On April 29, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced the first phase of reopening services within our province. This has sparked much discussion around what it means for the people supported in Health & Transition Services (H&TS), particularly around visitation. We will continue to work closely with Manitoba Shared Health and the WRHA Long Term Care (LTC) Program to best understand how our facility fits within the reopening plan, and will share information with you as it becomes available.
At this time, visitation restrictions remain in place in all health and long term care facilities, including Health & Transition Services at St.Amant. Updated guidelines were shared this week that provide clarity around exceptions to these restrictions, and I am pleased to share the following information specific to our program:
• One assigned visitor for children under the age of 18 is permitted
• One assigned visitor to accompany an individual with significant cognitive or developmental delay to an acute care site (hospital) is permitted
• One assigned visitor to support a person during the admission process to a long-term care facility is permitted
• Visits for compassionate, end of life reasons continue to be permitted
We are fortunate to be able to accommodate special circumstance visits in our Spirit Cottage. This reduces the number of people entering our facility. The Health & Transition Services Leadership Team have developed a schedule to ensure that visitation is as fair and equitable as possible.
All visitors are to adhere to the following guidelines:
• Self-screen using the tool on Shared Health
• Undergo additional screening on arrival
• Wear a cloth mask for the duration of the visit to further reduce the risk to the people we support. We have volunteers working hard to ensure we will have cloth masks available for visitors if needed.
• Practice physical distancing (at least 2 metres apart) from St.Amant staff as much as possible
• Perform hand hygiene before, during, and after the visit
• Stay home if sick, even if symptoms are mild
We also strongly encourage anyone who is visiting to practice good physical distancing, hand hygiene, and cough etiquette in their daily lives. This will increase the chances of staying healthy and further reduce the risk to the people supported in Health & Transition Services. Staff are advised to do the same and also undergo rigorous screening before starting each shift. Any staff involved in supporting a visit will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment as per the Provincial Guidelines.
We recognize how difficult the visitor restrictions have been for both the people we support and their families. Our staff continue to be closely engaged with the people they support, and are watching closely for signs of distress related to being apart from their loved ones. We will continue to offer virtual visits and invite everyone to participate in our Window Wishes visitation program that started on April 28. The feedback from those who have engaged in this program has been very positive! We also continue to advocate for guidelines to support outdoor, in-person visits, and hope that we can use our beautiful outdoor space for this. We will let you know if and when this is approved.
Please reach out to the manager where your loved one is supported to discuss the above guidelines in more detail. Any requests for visitation outside of these guidelines will be discussed on a case by case basis with program and medical leadership. Each decision is made with the Visitation Guidelines and the safety and well-being of all people supported within Health & Transition Services in mind.
The guidelines around visitation may change frequently – we are committed to sharing new information and modifying our practices accordingly.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Director, Health & Transition Services