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Expanded visitation guidelines for long-term care facilities begin July 7

Family members can visit loved ones in person, with restrictions, beginning next week
Long term care visitation
Saskatchewan residents will soon be able to have expanded visitation at acute and long-term care, personal care and group home settings. (Getty Images)
The days of not being able to visit your loved ones at Pioneer Lodge, Providence Place and Extendicare are slowly and surely coming to an end as the battle with COVID-19 is won in Saskatchewan.

The provincial government announced Friday that visitation guidelines at acute and long-term care, personal care and group home settings would be partially relaxed beginning July 7.

While that doesn’t mean doors will be thrown wide open, it does mean only being able to see your grandparents or parents through a window will soon be behind us should the COVID-19 pandemic remain in check in and around Moose Jaw.

“We made several changes early in the pandemic event in order to protect our most at-risk populations, including visitation restrictions, staff and visitor health checks at point of entry, and continuous masking in health care settings,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said in a press release.

“As we see more of our economy re-opening and additional health services resuming, we will take the same careful, safe approach to expanding family presence guidelines and ensuring that our loved ones in care continue to be protected remains our number one priority, while supporting the mental and emotional well-being of those in care.”

The new guidelines will enable two family members or other individuals to be identified as supporters of patients and residents, and one of those supporters can visit a facility at any time.

It’s far cry from previous regulations that only allowed in-person visitors in end-of-life situations, and sometimes even those visits only by video call.

Further, two people can be present in the facility for:

  • Critical care/intensive care patients
  • End of life/palliative care patients or residents
  • Maternal Services Units (maternal and postpartum units, neonatal intensive care units, pediatric intensive care units, pediatric units)

Additional family members or supporters may be added in end of life, palliative and intensive/critical care, as outlined in the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) Family Presence Guideline, found by clicking here.

All regular COVID-19 precautions remain in place, with visitors have to follow safety requirements including wearing a medical-grade mask, physical distancing, hand hygiene and limited movement within a facility or home according to current public health orders.

Depending on the supplies of PPE, safe visitation spaces and ability to screen visitors, some facilities may take until July 13 to fully implement the new guidelines.

For up to date information, be sure to check with the facility to you plan to visit before arriving, and for latest information, keep an eye on