Saskatoon hospitals lifting some visitor restrictions after COVID-19 cases drop
Patients can now choose two support people, more if circumstances require
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has decided to ease visitor restrictions at the city's three main hospitals.
Starting Wednesday morning, Royal University Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital and Saskatoon City Hospital will move from Level 2 family visitation to Level 1.
That means patients can designate two support people to visit them at their beds to provide in-person support.
Generally, only one designated person can be at the patient at one time, although two people will be allowed in maternity and pediatrics.
Timing and frequency of family visits will be determined based on the needs of the patient as well as the capacity of the room.
The move comes as Saskatoon's cases of COVID-19 continue to drop. On Monday, Saskatoon had 315 active cases. Two weeks earlier, on May 24, there were 479 active cases in the city.
The health authority noted that the change does not apply to any hospital unit experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.
The authority is working toward allowing families into emergency departments, but that is dependant on the amount of room and the number of patients waiting.
The change means that support people can accompany patients outside as well.
More than two visitors will be allowed in special circumstances, such as critical care units and palliative care.
All support people will need to go through a screening process before entering the building, including a temperature check and filling out a questionnaire.
Visitors will also need to sanitize their hands while entering the building as well as entering the patient's room. As well, visitors will need to wear a medical grade mask, as well as other personal protective equipment if required.