Visitor policy and protocols for Health PEI facilities, including Long-Term Care facilities
Beginning Thursday, 4 March 2021, circuit breaker measures are in place until 8 am 14 March 2021. The measures will be reassessed throughout. These restrictions override all other existing sector specific public health guidance.
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 or residents may have visitors and partners in care (either indoors or outdoors). All patients or residents may designate up to two (2) Partners in Care who will be allowed to visit at any time of day to support them. 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 are encouraged to inform the facility of when they plan to visit.
Long-Term Care residents may designate up to six (6) visitors in addition to their two (2) Partners in Care. Designated visitors must schedule their visit. A maximum of two (2) designated visitors may visit with a resident at one time. Visits may be up to one (1) hour in length in a designated visiting space that allows visitors and residents to remain six (6) feet apart at all times. Physical distancing is required between residents and designated visitors. Designated visitors are not permitted to have physical contact with residents or visit in a resident’s room (unless at end of life).
Health PEI facilities, excluding Long-Term Care facilities, patients may have visitors and partners in care (either indoors or outdoors) at any time; however a maximum of three (3) visitors, including the Partner(s) in Care, may be present at the bedside at one time. Length and frequency of bedside visits are dependent on the site’s operational plan. Visitors and patients must remain six (6) feet apart at all times.
Both partners in care and 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 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, designated 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 to have physical contact with patients and residents?
Only Partners in Care may have physical contact with patients and residents. Physical distancing is required between designated visitors and patients / residents at all times. Exceptions may be permitted for end of life visits.
Are visitors and 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 end of life visits and in extenuating circumstances (ie. No other Partners in Care are available).
Visitors are not permitted in any Health PEI facility when they are self-isolating.
What is considered a compassionate visit?
If traveling from outside of Prince Edward Island, formal pre-travel approval needs to have been provided by facility administration and the Office of Public Safety. Visitors may apply, and be granted approval to come to PEI for compassionate reasons (ie. to be with a dying family member or for the birth of a child).
Visitors from outside of Prince Edward Island must be swabbed and receive a negative COVID-19 test result prior to the first visitation. Visitors are able to have repeat visits with the patient/resident but are required to demonstrate they have been re-swabbed for COVID-19 according to the following schedule. Repeat COVID-19 test results are not required before visiting.
- Initial test and negative result – day 0-1 of arrival to PEI.
- Second swab completed during day 4-6 of arrival to PEI.
- Third swab completed during day 9-11 of arrival to PEI.
This visitor is exempt from self-isolation ONLY to visit with the patient or resident during the specified time frame. The visitor will be required to wear full PPE (gown, gloves, and a mask) for the duration of the visit. When not visiting the patient/resident they must return directly to self-isolation.
Are visitors and partners in care permitted to visit more than one Long-Term Care facility?
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.
Designated visitors may visit more than one Long-Term Care Facility provided they remain physically distanced for the duration of the visit.
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 go for a drive with their Partners in Care ONLY. Residents may NOT have contact with any broader family, including but not limited to designated visitors, church groups, social and family gatherings, restaurants or the general public. Partners in care are asked to wear a medical mask in the vehicle. Only the Partners in Care should be in the vehicle with the resident.
Residents of Long-Term Care facilities may go on an overnight pass if approved as outlined above. Overnight visits are permitted ONLY in the company of their Partners in Care. There cannot be any other persons present in the home during the overnight stay /visit. Partners in Care must wear medical grade mask at all times while in the presence of the resident.
Patients 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.
Pediatric and newborn patients may have up to two (2) persons accompany them to outpatient appointments/procedures at another location.
A non-medical mask is required to be worn at all times when attending appointments in all Health PEI Facilities (unless exempt for medical reasons).
What are the restrictions for COVID-19 positive patients?
No visitors are permitted on designated COVID-19 units or centers of care when COVID-19 cases are present.
One (1) Partner(s) in Care are permitted for patients in COVID-19 care areas include COVID-19 medical units. Two (2) Partners in Care are permitted for pediatric, newborn, ICU, Palliative Care patients and Rosedale Care Centre residents. The patient (parent or guardian) will designate the Partners in Care. Partners in Care must wear full personal protective equipment (i.e. masks, gowns, gloves, and visors/goggles).
Exceptions will be made in other care areas when patients are at end of life and the Partners in Care must wear full personal protective equipment (i.e., wear masks, gowns, gloves, and visors/goggles).
Patients or long-term care residents who have traveled out of province overnight for a medical appointment or any reason, must adhere to the COVID-19 Isolation Precautions Protocols upon return to a Health PEI facility.
Patients who have traveled out of province for medical reasons may have up to Two (2) Partner(s) in Care. Partners in Care are not permitted in the facility when they are self-isolating unless it is for end of life visits and in extenuating circumstances (ie. No other Partners in Care are available).