RE: Revised PCH Visitation Principles during COVID-19
Dear Families / Friends
As announced by the Minister of Health on Monday, June 22, 2020, PCH visitor guidelines have been adjusted to allow outdoor and indoor visitation.
According to Shared Health, the purpose of these principles is not to replace clinical and operational judgement but rather to provide guidance to minimize the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in Manitoba PCHs while supporting operators in fulfilling the needs of residents to have regular communication and visitation with close family and/or friends as defined below. Protecting the health and well-being of our residents and staff remains our top priority.
The purpose of this letter is to, therefore, advise families that outdoor visits will continue on the same basis as they are now. However, effective July 13, 2020, we will also begin providing the option of an indoor visit in lieu of an outdoor visit, in accordance with the following conditions:
- Indoor visits will only be allowed in an area specifically designated by Holy Family Home for that purpose. The visitor must remain in the designated area for the duration of the visit. Visitation with other residents or in other areas of the facility is strictly prohibited.
- ‘Designated visitors’ are those deemed to be close family and/or friends who have a clearly established pattern of involvement in providing care and support to the resident’s emotional well-being, health, and quality of life. Residents may designate a reasonable number of close family members and/or friends for visits, but the goal is to keep the number to a minimum.
- All visits by designated visitors must be pre-booked. Appointments will not be booked more than two weeks in advance. Families may request an appointment by calling 204.589.7381 between normal business hours (9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday to Thursday). Unscheduled visits will not be permitted.
- Visits will be scheduled based on the availability of space, demand, and staff resources. Scheduling personnel will provide a date and time to accommodate the request for a visit.
- Visits will continue to be accommodated from 9:15 to 11:30 AM, and from 1:00 to 3:45 Monday to Saturday.
- A maximum of two designated visitors per resident at a time for outdoor visits / one visitor at a time for indoor visits will be permitted provided physical distancing is maintained at all times.
- The duration of the visit will be limited to 25 minutes.
- The number of visits allowed per family will be based on principles of fairness and equity in the allocation of visit dates and times. The acceptance, assignment, and frequency of visits will be determined by HFH staff to ensure equitable access. As a general rule, visits will be limited to once every two weeks per resident.
- Upon arrival:
- Visitors should arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the scheduled outdoor visit in order to be appropriately screened by Holy Family Home.
- Visitors will be asked a series of questions and their temperature will be taken as part of the screening process. Restrictions will apply to visitors who have traveled outside Western Canada (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) and east of Terrace Bay, Ontario within the past 14 days. No visitor shall be permitted if they have a cold/flu or other COVID-19 symptoms.
- All designated visitors must sign in and out and must provide their contact information.
- Holy Family Home reserves the right to refuse entry to any person who does not meet the screening criteria.
- Visitors will be escorted to the designated area by Holy Family Home personnel and must comply with Infection Prevention & Control measures. This includes strict hand hygiene when entering/leaving the facility, and maintaining physical distancing (6 feet apart) at all times.
- Visitors are required to wear their own protective masks. Visitors can choose to purchase a re-useable mask from Holy Family Home for a small donation.
- Due to required infection control practices, food/beverages and items may not be brought during on-site visits.
- Access to on-site food/beverages and washroom facilities will not be available for visitors.
- We may not be able to facilitate visits for certain residents based on their medical status and our clinical judgment. Moreover, there may be situations where a resident is ill or unable to participate in a planned visit on a certain day.
- Holy Family Home reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel visits due to insufficient staff resources or non-compliance of visitors.
- In the event of cancellations for any other reason, Holy Family Home will make every effort to reschedule the family visit within a reasonable period of time, which will depend on availability of visit times and dates.
- Pets are not permitted.
- Off-property visits are not permitted given the risk to residents and to the facility associated with unknown nature of contacts, exposure, and other related safety risks.
- All visits may be suspended at any time in the case of a suspected/confirmed COVID-19 outbreak in the facility or local area, or upon the direction of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.
Although we will offer the option of indoor visits starting July 13, 2020, we stress that outdoor visits remain the safest environment for interaction between residents and families. Virtual visits (Face Time, Skype or window visits) will also continue based on pre-arranged appointments, by contacting the Recreation Coordinator or Social Work. Families/friends will be limited to one virtual visit per resident per week given limited resources to facilitate same.
It should also be noted that indoor visits in areas other than the designated area remain suspended. Exceptions will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis as per existing guidance (e.g. visits for compassionate end of life reasons).
We ask that you comply with these conditions to ensure we are taking every precaution to protect residents, families, and our staff. We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.