COVID-19 info for Albertans & Health Professionals and about Visiting Patients.

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novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for People Visiting Residents & Patients

novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Reviewed: May 12, 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AHS has been taking steps to restrict visitors to protect patients and those at greatest risk of severe illness - including seniors and immunocompromised patients. Residents and patients of hospitals and continuing care sites are at higher risk if exposed to COVID-19, and staff are doing everything possible to ensure their safety.

Given the increasing spread of COVID-19 in a number of acute and continuing care facilities, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services made the difficult decision to enhance visiting restrictions in hospitals and continuing care facilities. However, when we made this decision, we recognized that there are special circumstances where visitors are essential to the well-being and care of certain patients.

Following the new orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued on April 29, we have updated our visitor guidance to clarify exceptions to visitor restrictions for residents in long-term care and supportive living, and to provide more guidance and clarity around visitation for those who have loved ones in an end of life situation.

We recognize visitor restrictions are difficult for families and loved ones but we must do all we can to minimize the risk of infection to our patients, residents and staff. AHS will continue to evaluate the limitations placed on visitations throughout the pandemic.

We encourage visitors to use other methods to be in touch with their loved ones, such as a phone call, video calling or FaceTime. For more information, refer to Involving Families During COVID-19.

View Visitor Guidance - printable version (also available in most Translated Resources).

Thinking Of Visiting a Loved One in Long Term Care, Supportive Living or Congregate Living?

Residents of these sites are at extreme risk if exposed to COVID-19.

Can you visit?

To help ensure continued protection of residents in long-term care and supportive living, as well as improve their quality of life, our visitor guidelines now allow residents of these facilities who are not in isolation to enjoy outdoor visits with a designated essential visitor and one other person. While outside, all appropriate precautions must be taken to prevent exposure to COVID-19, including physical distancing and the requirement that all visitors wear a mask or face covering.

In addition, our guidelines have also been amended to allow up to two visitors at a time to visit a patient who is dying within any AHS facility, as long as physical distancing can be maintained between the visitors.

We will continue to verify and screen all visitors permitted under these updated exceptions prior to entering the facility. Visitors must:

  • Pre-arrange visits with the facility manager and be expected by the site administration or charge nurse. There may be circumstances where not all visitors are able to be accommodated, even if otherwise permitted in this guidance.
  • Be feeling well on the date/time of visit.
  • Complete health screening prior to entering the facility, including a temperature check for fever over 38 degrees Celsius and a questionnaire.
  • Wear a mask or face covering while inside the facility.
  • Sign in and out of all visits.
  • Be escorted by site staff to the resident’s room and remain in the resident’s room for the duration of the visit. Visitation with other residents is not permitted.
  • Perform hand hygiene (hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the facility and when entering and leaving the resident’s room.
  • Pets cannot be brought in by any visitor.

Thinking Of Visiting a Loved One in a Hospital?

Effective immediately, all acute care (hospital) and outpatient settings have implemented a No Visitor Policy.

Exceptions are permitted in the following circumstances:

Maternity/postpartum

  • Allow one designated visitor at a time.
  • The unit manager/charge nurse may approve two visitors at one time (e.g. both a partner and doula; or both surrogate support and an intended parent).

Pediatrics

  • Two parents may be designated visitors; visits must be sequential (one at a time). Other children including siblings or family members under the age of 18 are not allowed to visit at any time.
  • The unit manager/charge nurse may, in rare situations, approve two visitors at one time on case-by-case basis (e.g. both parents in a pediatric end of life situation).

End of Life Situations

  • Allow one visitor at a time. Two visitors at a time may be permitted only if the room is large enough for physical distancing to be maintained between visitors.
  • The attending physician, in consultation with unit manager/charge nurse, determines if the patient condition is considered end-of-life.

Outpatient and Emergency Department/Urgent Care

  • A person with mobility, hearing, visual or memory impairments may be given an exception to the No Visitor policy if the Outpatient and Emergency Department/Urgent Care is unable to manage the patient’s needs without the visitor assisting the patient.

All visitors in acute care or outpatient facilities must:

  • Be feeling well on the date/time of visit.
  • Complete health screening prior to entering the facility, including a temperature check for fever over 38 degrees Celsius (where available) and a questionnaire.
  • Wear a mask while inside the facility.
  • Be escorted at all times, by the staff of the health care facility, except when with the patient in their room.
  • Perform hand hygiene (hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the facility and when entering and leaving the patient’s room.

Facilities will have a screener greet each visitor to conduct the health screening and verify any visitor is authorized to attend as per the above.

If you are unable to visit, please use other methods to be in touch with your loved one, such as a phone call, video calling or use FaceTime.

Visitor Alert

(Hospital, Congregate, Continuing Care)

Download

English | Arabic | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Cree | French | Punjabi | Spanish | Tigrinya | Vietnamese

Visiting Restrictions Have Changed Posters

AHS and all continuing care operators can use this poster to inform visitors of the first requirement for visits: booking in advance. When visits are booked, visitors will be informed of other requirements such as outdoor visiting areas, physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Visiting restrictions have changed posters

Download

Poster Size 8.5x11 | Poster Size 11x17

Staying Connected

Using Technology to Connect with Your Loved Ones: Info Sheet | Poster

Or send a Patient Well Wish.

If You Have Questions

If you have questions, discuss with the patient’s health team, or you contact Patient Concerns at 1-855-550-2555.