Edmonton family reacts to Alberta hospital visit ban amid COVID-19 pandemic: ‘It’s heartbreaking’

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Edmonton family reacts to Alberta hospital visit ban amid COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH: An Edmonton family is reacting to Alberta Health's announcement Friday banning most visitors from hospitals in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Nicole Stillger reports – Apr 5, 2020

Edmonton resident Cathy Fox would rather be in the hospital visiting her dad.

Instead, she sat in the car.

“He was diagnosed with aggressive stage four cancer. This is just hard,” Fox said Sunday.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be OK with this but it’s out of our control.”

She said she used to visit him every other day. The last time was Friday — the same day Alberta Health banned most visitors at hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“With few exceptions, patients in hospital will no longer be able to have any visitors in person,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Friday.

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“Please plan to support loved ones in hospital with virtual visits instead.”

Fox went to the hospital Sunday with her mother, who was the only one allowed up.

“It’s heartbreaking, knowing I can’t see my dad,” Fox said.

“I totally understand… They got to do what they got to do to keep their patients safe, right?”

The new restrictions also apply to long-term care, supportive and congregate living, as well as hospice and acute care.

According Alberta Health Services, exceptions will be made for maternity care, children who are patients and visitors who want to see a family member or loved one who is dying.

That’s why Fox’s mother still gets those precious moments with her husband.

“It’s not looking good for him, so I’m just glad I get to spend the time I get with him,” Sharon Griep said.

She called the new restrictions “the right thing to do.”

Griep also praised the hospital staff for taking care of her husband.

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“Couldn’t ask for a better place for him to be right now getting the care he needs,” she said.

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