Alberta now says COVID-19 positive support people not allowed in maternity wards

Empty baby cribs are seen in a hospital room. Stock photo/Getty Images

Alberta Health has changed its policy to no longer allow people who are COVID-positive in maternity wards as support people.

An Alberta health exemption order issued by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw in July said people who test positive for COVID-19 were allowed to be with the maternity patient during their hospital stay as an essential or designated support person.

Read more: Support people with COVID-19 allowed to accompany patients giving birth at Alberta hospitals

Alberta Health told Global News on Wednesday that the exemption was terminated following discussions with Alberta Health Services.

“The exemption was initially signed to ensure that obstetrics patients had access to an essential support person,” said Alberta Health spokesperson Lisa Glover.

“The exemption outlined conditions required to permit an individual who was symptomatic for or diagnosed with COVID to provide this support.”

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Read more: Alberta surgical patients may wait months for care after COVID-19 delays

Glover went on to say “to ensure sufficient capacity in our health system, it was determined that health-care facilities were unable to provide the additional protections required to permit these individuals to be the essential support persons for obstetrics patients.”

She also added maternity patients are still able to have visitors and designated support persons as outlined in the AHS policy.

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