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Stay connected this Father’s Day amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Stay connected this Father’s Day amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Guidelines for visiting at IERHA health-care facilities

This Father’s Day weekend, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) is providing guidance to help members of the public better understand options available for connecting with loved ones.

Connecting with personal care home residents:

Visitors to personal care homes for scheduled outdoor visits are reminded that physical distancing (two metres/six feet between everyone) is still an important part of keeping people safe. Visits will be time limited and by appointment only. Staff are working to accommodate as many visitors as possible in a space dedicated to outdoor visiting and within limited hours of the day when staff are available to support the visitation process. Interlake-Eastern RHA is not allowing any gifts, flowers or cards for residents into its personal care home facilities at this time given the communal living environment these facilities provide.

“We ask that visitors to be mindful of attending long term care facilities at their appointment time, and not be too early or too late, as we need to ensure adequate time between visitors to ensure the safety of everyone,” says regional director of the long-term care program for Interlake-Eastern RHA, Tara-Lee Procter.

If people wish to connect with someone in a personal care home, they can contact the facility’s recreation department to discuss options available including sending emails, phone calls and virtual visiting. Please note, in some facilities, recreation staff are only available Monday to Friday so please ensure any visitation requests are made in advance if possible.

Although indoor visits remain suspended in personal care homes, exceptions will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis for compassionate and/or end of life reasons.

Connecting with hospital patients:

Hospital staff will be in contact with the people patients have identified as supports who are allowed to visit. Guidelines on what can and can’t be brought to patients will be discussed. People are encouraged to contact the hospital for more information about visitation and to discuss other options to communicate including phone and virtual visits in some facilities.

Interlake-Eastern RHA also offers a “Thinking of You” online central messaging centre where messages can be sent online and conveyed to loved ones in hospital. Click here.

General information

Regardless of what health facility visitors attend, people must not visit if they are feeling ill. Strict infection prevention requirements are in place including: hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing; and visitors are asked to bring and wear a non-medical (cloth) mask when visiting personal care home residents. Visitors to hospitals may be asked to wear personal protective equipment that will be supplied.

Interlake-Eastern RHA recognizes that visiting restrictions currently in place are challenging and hard on everyone. Health-care providers appreciate your ongoing support and understanding as everyone works together to connect while still providing protection to people who are vulnerable to illness. Thank you for looking out for each other’s health and well being. 

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