Visitor policy and protocols for Health PEI facilities
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 are the current restrictions in place across Health PEI?
Visitors are allowed across Health PEI to support patients, residents and families while balancing public and staff safety.
Visitors must follow all infection control precautions relayed to them by staff, including maintaining physical distancing between themselves and patients and staff.
For all Long-term Care facilities residents may have visitors in designated visiting spaces (either indoors or outdoors), with no limit to the total number of visitors
For those at end of life as determined by the clinical team, there is no limit to the number of visitors that may be at the bedside.
No visiting will be permitted on COVID-19 Units where COVID-19 cases are present, except for one designated visitor in Palliative Care, Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care, Obstetrics and Pediatrics. Exceptions on units other than these will be made for patients and clients who are at the end of life to allow visitors. All visiting to those with COVID-19 will entail use of full Personal Protective Equipment.
What is new in this new version of the Protocol?
Long Term Care:
- All residents may designate up to three partners in care, one of whom will be allowed to visit any time of day to support their loved one. This new provision is rolling out across long term care homes after each home completes the work required to implement the associated processes.
- Access to the home will be granted to partners in care in an organized manner by the facility administration and may be limited in order to maintain capacity for physical distancing and to ensure safe services are provided within the facility.
- The Partner in care must abide by all infection prevention and control and PPE policies, should receive an orientation and should maintain physical distancing from other residents and staff.
- Partner in Care may support feeding, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connections, relational continuity, and assistance in decision-making. They are permitted to make physical contact with the patient.
- A resident may leave the facility accompanied by the partner in care for a limited time period when granted a pass as part of their program of care. The resident may leave the car while accompanied by their Partner in Care as long as they have limited exposure to other, such as in a park or a private home.
- Residents may be permitted to have an overnight stay accompanied by a Partner in Care, as long as masking and other infection control measures are followed.
- These passes must be approved by the physicians or nurse practitioner and facility administrator.
- For all long-term care facilities, residents may also have visitors in designated visiting spaces (either indoors and outdoors).
- All visitors must have their name and contact information recorded, must be screened for COVID 19 symptoms, continue to practice physical distancing and must wear a mask. For indoor visits, visitors must wear a medical grade mask.
Hospital, palliative care and mental health and addictions visiting:
- New protocols will allow patients and clients in hospitals, palliative care, and mental health and addictions facilities to have visitors, with no limit to the total number of visitors per day.
- Patients and clients may also be permitted to have an overnight stay outside of the facility with approval of their physician or nurse practitioner, as long as masking and other infection control measures are followed.
- When a patient or client is at end of life, there is no limit to the number of visitors who may be at the bedside.
- All visitors must have their name and contact information recorded, must be screened for COVID 19 symptoms and must wear a non-medical mask.
- All visitors will be required to follow infection control guidelines as relayed by the Health Care Team.
- When space does not allow for physical distancing and other infection control measures, limited visiting may be required.
Support persons for outpatient areas:
- In addition to visitors, patients attending any outpatient appointment or procedures may have one support person accompany them. For Long Term Care residents, this may be the resident’s Partner in Care.
- Patients must advise the health service area prior to the scheduled appointment or procedure if a person is planning to accompany them.
How many visitors are permitted per day?
There are no limits on the total number of visitor patients and residents are allowed under these protocols.
What requirements are there for personal protective equipment and other safety precautions?
Visitors will be screened and need to be asymptomatic before entering any facility or visiting in long term care.
All visitors must follow infection control guidelines as relayed by the Health Care Team. Depending on the situation and the population you are visiting, the requirements may change.
Are there any exceptions to this protocol?
In exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-case basis, the relevant Chief Administrative Officer/Medical Director or their designate may consider an exception for compassionate reasons to visitor restrictions at their discretion.
Any exception that is made needs to be documented and kept on file at the Chief Administrative Officer/Medical Director or designate office.