Manitoba

More caregivers, visitors allowed in care health-care settings as Manitoba loosens some COVID restrictions

Manitoba health-care and long-term-care settings will see some restrictions loosen this week, including an increase in the number of visitors allowed and a return to some activities for long-term care residents.

Some indoor activities, including singing, return to long-term-care settings, according to Shared Health

Changes that come into effect June 30 will see patients in hospitals and residents in care homes be able to have more guests and caregivers, as well as access to social activities that have been paused during the pandemic. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Manitoba health-care and long-term-care settings will see some restrictions loosen this week, including an increase in the number of visitors allowed and a return to some activities for long-term-care residents.

Beginning Thursday, people entering health-care facilities will still be required to wear medical-grade masks indoors, though that won't be required for outdoor visits with patients.

There are also a number of changes coming into effect related to visiting loved ones in care facilities.

The number of designated caregivers for those living in long-term-care settings and in hospitals will rise from two to four. Caregivers won't have to wear eye protection while providing support.

Emergency departments, urgent-care centres and some diagnostic service sites will also up the number of caregivers allowed from one to two, though it may vary depending on the site, the province said. This variation has created confusion among some families as early as this month.

Cancer patients will also be allowed a designated caregiver to accompany them to radiation therapy and some other appointments. Access to outpatient cancer treatments such as chemotherapy remains restricted, according to Shared Health.

Shared Health also says newly-admitted long-term-care residents will be permitted to leave their rooms during the first 10 days of arrival, so long as they continue to wear a mask and physical distance. Previously during the pandemic, new admissions were restricted to their room for a 10-day isolation period.

The province will also see singing and other activities return to long-term-care settings.

"These changes, which also include minor updates to personal protective equipment requirements, were developed in consultation with infection prevention and control, occupational safety and health and clinical experts, as well as health system operators," Shared Health, which co-ordinates the delivery of health-care services in Manitoba, said in a Wednesday news release.

Proof of vaccination was lifted for health-care workers, designated family caregivers and general visitors in March.

A Shared Health spokesperson said facilities will continue to screen visitors for symptoms upon arrival and use personal protective equipment in an effort to mitigate the risk of COVID spread among patients and staff.

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