The provincial government has eased a number of restrictions surrounding visits to long-term care homes and assisted living facilities.
The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The update comes as there are currently no COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living.
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One of the biggest changes, according to Dix, is that visitors will no longer need to schedule or book in advance in order to visit loved ones.
The expectation, however, is that facilities ensure that visits are properly spread out and those entering are screened beforehand. Additionally, the limit on the number of visitors for each resident is being removed.
Henry says she expects that all visitors are fully immunized against COVID-19 and recognize the ongoing risk. They will be required to provide proof of immunization when arriving at a care home.
They’ll need to wear a face mask or covering while in a common area but can remove it while they’re in a room or area with their loved one.
For those who are not fully immunized or cannot provide proof of immunization, the current health and safety measures will remain in place.
Facility-wide social events or gatherings may also be held, including indoor gatherings that involve staff and residents across different units. Outdoor gatherings will also be permitted to host family and friends.
These changes will come into effect on July 19.
More to come…