(Image / Island Health Facebook)

After a B.C. Ministry of Health announcement this morning emphasizing changes to the health care system in the province, Island Health authority has released new rules for facilities on Vancouver Island.

While continuing to state that the risk to British Columbians and Vancouver Islanders remains low, Island Health has issued the following visitor restrictions effective immediately:

  • Hospital Emergency Departments, Intensive Care/Critical Care areas: ONE adult caregiver/support person
  • Perinatal Unit: ONE adult caregiver/support person
  • Neonatal ICU: TWO adult caregivers/support persons
  • Inpatient Pediatric and Adult Areas (with routine precautions in place): TWO adult caregivers/support persons
  • Inpatient Areas (additional precautions in place): ONE adult caregiver/support person
  • Primary and Urgent Care: ONE adult caregiver/support person
  • Palliative/end of life: Island Health will accommodate patient and family needs and consult with Infection Prevention and Control
  • Outpatient Clinics: ONE adult caregiver/support person
  • Primary and Urgent Care: ONE adult caregiver/support person
  • Long-term care homes: TWO adult caregivers/support persons

Visitors who display symptoms like fever, cough, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, and/or diarrhea will not be allowed to visit any of the facilities mentioned above.

Further, anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 during the last  14 days, must not visit patients/residents in any Island Health facility or long-term care facility.

Island Health says “patient navigators” will be stationed at entrances of all facilities to make sure visitors are aware of the restrictions.

These announcements have been made in light of the deaths of three people at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

In a statement on Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that authorities will be working to protect seniors at long term care homes across B.C. by restricting visitors at these care homes to essential visits only.

Moreover, hospitals are now cancelling elective surgeries and taking additional actions to prioritize urgent patients.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

There are now 30 new cases of novel coronavirus in B.C., including seven on Vancouver Island, bringing the total number of cases to 103 in the province.

Six people are now in acute care in hospital, while everyone else is recovering at home in isolation, in stable condition. Three people have died due to novel coronavirus, all of whom were residents at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. This brings the COVID-19 death toll to four in B.C.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will be denying entry to Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.

Designated exceptions to this rule include U.S. citizens, airline crews, diplomats, and people whose immediate families are Canadian.

Moreover international flights will now be restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.

Further federal measures to financially support Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable population, are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 181,310.

Nearly 7,130 people have died from the illness and 78,328 have made a full recovery.

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