Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. Daily case numbers and information for businesses and workers.

The Re-Open Saskatchewan plan was released on April 23rd.

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Guidance for Health Care Facilities

Updated Compassionate Care Visitor Restrictions at All SHA Facilities

This updates previous restrictions that stated permitted visitors had to be the same person. Provisions now allow for additional people to visit under some circumstances.

June 3, 2020

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is expanding its criteria for compassionate reasons related to visitation restrictions. The SHA established a Family Presence Expert Panel with patient and family advisors, along with public health and Infection Prevention and Control experts, to provide guidance on recommendations to support family presence during COVID-19.

During this unprecedented time, visitors are NOT permitted in any Saskatchewan Health Authority operated hospitals, clinics, community and continuing care facilities, except for compassionate care reasons.

All community, foundation and other public and spiritual gatherings within any SHA-operated facility remain on hold until further notice. Services provided by community volunteers who are 65 years of age or older, in non-essential service areas are also suspended.

We recognize how difficult this is for patients and families, but this decision is guided by the need to protect our patients and health care teams during COVID-19.

Compassionate Care Visitation

Compassionate care reasons may include, but are not limited to, family or support persons during end-of-life care, major surgery, intensive care/critical care, or a care partner aiding in clinical care (at the discretion of the patient's care provider).

Detailed information about Compassionate Care can be found in the Family Presence Guidance.

Family members and support people who are permitted under these exceptions must be verified and undergo a health screening prior to entering the facility. This includes a temperature check and questionnaire. The visitor will be required to perform hand hygiene (hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the facility and when entering and leaving the patient's room. Visitors will also be required to wear a medical grad mask, if tolerated while inside the facility, and potentially additional personal protective equipment if required. Visitors are not permitted to wait in waiting rooms or other common areas.

NOTE: Patients and residents should NOT leave the care facility to visit family or friends or any other reason unless discharged.

Personal Items

Food and beverages can be delivered to or brought into SHA facilities. The following guidelines need to be followed:

  • Food and Beverage, and other items are individually packaged in a container which can be wiped down with disinfectant wipes upon entry into the facility;
  • Perform hand hygiene;
  • Make every effort to practice physical distancing when eating (maintain distance of 2 metres); and
  • Only food from licensed food establishments can be brought into the facility. Food made in a residential kitchen is not accepted at this time.

A designated support person or family member can be identified to accompany a certified service animal if needed.

Delivery – Delivery in the form of flowers from a florist or dry paper (i.e., letters, photos, art work) is permitted in LTC homes and acute care sites. In some acute care settings such as Intensive Care Units (ICU), floral arrangements are not permitted due to possible pollen or plant allergens. Families will be asked to consult with managers or staff prior to placing orders for the delivery of any purchased floral arrangements and to follow existing scent-free policies.

Virtual Visiting

Until we are able to safely allow visitors back into our health care facilities, we encourage you to consider other ways to stay connected with your family members or friends in our hospitals and long-term care facilities, such as phone calls or online means of communication. We encourage families to consider virtual visiting through electronic applications such as FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp. We are asking families and visitors for their co-operation in following these restrictions.

Understanding that it is difficult for families to have loved ones in hospital or other care areas, we are working to support families with virtual visitation options, including making phones available in hospitals and iPads more accessible to long-term care residents to assist with virtual visiting.

Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.

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