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Posted: March 23, 2020

Essential visit restrictions in effect at all Interior Health sites

Effective immediately and until further notice, Interior Health is limiting the number of visitors entering all sites to essential visits only.

This decision supports the province-wide response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and reflects the provincial state of emergency.

The restriction of visits will help keep our patients, individuals in care, families and health-care workers safe. It also aligns with the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations for social distancing.

Interior Health is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control in this effort to flatten the curve of the pandemic.

Essential visits include, but are not limited to:

  • Visits for compassionate care (e.g. end of life and critical illness).
  • Visits considered paramount to patient/client care and wellbeing (caregivers and support persons), such as assistance with feeding or mobility.

To further limit the number of people entering sites at this time, the same caregiver or support person should attend each essential visit wherever possible. Patient navigators will be at entrances of all facilities to ensure visitors are aware of the new restrictions.

In addition, please remember to keep the following in mind:

  • People experiencing fever, cough, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, and/or diarrhea must not visit any IH facility.
  • Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada in the previous 14 days must not visit patients/residents in any IH facility.
  • Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (or who has been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19) during the previous 14 days must not visit patients/residents in any IH facility.

We understand the importance of visits from family and loved ones to our patients and long-term care residents and we appreciate everyone’s support in keeping our patients, families, and health-care workers safe.

The BCCDC website is the recommended resource for accurate, current COVID-19 information for British Columbians. The site is being updated frequently and individuals are encouraged to check back often.

Interior Health also has frequently updated information on the COVID-19 page on the Interior Health website.

Lead image: The front door at East Kootenay Regional Hospital March 22, with signage noting pandemic information. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW photo


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