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Coronavirus: B.C. announces new rules on visiting long-term care homes

作者:admin 2020-07-01

An emotional Dr. Bonnie Henry announced details on Tuesday to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors.

Holding back tears, B.C.’s top doctor says she understands how tough it has been for residents and their loved ones not to be able to visit each other amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“I know that for many seniors in long-term care the pain has been immense,” she said. “You have suffered more than others.”

“There have been many dark and anxious days; today is a lighter day for us all.”

3:38 Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines new rules for visiting B.C. long-term care homes Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines new rules for visiting B.C. long-term care homes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlined a number of rules around visits:

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Dr. Henry says there LTC visit rules:
1) Facility cannot be in an outbreak (there are 5 ongoing)
2) There must be designated screening staff
3) There will be indoor and outdoor spaces for meeting
4) Visitor must wear mask
5) Visits must be booked in advance#bcpoli

— Richard Zussman (@richardzussman) June 30, 2020

Only one loved one or family member will be allowed to visit a long-term care resident.

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“We are going to start slowly, and, as we expect things will progress well, we will expand these activities, as we have done with every other activity. And we will be monitoring this on an ongoing basis to ensure that we can expand access as soon as it is safe to do so,” Henry said.

Meetings must be booked in advance and anyone showing symptoms for COVID-19 will not be allowed in the care home.

Visitors will be required to wear masks.

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    Visits will not be allowed at facilities that are experiencing an outbreak.

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    The policy will be reviewed monthly.

    2:08 Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommends wearing a mask in these situations Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommends wearing a mask in these situations

    Visits will be able to start as soon as the care home has the safety precautions and staff in place. Henry asked for patience as it might take some facilities a week to 10 days to prepare for visitors.

    The provincial government is providing $160 million to hire up to three staff per care home to ensure the guidelines around visits are being followed. Designated staff will be required to screen everybody who comes in on entry.

    The staff will also provide needed guidance to ensure that visitors are able to visit safely.

    “We are all a little anxious because we know what can happen if we don’t do this right,” Henry said. “Moving cautiously, with care, will give us the confidence we need.”

    Story continues below advertisement 1:13 Non-essential visits at B.C. long-term care home will be suspended if COVID-19 is reported Non-essential visits at B.C. long-term care home will be suspended if COVID-19 is reported

    As of Monday there has been 386 positive COVID-19 tests from residents of long-term care, and 229 staff people who have tested positive.

    The province is also providing $26.5 million for facilities to address costs that they incurred between March 31st and June 30th, 2020.

    Those costs include additional screening, costs incurred due to sick time, and self isolation, costs for changes to services, including delivering meals to rooms, or staggering meal times to ensure physical distancing.

    “We have lost almost 100 people in long-term care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

    “This, for me — and I know for all of you — regardless of how people do in other places, is too many and has a real consequence on the people who have lived through that, the people who have lived though outbreak protocols, whether it’s one person or 80 people who are affected by COVID-19 in those care homes have felt the anxiety of that, as we do.”

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    Read more: List of seniors’ homes and health-care facilities at centre of B.C.’s coronavirus outbreak

    3:11 ‘We will be watching very carefully’: Minimizing risks of COVID-19 at B.C. long-term care homes ‘We will be watching very carefully’: Minimizing risks of COVID-19 at B.C. long-term care homes

    -with files from Jon Azpiri

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