Nova Scotia

IWK limits number of support people for patients over COVID-19 concerns

The institution is imposing further restrictions on visitors because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in the Halifax area.

Only one or two people will be able to stay with patients in most circumstances

Restrictions have been put in place at IWK following an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in Halifax. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

The IWK Health Centre has announced new restrictions on support persons in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Halifax area. 

The move follows the suspension of hospital visits announced by the Nova Scotia Health Authority on Nov. 20. 

A news release from the hospital Thursday said the number of support persons allowed will vary by location because of the physical layout of the facility and physical distancing requirements.

It says in cases where there is difficulty in accommodating additional support people, care teams will work with families to discuss options. 

Emergency department patients are limited to one support person.

Women who are pregnant, in labour, delivering or postpartum are limited to one support person with the exception of the fetal assessment and treatment centre and the obstetrical day unit, where no support persons are allowed. 

Patients in the neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric inpatients will be allowed two support persons.

Adult surgery inpatients are allowed one support person.

Inpatient and day treatment patients being treated for mental health and addictions are allowed two support persons with the exception of those in ambulatory clinics. 

A location-by-location list of the new limits is posted on the IWK website

The IWK said it will continue to minimize the number of people at its facilities in order to protect its patients and staff. 

It said it is monitoring the situation and will make further adjustments to restrictions if necessary.