Visitor policy and protocols for Health PEI facilities
To help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission in PEI, Updated COVID-19 Post Circuit Breaker Holiday Measures are in effect from January 6 to January 25th, 2021.
These CIRCUIT BREAKER measures impact businesses and gatherings and are different from the restrictions PEI residents were asked to observe during the New Normal phase.
The circuit breaker phase restrictions override all other existing sector specific public health guidance. Government of Prince Edward Island COVID-19 recommendations and guidances may be impacted by the CIRCUIT BREAKER measures.
Information for Patients, Staff, and Physicians
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Health PEI has had to implement restrictions on visiting at our health care facilities. These restrictions are necessary to protect patients, staff and physicians from the virus, and to avoid the spread of COVID-19. The visitor restriction protocol is regularly reviewed and changed as necessary depending on the current threat from the virus.
What is the difference between a Partner in Care 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 and assistance in decision-making. They may touch the patient or resident as part of their duties. Partners in care are not required to schedule a visit as they are considered part of the care team for the patient or resident. Partners in care are encouraged to inform the facility of when they plan to visit. A visitor is defined as a person who is visiting primarily for social or other supportive reasons. Visitors are asked to contact the Health PEI facility in advance of their visit. This will ensure all patients and residents are able to have time and space to visit with their loved ones.
What are the current restrictions in place across Health PEI?
For all Health PEI Facilities, including Long-Term Care, patients may have visitors and partners in care (either indoors or outdoors) at any time, with no limit to the total number of visitors on any given day. There should be no restriction on allowable frequency or length of visits as long as it does not negatively impact the care of other patients or residents.
Both partners in care and visitors may be asked to step into the hallway while care is provided to allow for physical distancing.
All patients or residents may designate up to three Partners in Care who will be allowed to visit at any time of day to support them.
What are the infection control precautions for visitors and partners in care?
Visitors and Partners in Care must follow all infection control precautions relayed to them by staff, including maintaining physical distancing between themselves and patients and staff. Partners in Care should receive an orientation and should maintain physical distancing from other patients and staff.
For indoor visits in Long-Term Care, visitors and partners in care must wear a medical grade mask.
All visitors and Partners in Care must have their name and contact information recorded. All visitors and partners in care will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must be asymptomatic. If symptomatic they are not permitted in any facility.
Are visitors and partners in care permitted in the facility if they are self-isolating?
Visitors or Partners in Care are not permitted in the facility when they are self-isolating due to COVID-19 risk (unless for compassionate/end of life visits).
What is considered a compassionate visit?
If traveling from outside of the Atlantic Provinces for compassionate reasons such as the end of life of a loved one, formal permission needs to be provided by the administration of the facility where the family member is being cared for and by PEI’s Department of Public Safety.
The traveler must first request a Visitation Approval Letter to the facility where the loved one is located (letters will be provided by the facility). If approved, then the traveler must apply to Public Safety for Pre-Travel Approval.
After obtaining the Pre-Travel Approval, the traveler must arrange to be tested 3 times at a COVID Testing Clinic in PEI on days 0-1, 4-6, and 9-11 after arrival.
The traveler will be allowed to visit their family member after the first negative test result.
The visitor will be required to self-isolate for the first 14 days they are on the Island, but may visit with the patient or resident during a specified time frame. Residents of Atlantic provinces (PEI, NB, NS,NL) have to check for any current rules and restrictions within the Atlantic travel bubble.
The visitor will be required to wear full PPE (gown, gloves, and a mask) for the duration of the visit.
Are visitors and partners in care permitted to visit more than one Long-Term Care facility?
No, visitors and partners in care may only visit one Long-Term Care facility. Exceptional circumstances may apply in cases where a partner in care is the only support to individuals in multiple facilities. Weekly testing is required for these exceptional circumstances where partners in care are supporting individuals in more than one Long-Term Care facility.
Are patients and residents permitted to leave the facility?
Patients and residents must remain on the grounds of the facility unless going on a pass. A pass with a partner in care, including an overnight pass, may be approved by the most responsible physician or nurse practitioner.
Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities may exit a vehicle and have contact with visitors when away from the facility on a pass. However, the resident may not have contact with the general public (i.e. no restaurants, no crowded public areas). Partners in care are asked to wear a medical mask in the vehicle and no other people are in the vehicle with the resident.
Patients and residents may have one person accompany them for any out of facility appointment or procedure. The service needs to be advised prior to the scheduled appointment or procedure if a person is planning to accompany the patient or resident to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
It is recommended all patients and residents of Health PEI Facilities wear a non-medical mask when attending appointments.
What are the restrictions for COVID-19 positive patients?
No visiting will be permitted on COVID-19 units or centres of care when COVID-19 cases are present.
Up to three Partners in Care are permitted for patients in COVID-19 care areas including COVID-19 medical units, pediatric care, intensive care and Rosedale Care Centre.
The patient (parent or guardian) will designate three Partners in Care. Partners in Care must wear full personal protective equipment.