Long-Term Care Easing Restriction on Visitation

When visiting long-term care facilities, ensure you follow all public health measures, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing masks indoors where physical distancing is difficult. 

Some forms of visitation permitted with controls in place using the following guidelines:

Partner in Care

  • Residents of public and private long-term care facilities are now able to designate three Partners in Care. One partner in care is able to visit the resident in their room at any time during regular visiting hours, provided their visit doesn't have a negative impact on the care of any other resident. 
  • The Partner in Care will assist with:
    • Companionship
    • Comfort
    • Mobility
    • Feeding
    • Socialization
    • Basic care
  • An individual can only be designated as a Partner in Care at one (1) long-term care facility or nursing home.
  • If any of the Partners in Care or Visitors have travelled outside of PEI, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador or Nova Scotia (the Atlantic Provinces) in the last 14 days and is exempt from the requirement to self-isolate (e.g. persons approved to visit a dying family member) they must wear full personal protective equipment (PPE), for example: gown, gloves and mask during visits.
  • If determined it is appropriate by medical staff based on a risk assessment, a Partner in Care or Visitor who travels outside of the Atlantic Provinces, may be required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to visiting with the resident. This is an exceptional circumstance that requires approval from the Chief Public Health Office.
  • Visits are available only to Partners in Care and Visitors. Partners in Care and Visitors may be accompanied by minor children during visits if the Partners in Care or Visitors exercise responsibility for the minor children during the visit.
  • A resident may leave the facility in a vehicle with a Partner in Care for a limited time period (one (1) hour duration) as detailed by the Partner in Care to facility staff, and the resident may leave the car while accompanied by their Partner in Care as long as they have limited exposure to others, such as in a park or a private home. The Partner in Care is required to wear a medical grade mask in the vehicle and to be the only person in the vehicle with the resident.
  • Residents of long-term care will be able to go for drives with their designated Partner in Care. However, they must first be granted a pass to leave the premises by their primary care provider and the long-term care facility administrator.
  • Residents may be permitted to have an overnight stay accompanied by a Partner in Care, as long as masking as other infection control measures are followed. Passes must be approved by their primary care provider and long-term care facility administrator. 

Other Visitors

Visitors other than a resident's Partners in Care are still permitted to visit, while following the below guidelines:

  • Residents are no longer required to designate their Visitors. There is no limit to the number of Visitors permitted to visit indoors and outdoors at any one time.
  • All Visitors and residents must maintain physical distancing of two (2) metres (6 feet).
  • Visitors must wear a medical grade mask for indoor visits. If physical distancing is not possible during outdoor visits, a non-medical mask must be worn.
  • All Visitors will be screened before visiting. Anyone with symptoms will have to postpone their visit.
  • Designated staff or volunteers must accompany Visitors directly to the visiting space (and assist them with safely donning/doffing mask).
  • All Visitors must practice appropriate hand hygiene prior, before and after visiting.

Routine Visiting

  • Outdoor visits will take place in designated areas.
  • Indoor visiting is permitted.
  • There are no limits on the number of Visitors per resident permitted indoors and outdoors at any one time.
  • Visitors may visit together or separately.
  • Visits will be limited to a maximum of 60 minutes to allow access to all residents within the property.
  • Visits will be scheduled at specific visiting times to allow for appropriate staff support to help during the visit.
  • Enhanced cleaning of spaces will take place between visits.

End-of-Life Visiting

  • These visits entail bedside visits in residents’ rooms.
  • There is no limit to the number of Visitors that may be at the bedside.

Additional Guidelines

  • Residents must remain within the grounds of their home unless granted a pass.
  • Residents must practice physical distancing when within the home grounds/ designated area.
  • A daily record containing full names and contact information of all Visitors, including Partners in Care or contacts made by a resident in any exceptional life circumstance approved by a facility, must be created for each resident. These records, including full names and phone numbers, should be kept by a facility for one (1) month after the day of creation to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 infection situation. 
Published date: 
September 1, 2020
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