Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced today, June 10, the easing of some visitor restrictions in long-term care homes and homes for persons with disabilities .
Effective Monday, June 15, visits can resume at long-term care facilities, provided they happen outdoors and visitors stay two metres or six feet away from residents and staff.
This change also applies to homes funded by the Department of Community Services under the Homes for Special Care Act.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all of us but in many ways, it has been hardest on our seniors in nursing homes and those living in homes for persons with disabilities,” said Premier McNeil. “That’s why we are easing visitor restrictions while keeping many of our public health directives in place to protect our most vulnerable.”
Individual long-term care facilities and homes for persons with disabilities will communicate directly with residents and their families to arrange visits.
“I can only imagine how tough it has been for long-term care residents and participants in homes for persons with disabilities to not be able to connect with their loved ones,” said Dr. Strang. “Outdoor visits are a way to bring residents and their friends and families back together safely.”
To ensure resident and visitor safety, the following measures will be in place:
- visits will only take place outdoors, in designated areas on the facility’s grounds
- a maximum of two visitors may attend at one time
- visitors must maintain physical distance of two metres or six feet
- visitors must be screened for COVID-19 upon entry and wear a non-medical mask; anyone with symptoms will not be permitted to enter
- visitor information must be logged, including date and time of visit to the facility
- visitors who are self-isolating are not permitted to enter the facility or grounds
- visits will be monitored by staff, who will escort visitors to the designated area and provide personal protective equipment if needed
Facilities will be provided with materials to support this change, including screening guidelines and staff education materials.
- there are 132 long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia that are home to almost 8,000 residents
- there are over 300 homes for persons with disabilities in Nova Scotia with more than 2,000 people living in them
- visitors have not been permitted at long-term care facilities since March 15
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