Care homes begin scheduled visits

Scheduled visits began this week at the Peace Villa and Rotary Manor care homes in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.

“We’re starting slowly, and it’s really around ensuring patient safety," Northern Health spokesperson Eryn Collins said. "But as things go well, and those practices are tested, we’re absolutely hoping to increase the number of visits."

article continues below

Visits have been restricted since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced at the end of June that visits would resume this month at facilities free of outbreaks.

Residents are able to see one designated visitor at a time, limited to 30 minutes, and booked in advance. All visitors must bring and wear their own masks, and will be screened at the door. 

Both care homes were required to submit a safety plan, and families will meet in a designated place within the care home, whether it's in the resident's room, or in common area or outdoors.

"Keeping people safe in those communal-living environments is incredibly important," Dr. Henry said July 9.

"Visiting is an important part of what we need to do to keep the mental health as well as the physical health of our seniors in care, however, it needs to be done in a measured fashion so that we're not introducing this virus into a care home again."

The plan to allow visitors is contingent on the province continuing to record a relatively low number of new COVID-19 cases. 208 active cases across B.C. as of July 13, and there have been no new cases in northern B.C. for more than a month.

The visits will be reviewed monthly by the province, care homes, and health authorities with an eye to expanding visitation if and when it appears safe to do. However, restrictions are expected to be in place in some form for a year.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province will provide $160 million for 680 long-term care and assisted-living facilities to hire extra workers to help facilitate visitations. There will also be $26.5 million for costs incurred by seniors homes between March 31 and June 30 for things like extra screening and sick time.

The funding is on top of the $10 million provided to public and private care homes for infection-control measures such as extra testing for respiratory illnesses, added pandemic controls, and increased sterilization.

— with files from Tom Summer, Cindy E. Harnett, and Glen Korstrom

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Alaska Highway News welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular News

Lowest Gas Prices in Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Fort St John, Tumbler Ridge
British Columbia Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com

Community Event Calendar


Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.