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Family visits restricted in southern Sask. health facilities to palliative, end-of-life care

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The Saskatchewan Health Authority is restricting family presence and visitation to Level 3 palliative/end-of-life care in its facilities and long-term care homes in Regina, the Southwest and Southeast due to increased risk of COVID-19.

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The SHA stated that Level 3 means that two family members or support members can be present at the same time for end-of-life care only. One essential family member or support person can be designated to assist with care if needed, including self-care, mobility, nutrition and behavioral needs.

Additional family presence can be allowed for specific circumstances such as critical care, intensive care, maternal, postpartum or pediatric units.

Starting Friday at 8 a.m., the restrictions will be put in place at Regina General Hospital and Pasqua Hospital. The Level 3 restriction is already implemented at all long-term care homes in Regina, Emerald Park, Lumsden and Cupar.

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In the Southeast, starting Thursday at 5 p.m., all hospitals and long-term care homes in the area will be restricting visits. This includes facilities in Estevan, Weyburn, Indian Head and Fort Qu’Appelle. For a full list of communities impacted in the Southeast see the SHA’s website.

All hospitals and long-term care homes in Moose Jaw will restrict visitation starting Thursday at 5 p.m.

“The decision to restrict family presence is not taken lightly. These measures are in place to keep you, your loved ones, and health care workers safe. The SHA is asking the public for their support and cooperation in order to contain the spread of the virus,” the SHA said.

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The SHA said no other visitors are allowed into the specified facilities at this time and the limitations will remain in place until it is safe to go back to the previous level of family presence and will be reviewed in two weeks.

A guide with more details on the levels of family presence is available on the SHA website.

Family members and support people who are allowed to enter facilities must undergo health screening before entering, including temperature checks.

Individuals entering the homes are also required to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer and must wear a medical grade mask while in the facility, and potentially extra personal protective equipment if required.

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