Visits are restricted to ESSENTIAL VISITS ONLY at all of our sites through controlled access points.
We are working closely with the Ministry of Health to protect the health of everyone in B.C. Restricting visitors minimizes the risk of the introduction of COVID-19 into facilities and allows staff to focus on caring for patients and residents.
We understand this is a difficult change for those with loved ones who need to be in the hospital, but it is an important precaution to ensure the safety of all, including our sickest and most vulnerable patients.
Orders from the Provincial Health Officer or a Medical Health Officer take precedence over this policy.
What is an essential visit?
Examples of essential visits include, but are not limited to:
- Visits for compassionate care, including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end of life, and Medical Assistance in Dying.
- Visits paramount to the patient or client’s physical care and mental well-being, including:
- Assistance with feeding, mobility and 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; and
- 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 or client for security reasons.
Essential visits can occur with a COVID-positive patient or client.
Essential visits are limited to one visitor per patient or client within the facility at a time. A visitor who is a child may be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member.
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 patient or client’s needs, along with the infection prevention and control requirements of the other people in the unit.
Screening of visitors
Entry points to our facilities will be more limited than usual and we will screen all visitors for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19 symptoms, prior to every visit.
If you have signs or symptoms of illness, or are in self-isolation or quarantine in accordance with public health directives, you will not be permitted to visit. Signs of illness may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of sense of smell, loss of appetite, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, and muscle soreness.
If you feel even mildly unwell, stay home and do not visit any Interior Health facility. Even visitors deemed essential must not be ill when entering an Interior Health facility.
What to expect while visiting a patient or client
As a visitor, you will be instructed when to perform hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and safe physical distancing. You will be shown how to put on and remove any required PPE when visiting or caring for patients or clients who are on droplet and contact precautions. You must go directly to the patient or client you are visiting and exit the facility directly after your visit.
If you are unable to adhere to appropriate precautions, you will not be allowed to visit.
Staying connected with a patient or client
We encourage the use of technology to remain in touch with your loved ones who are staying in an Interior Health operated facility, especially if an in-person visit is not possible. Some facilities may have technology available for this purpose. Please ask the person’s care team if this is available at the facility they are staying at.
If you have questions or concerns
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.