COVID-19: Visitor restrictions easing in 3 Saskatoon hospitals

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said this recovery phase is intended to be a safe progression towards pre-pandemic open family presence. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is easing visitor restrictions in three hospitals across Saskatoon.

Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon City Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital will move to the recovery phase for family presence/visitor restrictions starting on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

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SHA said this phase is intended to be a safe progression towards pre-pandemic open family presence which will occur when it’s safe to do so.

During the recovery phase, there will be no limits on the number of visitors that can be designated for each patient, with two allowed at a time indoors and four in intensive care, end-of-life or palliative care.

SHA is asking for patients and families to recognize every visit to an acute care facility brings with it the risk of COVID-19 exposure or transmission.

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“Because transmission of COVID-19 and its variants, like the Delta variant, will continue to pose a risk to staff, physicians, patients, family and visitors in SHA facilities, each local area will still be closely monitoring transmission,” read a SHA statement on Tuesday.

“People coming in to SHA hospitals are also strongly encouraged to be vaccinated.

“In order to maintain safety for everyone, the above protocols will remain in place for the time being and will be regularly reviewed. It is only by working together that we can keep SHA facilities safe.”

Read more: COVID-19: Sask. Health warns of exposure on Aug. 6 Rider game shuttle

Due to emergency department capacity and demands, SHA said it will remain at Level 1 family presence with one support person able to accompany a patient.

Anyone coming into the hospitals will have to answer COVID-19 screening questions and wear a medical-grade face mask at all times while in the facilities. In the recovery phase, visiting hours will remain in place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

According to the provincial government’s website, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Aug. 16 at Royal University Hospital on unit 5100 and 5200.

The government’s dashboard showed on Tuesday that the Saskatoon zone leads the province with 235 of 1,017 total active cases. Roughly 677,200 people have been fully vaccinated in the province. 

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