GUIDANCE ON VISITORS AND ESSENTIAL VISITS IN ACUTE CARE AND HOSPICE
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working closely with the Ministry of Health to protect the health of everyone in B.C.. An updated Ministry of Health policy provides expanded guidance and definitions about visitors and essential visits, noting that health authorities should continue to restrict visitors to essential visits only.
Essential visits include:
- Visits for compassionate care, including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, and end of life.
- Visits paramount to the patient or client’s physical care and mental well-being, including:
- Assistance with feeding, mobility, personal care;
- Communication assistance for persons with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments;
- Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities, including provision of emotional support;
- Visits for supported decision-making;
- Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery;
- Existing registered volunteers providing the services described above.
- Visits required to move belongings in or out of a client’s room.
- Police, correctional officers and peace officers accompanying a patient/client for security reasons.
Essential visits shall be limited to one visitor per patient/client within the facility at a time, and a visitor who is a child may be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member.
Virtual visits are strongly encouraged and supported where in-person visits are not possible.
Hospice-care visitation guidelines are also available here.
Long-term care: A Public Health Order restricts visitors to immediate family members and spiritual advisor of residents who are clinically assessed to be at end-of-life. For more information, please refer to the Visitors section (Page 6) of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control Guidance for Long-Term Care and Seniors Assisted Living). A very limited number of exemptions will be granted in exceptional cases.
These restrictions are in place to protect the health of our patients, clients, residents, staff and physicians. Thank you for your understanding.
If you need to reach PHC’s Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPAC), please call local 69357. Do not contact individual IPAC team members.