COVID-19 Updates
IWK & COVID-19: Latest Updates
Hotline: 1-902-233-3495
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 Restrictions

Updated: October 12, 2021 / 11:14 AM

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 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, or you can call the IWK COVID hotline at 1-902-233-3495.

 

IWK to require proof of vaccination for support people in most circumstances starting Oct. 13th

Effective October 13, 2021, support people coming to all IWK Health sites will be required to show proof of vaccination with government issued ID when entering IWK facilities. This includes designated family/support people as well as people accompanying patients who are coming to the IWK hospital or any IWK Health community site for a scheduled test, appointment, or procedure. This is in-keeping with requirements at NS Health.

Children under 19 years of age and patients arriving to deliver a baby or those requiring a substitute decision maker will never be required to come unaccompanied.

What does this mean?

Whenever possible all support people entering IWK Health should be fully vaccinated. In cases where no alternative exists, an unvaccinated support person may accompany a child under the age of 19 or a patient in labour and delivery as patients in these circumstances require someone with them.

Support person restrictions for those fully vaccinated will not change. Support person restrictions for those not fully vaccinated may change and become more limited. Please check the IWK’s website by end of day Oct. 8th for final details. The specific care area drop downs will all be updated at that time.

 

Additionally, exceptions may be made in discussion with the care team for compassionate reasons, such as for those who are critically unwell, and end-of-life care.

Proof of vaccination will not be required for patients seeking or receiving care or treatment.

At IWK, our goal is to ensure we continue to provide safe spaces for patients, families, support people and staff. Vaccination is the most important measure in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Additional details regarding Proof of Vaccination requirements will be posted on the IWK Health website soon.
 

 

Latest support person restrictions

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 restrictions.

 

Fully vaccinated means: 

  • an individual received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada and;
  • they received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago.

 

Proof of vaccination requirements for support people will start October 13, 2021.

Emergency Department
Emergency Department
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Pregnant, in Labour, Delivering or Postpartum
Early Labour and Assessment Unit
2
Fully Vaccinated: Two support people
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Obstetrical Day Unit
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Fetal Assessment and Treatment Centre
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Perinatal Centre
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Birth Unit
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time (Doula is considered one support person)
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person (Additionally: 1 fully vaccinated doula permitted)
Prenatal Special Care Unit
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Family Newborn Care Unit
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Obstetrical Ultrasound
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Postpartum Clinic
1
Fully Vaccinated: Parent, baby + 1 support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
2
Not Fully Vaccinated: Two consistent support people
Perinatal Follow Up Clinic
Perinatal Follow Up Clinic
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Pediatric Inpatients
(for Pandemic Response Unit see category below)
Pediatric Inpatients
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
2
Not Fully Vaccinated: Two consistent support people
Pandemic Response Unit
Pandemic Response Unit
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Adult Surgery Inpatients
Adult Surgery Inpatients
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Women's/Adult Ambulatory Clinics
Breast Health Clinic - New Diagnosis
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Breast Health Clinic - Annual Recheck
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Early Pregnancy Complication Clinic
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Women’s/Adult OR / Pre-Admission Clinic
Women’s/Adult OR / Pre-Admission Clinic
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Mental Health & Addictions
Ambulatory Clinics
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person (exception for interventions requiring more)
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
INPATIENT UNITS & DAY TREATMENT SERVICES
Adolescent Intensive Services
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
2
Not Fully Vaccinated: Two consistent support people
Children’s Intensive Services
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
2
Not Fully Vaccinated: Two consistent support people
Secure Care Unit
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
2
Not Fully Vaccinated: Two consistent support people
Garron Centre
2
Fully Vaccinated: Four support people with a maximum of two present at a time
OR
2
Not Fully Vaccinated: Two consistent support people
Pediatric Day Surgery Appointments
Pediatric Day Surgery Appointments
2
Fully Vaccinated: Two support people
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Pediatric Outpatient (Ambulatory) Appointments
Pediatric Outpatient (Ambulatory) Appointments
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Adult Outpatient (Ambulatory) Appointments
(for pregnant, in labour, delivering or postpartum see category above)
Women’s Ambulatory Clinics
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Perioperative Clinic
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Breast Imaging/Screening
Breast Imaging (IWK 6th floor)
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Breast Biopsy (IWK 6th floor)
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Breast Screening (Halifax Shopping Center, Dartmouth and Cobequid)
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Diagnostic Imaging
Pediatrics
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Adult Ultrasound
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Obstetric Ultrasound
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
All other adult procedures (includes MRI, Nuclear Medicine and Bone Density)
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Blood Collection Lab
Pediatric Patients
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Adult Patients
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people
Maritime Medical Genetics
Pediatric Patients
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
1
Not Fully Vaccinated: One support person
Adult Patients
1
Fully Vaccinated: One support person
OR
0
Not Fully Vaccinated: Zero support people

 

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 as required.

 

Important reminders for all patients and support people:

  • A masking policy and other safety measures are in place.
  • The no visitor policy and support person restrictions 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. For inpatients who are permitted to have two support people present, all three persons of the same “bubble” are permitted in the same elevator.
  • 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 & Addicitions program is still open and here for you during the COVID-19 pandemic.