We understand the limitations on support people at the IWK has been very hard for patients, families and IWK teams. With that in mind, we are continuing to take a phased approach for additional support people in some circumstances and where it is operationally feasible and safe to do so within the public health safety guidelines. The goal of implementing restrictions is to limit the number of individuals entering IWK sites to reduce the likelihood of potential spread of COVID-19 to patients, families and IWK teams.
We know having loved ones present during hospitalization is important for patient care, experience, safety and outcomes. With the consistently low numbers of known COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia, IWK Health, in partnership with NS Health will continue to ease some support person restrictions.
On Thursday, September 17, 2020, IWK Health will implement further changes to our support person restrictions that will allow more opportunities for family members, primary support persons and caregivers to support patients. This change recognizes the important role of caregivers as essential partners in patient care and will support the health and mental well-being of patients.
Beginning Thursday September 17:
All inpatients (adult and children) will be permitted to have two support people/family caregivers with them at the same time. These individuals may change daily. Additional family members may be permitted for those approaching end of life based on discussion with the care team.
Patients arriving for ambulatory care appointments or procedures, including ultrasounds, cancer care, emergency, outpatient and ambulatory care clinics will be allowed to have one primary support person or family caregiver accompany them.
Primary support persons or family caregivers may have contact with the patient, but must maintain physical distancing with staff and other patients. Non-medical masks are required for all support persons and screening will continue at IWK entrances.
Gifts and cards are now permitted.
Visitation with inpatients by children under the age of 12 will be reviewed and considered based on the clinical setting and the ability to adhere to public health protocols. We understand the complexity involved in implementing this change and that some areas may have difficulty accommodating additional support people due to the need to maintain physical distancing requirements. In these cases, care teams will work with families to discuss options based on care needs. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make additional changes as required.Share