Visitor policy and protocols for Health PEI facilities, including Long-Term Care facilities

PEI is currently in Step 3 of Transition Plan to Living with COVID-19

Information for patients, residents, partners in care, visitors, staff and physicians

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Health PEI has had to implement protocols for visiting at our health care facilities. These protocols are necessary to protect patients, residents, staff and physicians from the virus, and to avoid the spread of COVID-19. The visitor protocol is regularly reviewed and changed as necessary depending on the current threat from the virus. 

Health care facilities and providers (public and private) should continue with their masking policies until advised otherwise by CPHO.

The below Frequently Asked Questions are accurate as of March 1, 2022.

What is the difference between a Partner in Care, Designated Visitor and a Visitor?

A Partner in Care is defined as a person whom the patient or resident identifies and designates as a partner in care. A Partner in Care may support feeding, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, assistance in decision-making, and provide emotional support. They may touch the patient or resident as part of their duties. A Designated Visitor is defined as a person and named by the patient or resident as someone who may visit primarily for social or other supportive reasons. A Visitor is someone who visits for social or supportive reasons but who is not “designated” by the patient or resident to visit.   

What are the current protocols in place across Health PEI? 

For all Health PEI facilities, including Long-Term Care, patients or residents may have three (3) Partners in Care to visit at any time of the day. Long-Term Care residents can also have up to 3 Designated Visitors (visitors designated by the patient as a support person).

For all Health PEI health care facilities, additional visitors may be permitted to visit for compassionate reasons and in exceptional circumstances (end-of-life palliative patients and patients with a life-threatening condition).

In all PEI health care facilities, if an outbreak is declared at the facility or on a unit within the facility, only one (1) Partner in Care will be allowed.

Length and frequency of bedside visits are dependent on the site’s outbreak status. All Partners in Care and Visitors are required to follow all infection control precautions relayed to them by staff, including maintaining physical distancing between themselves and patients and staff and must wear full PPE (visor/goggles, gown, gloves, and a medical mask) for the duration of the visit to the health care facility.   

Partners in Care are not required to schedule their visit as they are considered part of the care team for the patient or resident. 

Partners in Care may visit in an outdoor setting without masks if they maintain physical distancing. 

Both Partners in Care and Designated Visitors may be asked to step into the hallway while care is provided to allow for physical distancing.

What are the infection control precautions for Partners in Care?

Partners in Care must follow all infection control precautions relayed to them by staff, including maintaining physical distancing between themselves and patients and staff and must wear full PPE (visor/goggles, gown, gloves, and a medical mask) for the duration of the visit to the health care facility.   

No food or drink shall be brought in or consumed by the Partner in Care while in the facility.

All Partners in Care must have their name and contact information recorded. Partners in Care will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must be asymptomatic. If symptomatic, they are not permitted in any facility.

Are Partners in Care permitted in the facility if they test positive for COVID-19?

Partners in Care who have tested positive for COVID-19 are not permitted to enter a health care facility until they are deemed recovered.

Are Partners in Care permitted in the facility if they are self-isolating?

Partners in Care are not permitted in the facility when they are self-isolating unless it is for compassionate end-of-life visits and in extenuating circumstances (ie. No other Partners in Care are available).

Under these exceptional circumstances (for Long-Term Care only), the Partners in Care or Designated Visitor:

  • must be asymptomatic and have received a negative COVID-19 test result prior to the first visitation. 
  • must wear full PPE (visor/goggles, gown, gloves and a medical mask) for the duration of the visit. 
  • is exempt from self-isolation ONLY for the specified timeframe to visit with the patient/resident.
  • is required to be the sole person(s) visiting with the patient/resident for the duration of the visit. This visit must take place in a designated space, separate from other patients/residents, other Partners in Care, visitors and staff.

What is considered an exceptional circumstance?

An example of an exceptional circumstance would include compassionate reasons such as when the patient has a life-threatening condition as determined by the attending physician/nurse practitioner, or to support a patient who is a minor.

What if the Partner in Care has been traveling, can they still visit?

Partners in Care and (Designated Visitors Long-Term Care only) who have travelled outside the province and who are self-isolating:

  • Will not be permitted to visit a Health PEI facility including Long-Term Care unless the Partner in Care follows the post travel testing schedule applicable to them as per CPHO;
  • The patient/resident is a palliative individual, or a person being actively treated for a life-threatening illness which may end their life; which will be determined by an attending physician/nurse practitioner and visitation would need to be approved by facility leadership;
  • The Physician/Nurse Practitioner will request facility approval for compassionate Partners in Care/ Designated Visitors (Long-Term Care only) who are in self-isolation on PEI. The Facility Administration will provide a letter to the Office of Public Safety granting the Partner in Care who is self-isolating permission to visit the patient.

Are Visitors and Partners in Care permitted to visit more than one Long-Term Care facility?

Partners in Care may visit more than one Long-Term Care Facility provided they adhere to all facility infection prevention and control measures. 

Are patients and residents permitted to leave the facility?

At this time patients and residents in all Health PEI facilities, may leave the facility for reasons related to their treatment plan, for critical personal business, and for discharge planning.

Long-Term Care residents may receive a pass for a predetermined amount of time to go to their home, go for a drive, or visit a Partner in Care’s home. The pass must be approved by the most responsible physician or nurse practitioner and by facility administration.

Long-Term Care residents who are fully vaccinated with a booster may go to a community church service with a Partner in Care.

What are the restrictions for COVID-19 positive patients?

Patient or residents who are COVID-19 positive may have three (3) Partners in Care, but only one (1) is permitted to visit at a time.

In Long-Term Care, additional Partners in Care or Designated Visitors may be permitted to visit COVID-19 positive residents under compassionate and exceptional circumstances. Full PPE is required for the duration of the visit.

Partners in Care may visit with a COVID-19 positive or suspect positive patient/resident only if they wear full PPE during the visit. Full personal protective equipment (PPE) includes (i.e., wearing medical masks, gowns, gloves, and visors/goggles). With the exception of Long-Term care, no other types of visitation is allowed. 
 

Published date: 
April 12, 2022
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