable visits with loved ones to occur, with all necessary precautions in place,” said Friesen.
However, PMH has not yet opened up outdoor visiting for people in personal care or in hospitals.
In-hospital visits will be resumed between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. but, in most cases, that’s only for a single visitor whom the patient designates beforehand. The patient must name their one visitor and let them know they are the designated visitor.
A bulletin from PMH states: Care teams and program/service managers will work directly with patients and family members to establish the designated visitation list.
The designated visitor will be screened prior to entry with strict hand hygiene and physical distancing (two metres apart) required.
Visitors are strongly encouraged to wear a mask while in the facility.
There are some exceptions to the rule, to allow a child under 14 to visit with the designated adult visitor. Also, mothers giving birth can have two support people.
Long term patients (14 days or more) also can have two designated visitors.
And people on palliative care, within the last two weeks of life, family and support persons can visit and even stay with a loved-one who is dying.
With these new guidelines, it pays to check with the individual hospital or care facility where you want to visit.
To find detailed information visit www.prairiemountainhealth.ca/covid-19-visiting-guidelines.
For current information on COVID-19 and steps people can take to reduce their risk (which includes
accessing an online screening tool) visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19