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By Mallorie Rast:

On July 7th, guidelines for visiting inpatients and outpatients in hospitals; residents in long-term care facilities, personal care homes, and in Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) Homes broadened as a part of Reopen Saskatchewan in the wake of COVID-19.

When COVID-19 swept into Canada and the Saskatchewan province, SHA moved quickly to protect those in care. This included restricting visitor access, conducting staff, visitor, and client health checks at entry points, and requiring health care providers to wear masks and observe strict hand washing.  

“As we see more of our economy reopening and additional health services resuming, we will take the same careful, safe approach to expanding family presence guidelines and ensuring that our loved ones in care continue to be protected remains our number one priority, while supporting the mental and emotional well-being of those in care.” Health Minister Jim Reiter said in a July 3rd press release. 

According to the Chief Medical Health Officer’s public health order, effective July 7th: 

  • Two family/support members, present one at a time, can be present to support patients, outpatients, clients and residents in SHA facilities, long-term care homes and affiliate organizations, personal care homes, and Ministry of Social Services Group Homes.
  • Family/support members and visitors are required to wear medical-grade face masks and observe strict hand hygiene and physical distancing of no less than 6 feet.
  • Two people can be present at one time if physical distancing can be maintained for:
    •  Critical care/intensive care patients
    • End of life/palliative care patients or residents
    • Maternal Services Units (Maternal and Postpartum Units, Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Pediatric Intensive Care Units, Pediatric Units)
  • Additional family members or support persons may be identified for end of life, palliative and intensive/critical care, as outlined in the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) Family Presence Guidelines 

Some health care facilities may take until July 13th to implement these updates. 

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