Infection prevention and control measures in health-care facilities
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Published Thursday, March 31, 2022
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) would like to remind the community that although provincial public health restrictions have been lifted, COVID-19 is still a very present risk in our health care settings. We want to assure everyone that we know how important designated caregivers and visitors are to our patients and understand how they can impact a patient's quality of life and well-being while in our care. We are doing everything we can to strike a balance between ensuring patients can have the comforting presence of caregivers and visitors, while also protecting patients, residents, clients and staff from COVID-19 and other infections such as the flu.
Keeping this in mind, a number of infection prevention and control measures continue to be in place at health-care facilities in the WRHA including:
- Anyone entering a WRHA health-care facility must wear a medical mask
- Screening for symptoms and exposure remain for all individuals, and entry requirements, including those for self-isolation, may differ from public health guidelines due to increased risks in health-care settings
- For acute care, designated caregivers (any person whom the patient/client/resident and/or substitute decision maker identifies and designates as their family caregiver) are allowed in patient/resident rooms. One general visitor (family and friends who visit for social reasons) is allowed at a time for in-patients in acute care/hospitals provided physical distancing can be maintained.
- Designated caregivers are generally permitted in emergency departments or urgent care centres and for outpatient appointments. It must be noted that at this time, access is at the discretion of staff and dependent on space and physical distancing being maintained with other patients
- For long term care, designated caregivers are allowed in patient/resident rooms. Up to two general visitors are allowed at a time for residents in personal care homes
- COVID-19 cases and outbreaks on any ward will affect general visitation. General visitation is not permitted during an outbreak or to patients/residents who are COVID-positive or who have been tested based on symptoms or contact/travel status, except in end of life situations
- During an outbreak, designated caregivers should visit virtually whenever possible. In-person visitation is considered in order to meet the care needs of the patient/resident
It is important to note that these infection prevention and control guidelines do differ from public health guidelines, in order to prevent the more vulnerable population of patients from being exposed to COVID-19 and other infections. It will also protect our health care system by decreasing the number of health care staff that become ill, helping to ensure our system continues to be well staffed. We know that having loved ones nearby while in hospital makes our patients more comfortable and speeds up the healing process, and we remain committed to balancing those needs while still providing a safe and healthy environment for our patients. The WRHA stresses that while many people may be resuming normal activities outside of health-care facilities, this still remains a challenging time for our health-care staff as well as patients/clients and residents. We appreciate your adherence to these measures.
For more information, please contact WRHA Media Relations at: firstname.lastname@example.org