Visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Temporary visitor restrictions are in place at facilities and sites across the region, as per provincial guidelines.

All health-care facilities remain closed for general visitation with the exception of one support person for each resident/patient, including inpatients in a hospital setting and residents of long-term care homes, personal care homes, community care homes and assisted living facilities. The general public are reminded not to visit any patients or residents during this time unless they are the designated support person for the patient/resident they are visiting.

All support persons/visitors must be able to wear the mask provided at point of entry, and visitation may be suspended if visitors are not following procedures/facility policies.

Visitor Restrictions

The following exceptions apply:

  • Pediatric in-patients are permitted to have both parents/guardians as support persons, who may be present in the facility at the same time.
  • Labour and delivery patients may have one support person attend labour and delivery. The support person can continue to support the patient for the duration of the time in hospital and there are no restrictions on the number of visits per day.
  • Palliative care and end-of-life visitation should be discussed with the health-care team.

Support person guidelines:

  • Support persons can visit more than once per day and are advised to connect with the patient/resident’s health-care team to discuss visitation hours and the frequency of visits. Visitation is subject to certain time frames and frequency due to the limitation in some sites/areas to maintain physical distancing requirements.
  • The support person must not visit any other patient/resident or staff and must go straight to the patient/resident room or visitation space. Once visitation is complete, the support person should immediately exit the facility.
  • When possible, the support person should be the same person for the duration of the visiting restrictions at the health-care facility. In the event the patient/resident has a stay exceeding two weeks, the support person can be changed every 14 days.
  • Visitation can occur in sites where a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared, including visiting a COVID-19 positive resident/patient. In these circumstances, limited visitation can occur in consultation with the care team.
  • Visitation by the support person may be limited in areas of outbreak depending on the site circumstances and severity of the outbreak. Families will be advised in the event visitation is restricted. 
  • The support person must follow all precautions as instructed by staff and physicians as well as COVID-19 safety protocols in place at health-care facilities (e.g. screening, physical distancing, mask requirements, and appropriate use of additional personal protective equipment, as required).

Virtual visitation can be an alternate way to connect with loved ones during these visitor restrictions. To arrange for a virtual visit, please discuss your request with the care team.

Out-patients appointments and Emergency Department patients: In keeping with public health guidance to reduce the number of contacts wherever possible, patients are asked to carefully consider the necessity of bringing a support person for appointments at ambulatory clinics (e.g. appointments at hospitals and chemotherapy/radiation appointments) or when presenting to an emergency room. To support that guidance, patients who can safely manage their interaction for out-patient care without assistance/support should attend unaccompanied. Patients who are accompanied by a support person should be aware that during peak times, support persons who have remained in the waiting area may be asked to wait outside the facility, if possible, to ensure adequate space is available in the waiting area for patients. The clinical care team will accommodate one support person in the treatment area when requested by the patient and if sufficient space is available to do so safely.

Vaccine passport (NLVaxPass)

  • Effective October 22, 2021, in line with provincial vaccine passport guidelines, visitors to long-term care facilities, personal care homes and community care homes are required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination status (digital/paper QR code or copy of an official vaccination record) or an approved medical exemption.
  • Visitors, ages 12 years and older, are asked to present the following upon entry: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status and identification with name and date of birth (name on vaccination passport/record must match ID).
  • Children under the age of 12 can visit when accompanied by an adult who is eligible to visit. As per provincial vaccine passport guidelines, children have three months from their 12th birthday to get fully vaccinated.
  • For more information, please visit:

Patient/Resident belongings:

  • Beginning on January 1, 2022, arrangements can be made for the drop off of personal belongings for residents and patients admitted to any of Eastern Health’s health-care facilities. Please ensure that clothing items are freshly laundered, and that food items do not require refrigeration. Please also note that personal toiletries should be non-scented products. In addition, flowers with strong scents or are allergy inducing including, but not limited to, lilies, poinsettias, and baby’s breath are not permitted. All personal items should be placed in a clear bag with the resident/patient’s name clearly written on the package along with the sender’s name. Packages will be accepted at the door and delivered by a staff person to the resident/patient.
  • At this time, loved ones are asked to drop off belongings, beginning on January 1, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (daily). Hours of operation may be adjusted, as needed. Please consult the resident/patient’s health-care team for further details and to confirm the drop off time prior to arriving at the health-care facility.

Resident and patient day passes:

  • All day and overnight passes for long-term care residents are discontinued, except in the most extenuating circumstances, which must be approved by a manager of the home. In such circumstances, the resident and their escort are given information about infection prevention and control measures, including use of personal protective equipment, social distancing and hand hygiene.
  • The resident and escort are advised that where there is a risk of potential exposure to COVID-19 this may result in isolation of the resident upon return to the home or the resident may not be permitted entry into the home.
  • In addition, there are no day or overnight passes for patients in acute hospitals.

Registration and screening

  • All visitors/support persons must continue to register and be screened upon arrival to a health-care facility.

Public health guidance

  • All visitors/support persons will be required to adhere to public health guidance at health-care facilities to ensure the safety of patients/residents and staff.
  • Those who are required to self-isolate are permitted to visit/provide support in certain situations for obstetrics and end-of life care and are asked to discuss visitation with the patient/resident’s health-care team before visiting.
  • Some areas across the organization may not be able to accommodate multiple support people/visitors due to the need to maintain physical distancing requirements. In these cases, clinical care teams will work with families to identify visitation options.

Precautions around confirmed/suspect cases of COVID-19

  • Patients/residents who are suspected to have COVID-19 must wear personal protective equipment for the visit as per protocol.
  • If a patient/resident is confirmed COVID-19 positive, limited visitation can occur in consultation with the care team.
  • Individuals who are required to self-isolate are permitted to provide visit/support only in the specific situations such as obstetrics and palliative care, and only in consultation with the clinical care team of the patient/resident.
  • As well, anyone who is feeling unwell or sick should not visit patients/residents.

Physical distancing

  • Visitors/support persons are reminded that physical distancing (two metres/six feet) is still required in all spaces throughout our hospitals or sites including patient and resident rooms, and that visits will only proceed for individuals who meet the screening criteria.

Face masks

  • Visitors/support persons will be provided with a face mask and are required to wear it at all times while inside Eastern Health facilities. Visitors will also be asked to clean their hands. The clinical care team will advise visitors when additional personal protective equipment is required to be worn while with the patient/resident.

Other details

Individuals who are required to self-isolate are permitted to provide support/visit in certain situations for obstetrics and end-of life care. These support persons/visitors are directed to discuss visitation with the patient’s health-care team.
Visitors/support persons are advised that if they show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they should not enter a health-care or long-term care facility or personal care home. Instead, individuals are directed complete the COVID-19 self-assessment and testing referral tool or call 811.

Visitor restrictions during the pandemic have been critically important to the safety of our patients, staff and physicians. We would like to thank the public for their understanding and co-operation during this time.

For more information, please see our Public Service Announcements:

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Last updated: 2022-01-28