IWK

1.902.470.8888

1.888.470.5888

Emergency: 911
Telecare: 811
Poison: 1-800-565-8161
5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

Patient & Visitor Protections

Updated: July 8, 2022 / 02:35 PM

Your safety is our biggest priority

At IWK Health because of the patients and families we serve, we continue to require enhanced measures even as the provincial COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are eased. These ongoing measures remain in place to ensure safety for all as we continue to navigate reopening. They include pre-screening before your appointment or admission, door screening on arrival, masking when you come on site, testing when you’re admitted, and limits on the number of support persons who can come with you.

If you have questions before your arrival about your appointment or admission, you may contact your health care team directly. Please note the IWK COVID Hotline closed service on June 30, 2022. 

 

Thank you for supporting a safe & healthy space for all

Despite easing of provincial restrictions, visitor limitations and public health measures remain in place at all IWK Health hospitals and facilities at this time. Acute health care settings and hospitals are not the same as leisure spaces. We thank you for your continued patience as we do our best to protect patients and staff from getting sick.

Masks are still required at all IWK Health locations.

 

 

Latest support person limits

Changes in effect starting 8 am on Tuesday, June 14, 2022

There are differences in the physical layout where care is being provided. These differences impact our ability to practice appropriate physical distancing therefore we have taken a location-by-location approach to support person limits. 

Emergency Department
Emergency Department
1
One support person
Pregnant, in Labour, Delivering or Postpartum
Birth Unit
2
Two support people (a doula is considered a support person)
Dartmouth Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinic
1
One support person
Early Labour and Assessment Unit
2
Two support people
Family Newborn Care Unit
2
Adult patient, baby + 2 support persons
Fetal Assessment and Treatment Centre
1
One support person
Midwifery Clinic
1
One support person
Obstetrical Day Unit
1
One support person
Obstetrical Ultrasound
1
One support person
Perinatal Centre
1
One support person
Postpartum Clinic
1
Adult patient, baby + 1 support person
Prenatal Special Care Unit
1
One support person
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
2
Two support people
Perinatal Follow Up Clinic
Perinatal Follow Up Clinic
1
One support person
Pediatric Inpatients
Pediatric Inpatients
2
Two support people
Pediatric Inpatients
confirmed COVID positive
1
One support person
Pandemic Response Unit
1
One support person
Adult Surgery Inpatients
Adult Surgery Inpatients
1
One support person
Women's/Adult Ambulatory Clinics
Breast Health Clinic - New Diagnosis
1
One support person
Breast Health Clinic - Annual Recheck
1
One support person
Early Pregnancy Complication Clinic
1
One support person
Midwifery Clinic
0
Zero support people
Women’s/Adult OR / Pre-Admission Clinic
Women’s/Adult OR / Pre-Admission Clinic
1
One support person
Mental Health & Addictions
Ambulatory Clinics
1
One support person (exception for interventions requiring more)
INPATIENT UNITS & DAY TREATMENT SERVICES
Adolescent Intensive Services
2
Two support people
Children’s Intensive Services
2
Two support people
Secure Care Unit
2
Two support people
Garron Centre
2
Two support people
Pediatric Day Surgery Appointments
Pediatric Day Surgery Appointments
2
Two support people
Pediatric Outpatient (Ambulatory) Appointments
Pediatric Outpatient (Ambulatory) Appointments
1
One support person
Adult Outpatient (Ambulatory) Appointments
(for pregnant, in labour, delivering, postpartum or Dartmouth Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinic see Pregnant, in Labour, Delivering or Postpartum category above)
Women’s Ambulatory Clinics
1
One support person
Perioperative Clinic
1
One support person
Breast Imaging/Screening
Breast Imaging (IWK 6th floor)
1
One support person
Breast Biopsy (IWK 6th floor)
1
One support person
Breast Screening (Halifax Shopping Center, Dartmouth and Cobequid)
1
One support person
Diagnostic Imaging
Pediatrics
1
One support person
Pediatric MRI undergoing anesthesia
2
Two support people
Adult Ultrasound
1
One support person
Obstetric Ultrasound
1
One support person
All other adult procedures (includes MRI, Nuclear Medicine and Bone Density)
1
One support person
Blood Collection Lab
Pediatric Patients
1
One support person
Adult Patients
1
One support person
Maritime Medical Genetics
Pediatric Patients
1
One support person
Adult Patients
1
One support person

 

We understand the complexity involved in implementing these changes 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 when we can.

 

Obstetrical Patients

Pregnant COVID-positive patients admitted to the Early Labour and Assessment Unit/Birth Unit/Family Newborn Care Unit at IWK Health will be able to have one support person accompany them who is asymptomatic.

The following must be adhered to during their stay:

  • Support person MUST wear a medical mask at all times.
  • If a support person becomes symptomatic, they MUST leave the Health Centre for the safety of patients, families, staff, and physicians. An alternate, asymptomatic person may accompany the patient.
  • Support person MUST remain in the patient’s room at all times NOR can they leave the Health Centre and return. Food will be provided while on isolation.
  • Should the patient be required to go to the Operating Room for delivery, the support person will NOT be permitted to accompany.
  • Should the support person not adhere to the guidelines for safety, they will not be permitted to stay.

  

Patients and support persons who have recently been positive for COVID-19

At IWK Health, patients and support persons will be considered COVID recovered only at least 10 full days after the date symptoms started or after the date of a positive test.

Patients and caregivers are asked to please let care teams know if they have recently tested positive and are still within the 10-day timeframe. If a support person is still within the 10-day time period, we ask that you please choose an alternate support person who is not currently positive for COVID-19.

While in a community setting, Nova Scotia Public Health guidance regarding COVID-19 isolation applies.

 

Important reminders for all patients and support people:

  • masking policy and other safety measures are in place.
  • The no visitor policy and support person limitations are still in effect.
  • Screening of patients and support people at entrances into the building continues. To streamline patient flow we are asking that patients enter through designated entry points. Signage is in place. The assessment centre is not for building entry screening.
  • Patients are asked to report directly to their clinic or care area and not wander through the building or linger.
  • Children under the age of 12 are not considered a support person and should not be coming onsite unless they are patients themselves. Please make childcare arrangements for siblings and children not receiving care. Infants (12 months and younger) who are breastfeeding will be supported to come to the health centre during outpatient appointments and are allowed to remain with their mothers in the event of overnight admission.
  • We understand that screening can lead to delays but it is critically important and we ask for patience. At the current time the average screening time is 10 minutes. However, this can be variable and has the potential to increase with a continuing resumption of service. Allow 15-20 minutes for door screening but please do not arrive too early as physical distancing must be maintained in waiting areas.
  • A maximum of two people, or one family/support person unit, will be permitted on elevators; all persons should be masked in the elevator if they are from different family units.
  • The Emergency Department remains open and this entrance should only be used for patients visiting Emergency.

 

The IWK encourages the public to continue to do the things that keep themselves and their families healthy and well. This includes seeking support for time-sensitive care and for any concerning symptoms or issues that may arise.

Please continue to have your child vaccinated according to schedule.

Please continue to attend well-child visits or contact your primary care provider or pediatrician if there are concerns about things like development, feeding or growth.

If your child has acute or chronic health issues and there are new or worsening symptoms or issues, there are a number of options: 

  • Please contact your primary care provider, pediatrician or specialist providing care for your child to arrange virtual or if needed, onsite care.
  • The IWK Emergency Department is open 24/7 should you need to bring your child in for emergency care. Extra precautions have been taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Patients are screened upon arrival and may be asked to wear a mask. Patients with possible infections are separated from those coming to the Emergency Department for other reasons. Strict infection prevention and control measures are in place to keep patients and families safe.
     

The Mental Health & Addictions program is still open and here for you during the COVID-19 pandemic.