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COVID-19: Visitation expanding at 3 Saskatoon hospitals

Three Saskatoon hospitals are moving to level 1 family presence on Wednesday. File / Global News

Visitor restrictions are loosening at three Saskatoon hospitals due to declining rates of new COVID-19 cases in the city, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

Royal University Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Saskatoon City Hospital will move from level 2 to level 1 family presence as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 9. This change does not apply to units experiencing an outbreak, where heightened visitor restrictions apply.

Read more: Proceed with caution: Saskatchewan epidemiologist on recent decline of new COVID-19 cases

Level 1 family presence means that all patients can designate two, instead of one, essential family/support persons to provide in-person support, SHA said.

Officials added more than two people can be designated in the circumstances of adult critical care, intensive care units (ICUs) and end-of-life/palliative care.

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SHA said family members and support people must undergo a health screening prior to entering facilities.

“These changes to family presence apply to both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated patients … Screening requirements do not change if you have been vaccinated,” read a SHA statement on Monday.

“Family members/support persons who are coming in to SHA facilities are encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible as another layer of protection.”

Read more: Saskatchewan lowers age for second shots of the COVID-19 vaccine

SHA said it’s working to expand family presence in the three emergency departments but it currently depends on the space and number of patients waiting inside.

Provincially, the seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 infections is down to 97 from 103 on June 6. The last time the average was this low was on Nov. 8, 2020.

According to the government of Saskatchewan on Monday, the Saskatoon zone has 315 of the 1,142 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

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