Last Reviewed: May 12, 2020
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AHS has been taking steps to restrict visitors to protect patients and those at greatest risk of severe illness - including seniors and immunocompromised patients. Residents and patients of hospitals and continuing care sites are at higher risk if exposed to COVID-19, and staff are doing everything possible to ensure their safety.
Given the increasing spread of COVID-19 in a number of acute and continuing care facilities, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services made the difficult decision to enhance visiting restrictions in hospitals and continuing care facilities. However, when we made this decision, we recognized that there are special circumstances where visitors are essential to the well-being and care of certain patients.
Following the new orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued on April 29, we have updated our visitor guidance to clarify exceptions to visitor restrictions for residents in long-term care and supportive living, and to provide more guidance and clarity around visitation for those who have loved ones in an end of life situation.
We recognize visitor restrictions are difficult for families and loved ones but we must do all we can to minimize the risk of infection to our patients, residents and staff. AHS will continue to evaluate the limitations placed on visitations throughout the pandemic.
We encourage visitors to use other methods to be in touch with their loved ones, such as a phone call, video calling or FaceTime. For more information, refer to Involving Families During COVID-19.
Residents of these sites are at extreme risk if exposed to COVID-19.
Can you visit?
To help ensure continued protection of residents in long-term care and supportive living, as well as improve their quality of life, our visitor guidelines now allow residents of these facilities who are not in isolation to enjoy outdoor visits with a designated essential visitor and one other person. While outside, all appropriate precautions must be taken to prevent exposure to COVID-19, including physical distancing and the requirement that all visitors wear a mask or face covering.
In addition, our guidelines have also been amended to allow up to two visitors at a time to visit a patient who is dying within any AHS facility, as long as physical distancing can be maintained between the visitors.
We will continue to verify and screen all visitors permitted under these updated exceptions prior to entering the facility. Visitors must:
Effective immediately, all acute care (hospital) and outpatient settings have implemented a No Visitor Policy.
Exceptions are permitted in the following circumstances:
End of Life Situations
Outpatient and Emergency Department/Urgent Care
All visitors in acute care or outpatient facilities must:
Facilities will have a screener greet each visitor to conduct the health screening and verify any visitor is authorized to attend as per the above.
If you are unable to visit, please use other methods to be in touch with your loved one, such as a phone call, video calling or use FaceTime.
AHS and all continuing care operators can use this poster to inform visitors of the first requirement for visits: booking in advance. When visits are booked, visitors will be informed of other requirements such as outdoor visiting areas, physical distancing and hand hygiene.
Or send a Patient Well Wish.
If you have questions, discuss with the patient’s health team, or you contact Patient Concerns at 1-855-550-2555.