Phase 1 of the new approach may be implemented as soon as this week, depending on the facility.
Fully vaccinated people will be able to make a social call to a friend or family member in a long-term care (LTC) or acute care facility.
Up to two “general” guests will be allowed at a time, as long as the room is big enough.
Those who aren’t fully vaccinated, or choose not to disclose their status, will be able to visit LTC residents in designated spaces, but won’t be able to do the same for someone in hospital.
When the weather warms up, outdoor visits will be permitted with up to four visitors at once — fully vaccinated or not.
Appointments will have to be made for all of the above circumstances.
Additionally, someone headed to the emergency or urgent care department will also be able to bring a fully vaccinated partner with them.
In all cases, many other guidelines remain in place, such as mask-wearing, social distancing and frequent sanitizing.
Shared Health says each facility reserves the right to supervise visits how it sees fit.
“This may include requiring resident doors to remain open during visits,” Shared Health’s updated visitor guidelines read.
Hugging and hand-holding will be allowed as long as participants try to maintain as much distance as possible.
Shared Health says these regulations may change if a facility enters a COVID-19 outbreak, or the province reverses course with more stringent public health orders in the future.
There’s no word on what future phases of the guidelines may look like.