VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Long-term care residents in B.C. will soon be allowed visits with more than one loved one.
As of April 1, residents will be allowed to have up to two adults plus a child visit at the same time. Hugs between residents and their loved ones will also happen again, as physical contact will be allowed.
There will still be precautions and appropriate PPE, but people will be allowed to spend time together in resident rooms without a staff member there. The province says “visits must allow for a minimum of 60 minutes.”
For months, only one designated person has been allowed — and only for certain residents.
“The reality is that likely, we are going to have more outbreaks in care homes now that we’re allowing more people to come into those care homes,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “But we’re at a point where the benefits of having those social connections and interactions outweigh the risks, and we know that we can manage those risks with the vast majority of residents and staff now being protected with immunizations.”
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Visits will still have to be booked in advanced and things like health screening, mask wearing and regular hand-washing are still required.
Communal dining and small group activities will be allowed again. Residents will also no longer have to isolate after returning from an outing.
The province says these changes are in effect until at least June 30, 2021.
The announcement of the easing of restrictions at long-term care homes came on the same day the province announced 800 new COVID-19 cases in the past day. Five more people died of the illness.