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New visitation rules for care homes, hospitals in Newfoundland and Labrador come into effect today

Maple Hill Manor resident Paula Hutchinson, right, and her former neighbour Bobbie MacDonald were catching up during a visit on July 3, in the courtyard at the facility. NICOLE SULLIVAN/CAPE BRETON POST
File photo/SaltWire Network

Residents, patients can designate up to six visitors; application of guidelines can vary depending on facility

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

New rules for visits to care homes and hospitals in Newfoundland and Labrador begin today.

The relaxed restrictions were first announced Wednesday by Health Minister Dr. John Haggie and apply to all health authorities in the province.

Residents of long-term care and assisted living homes can now designate six visitors and/or support persons. Visitation hours will be determined by each facility, and designated visitors are advised to contact staff for further information.

All visitors are required to wear the mask provided for the duration of their visit, should not visit any other resident or staff, and are asked to go directly to the room or visitation space.

They will also be given information about COVID-19 precautions, including a recommendation to minimize contacts outside the facility as a designated visitor.

In hospitals, each patient will be asked to identify up to six visitors upon admission to acute care and will be advised by their nurse about the visitation process on the unit.

Obstetrics patients may have one support person who can visit for the duration of the mother and newborn’s stay, and can visit as many times as they like throughout the day. Four designated visitors are permitted after delivery until the time of discharge.

Children who are in-patients can have both parents visit at the same time, and there are no restrictions on the number of visits per day.

For residents of care homes, two of the six designated visitors are allowed to visit at one time.

Those visiting acute care and palliative care patients should consult the patient's care team, as guidelines may vary.

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