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Visitor information

Visitor information

B.C. made the difficult decision to restrict visitations to ensure a strong layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19 in our health-care communities.

We empathize with all families who have loved ones in care, and we support essential visits at all our facilities, as well as social visits at long-term care and assisted living.

What is an essential visit? 

Essential visits are for compassionate care or for a person’s care and well-being, including:

Essential visits for compassionate care

  • Critical illness
  • End of Life
  • Hospice care
  • Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

Essential visits for a person’s care and well-being

  • Assistance with feeding, mobility, and personal care
  • Communication, assistance, and supported decision-making for people with disabilities or cognitive impairment
  • Pediatric care and support for maternity patients

Visiting a loved one in hospital

Visiting hours for essential visitors at our hospitals are 10:00 a.m – 7:00 a.m. 

Each patient may accept one essential visitor per day, except for palliative or End of Life care. Patients in the Perinatal unit, neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and Inpatient Pediatric areas may have two essential visitors. Patients who need emergency care may have a support person (for example, a child, a person with mobility challenges, or a person who cannot self-advocate). 

Aboriginal patients and their families may wish to connect with one of our Aboriginal Patient Navigators (APN) as a resource and support in providing culturally safe care. 

What can you expect at an essential visit?

Essential visitors are screened prior to every visit and must meet these requirements:

  • No sickness or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Not tested positive for COVID-19 or been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Perform hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and physical distancing, as instructed.
  • Take on and off any required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as instructed.
  • Go directly to the patient’s location and exit the site directly after the visit.

If you need assistance or have concerns please contact the number listed on the Visitor Policy posted at hospital entrances. 

Visiting a loved one in long-term care or assisted living

Residents of long-term care or assisted living can have both essential visitors and one designated social visitor. These connections with family and loved ones are important for the well-being of residents. All visits are limited to one person per resident, except for palliative and End of Life care, where there can be more than one visitor. 

What can all visitors expect?

All visitors are screened prior to every visit and must meet these requirements:

  • No sickness or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Not tested positive for COVID-19 or been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Perform hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and physical distancing, as instructed.
  • Bring and wear a mask for the duration of your visit. If you do not have one, we will provide one.
  • Visits will not be allowed if there is a COVID-19 outbreak at a residence.

What else you can expect at a social visit?

What else can you expect at an essential visit?

  • You may not need to schedule your visit in advance.
  • A resident can have more than one essential visitor but only one essential visitor is allowed at each visit, except for palliative and End of Life care.
 

If you feel your situation warrants an essential visit, please discuss your request with your loved one’s care team. The care team will balance your request with the needs of the patient or client, along with the infection prevention and control requirements of the other people in care. If your visit is not deemed essential, you may speak with an administrator or administrator on call for an immediate review of the decision. Family and visitors can request a formal review of a decision through the Patient Care Quality Office.

These guidelines are based on the B.C. Ministry of Health’s policy.