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Expanding Visitor Access During COVID-19

We know that family and friends are integral to the healing and overall health and well-being of patients in hospitals and health centres across Manitoba. During these trying times, we have seen and supported a surge of creative ways to connect with loved ones, including virtual visits. While preventing the spread of this virus remains a central priority, the likelihood that COVID-19 will be a part of our ‘new normal’ for a longer duration requires us to find a longer-term balance that includes necessary preventative measures and that allows safe forms of interaction between patients and their loved ones.

Accordingly, this is to advise that, effective June 5, 2020 we will be expanding visitor access for inpatients at the Victoria General Hospital with the following considerations and precautions:

  • For most inpatients, one Designated Support Person can be identified to visit; exceptions will be made to allow a second designated visitor under the age of 14 accompanied by an adult. Designated Support Persons are those deemed essential to the emotional wellbeing, health, and quality of life of your loved one. In most cases, visitors should be close family and/or friends who have a clearly established pattern of involvement in providing care and support.
  • If a patient’s length of stay reaches 14 days and discharge is unlikely to occur in the next 72 hours, two designated visitors can be identified to visit and will be allowed to visit (one at a time) for the remainder of the patient’s stay in hospital.
  • Case-by-case exceptions exist for visits to patients during end of life care at the discretion of the care team. 
  • Based on evaluation of risk as well as operational clinical judgement, the site may be unable to facilitate visits for certain patients.
  • To comply with physical distancing measures, sites may need to restrict the number of visits per time slot in the visiting area. Visits must occur during visiting hours and will not include “come and go” access.

Your care team will reach out to you to obtain the name of your Designated Support Person.  At that time, you are encouraged to address any further enquiries you may have regarding visitation.  

Please ensure your visitor(s) are informed of the following requirements:

  • Visits must occur during the site’s visiting hours: 9:00am – 8:00pm
  • Screening of all visitors must occur, including assessment for symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19, prior to entry. Restrictions will apply to visitors who have travelled outside of
    Manitoba within the past 14 days. No visitor shall be permitted if they have any cold/flu or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All designated visitors must comply with Infection Prevention and Control measures. This includes strict hand hygiene and maintaining physical distancing (6 feet/2 meters apart) at all times.
  • We encourage visitors to wear a non-medical mask; the hospital is unable to provide masks.
  • Designated visitors will be asked to sign in at the time of their visit(s). This information will be retained solely for the purpose of Public Health contact tracing should a COVID-19 case investigation be required within a unit.

Regular assessment by public health officials of the impact and evaluation of the need for adjusted visitor restrictions will continue as developments evolve. Once again, thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we take every measure to protect you, your loved ones and our staff.