Visitor restrictions are in place at all Nova Scotia Health Authority hospitals to limit the spread of respiratory illness, including COVID-19, and to protect our vulnerable patients and staff. We understand visitor restrictions have been difficult for patients, families and staff. The needs of patients and families are always at the heart of our decision making. With that in mind, and with cases of COVID-19 decreasing, we will allow additional support people in some circumstances, where it is feasible and safe to do so within public health guidelines. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we lift restrictions safely and gradually.
Beginning May 22, NSHA will allow the following exceptions to visitor restrictions:
Two support people for:
- people receiving palliative careor medical assistance in dying
- children admitted to hospital
- labour and birth
One support person for:
- children in outpatient settings
- patients who need assistance, including but not limited to cancer care, some emergency, outpatient or critical care situations, discharge planning (a healthy person to pick up discharged patients)
- patients with significant cognitive or physical disabilities who need an essential support person in order to receive care
It’s important that the visitor criteria be applied consistently in order to avoid distress and confusion for patients, families and staff. Please discuss any specific questions or concerns about the criteria with your supervisor.
We recognize that increasing the support people available for specific patient populations will enhance patient and family experiences and outcomes. It also increases the potential for transmission of illness. Some areas allow for physical distancing better than others and we must always take public health and safety into consideration. Everyone entering our facilities is required to be screened, observe physical distancing of at least two metres and practice good hand hygiene.
The visitor restriction guidelines for staff have updated and are available on the HUB.
Posters and other related material are in the process of being updated and will be posted on the Hub and shared in the next update.
For up-to-date information, visit NSHA’s COVID-19 Hub at https://covid19hub.nshealth.ca/covid-19.
Questions can be directed to @email.