Out-of-province family visitation at N.B. nursing homes to open up July 3

Click to play video: 'Atlantic bubble set to help families reunite'
Atlantic bubble set to help families reunite
WATCH: The Atlantic bubble is going to allow families separated by provincial travel restrictions to reunite. As Shelley Steeves reports, that includes those living in senior care homes – Jun 24, 2020

Families living in New Brunswick senior care homes separated by provincial travel restrictions will soon be able to reunite with their loved ones amid COVID-19.

With the province’s announcement of an Atlantic bubble opening up on July 3, families will be able to travel between Maritimes provinces without having to self isolate. The manager of The Briarlea senior care home in Moncton, Charline Johnson, says it will be a blessing for residents who haven’t even had a window visit with their out of province family members.

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“Those that are out of province, they really were limited to Facetime visits so they are really looking forward to being able to come into the province,” said Johnson.

But when families do come for a visit, they will have to follow a strict protocol, said Johnson.

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Family members will be required to book an appointment for their visitation and only two people at a time are allowed for outside visits while maintaining social distancing, she said. Inside visitation is limited to one person who, as per guidelines released by the province last week, must wear a mask at all times, said Johnson.

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“We haven’t had any visitors yet inside because people are kind of taking it a little more slowly,” she said.

Fearing a second wave of the virus, Johnson says 97 per cent of her home’s families are choosing to play it safe and are visiting with their loved ones outside when possible.

“We do recognize that it does not work for everyone,” she said, adding it is the preference.

Doreen Coulder, 97, lives at The Briarlea and has not been able to visit with her family members living in Nova Scotia since the start of the pandemic.

“I have all of the rest of my family in Halifax and with the border closed they never can get up,” she said.

She hopes to see her grandkids soon, even if the cannot be within reach her reach

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“You can’t get a hug, no,” she said.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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