Manitoba hospitals and health centres will be restoring visitor access for patients as part of Manitoba’s Phase Two reopening, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today. The gradual easing of visitor restrictions will restore the ability for patients and their loved ones to visit while measures to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 within Manitoba’s hospitals remain in place.
“Connecting with family members, loved ones and support systems are an important part of the healing process for someone in the hospital. During the peak of the pandemic, in-person visits had to be limited as we took every necessary step to prevent the spread of this virus,” said Friesen. “With the co-operation of Manitobans, our COVID-19 response has been successful and we are now pleased to be in a position to allow in-person visits to occur.”
This expanded visitor access follows the successful introduction of outdoor visits at Manitoba’s personal care homes last week, the minister noted, adding Manitoba’s hospitals and health centres have also been tasked with finding ways to accommodate outdoor visits following the trial earlier this week at Victoria General Hospital.
All visitors must comply with infection prevention and control measures, which includes strict hand hygiene and maintaining physical distancing (six feet/two metres apart) at all times.
“We recognize that solitude and separation can have a significant and negative impact on a patient’s health and well-being. Our goal is to find a balance for the longer-term; a balance that will enable visits with loved ones to occur, with all necessary precautions in place,” said Friesen.
Friesen indicated the likelihood of COVID-19 being a part of the ‘new normal’ for a longer duration requires finding a longer-term balance between preventative measures and the many benefits of in-person interaction between patients and their loved ones.
Most patients will be eligible to identify a single designated support person who may visit daily. Most sites are expected to be up and running between Friday and Monday, the minister noted. Facilities will begin implementation as early as June 5, with all sites expected to welcome designated support people as visitors by the week of June 8.
For current information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, such as steps people can take to reduce their risk and workplace guidance for businesses, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.
A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
(Province of MB News Release)