The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says it’s increasing family presence restrictions in critical care units due to the “extremely” high number of patients in intensive care units (ICUs).
There are currently more patients in the ICUs across the province than there have ever been during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release on Monday. It added the vast majority of those patients are COVID positive, with 79 showing on the government’s dashboard on Oct. 10.
SHA said all provincial ICUs and cardiac care units in Saskatoon and Regina will implement temporary surge restrictions, meaning each patient will be able to designate two essential family members and/or support persons, with one present at a time.
“Limiting the number of family members and visitors will help to ensure proper physical distancing and help mitigate the risk of COVID transmission in ICU settings,” read the SHA release.
“The decision to limit family presence is not made lightly. These restrictions will be reviewed weekly and may be lessened or further restricted based on regular risk assessments.”
SHA said ICU teams will work to support phone and virtual connections with family “as much as they are able to.”
For end-of-life family presence, two designated people are still allowed to visit at a time in ICUs, according to officials.