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Visiting our hospitals, clinics & care homes

Due to COVID-19, all VCH facilities remain restricted to essential visits.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working closely with the Ministry of Health to protect the health of everyone in B.C., including patients, clients and residents. All Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) facilities are restricted to essential visits, which includes visitors providing compassionate care, physical care and mental well-being.

Essential visits are limited to one visitor per patient/client, per day, within the hospital or clinic. Visitors who require assistance may also be accompanied by an additional family member.

Outpatients requiring assistance may bring one family member or support person. A visitor who is a child may be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member. Visitors who require assistance may also be accompanied by an additional family member.

Although each patient/client is eligible for essential visits, our health care team may restrict visitation in the best interest of the patient/client. We understand this is a difficult change for those in our care – precautions are in place to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable patients and clients.

 

We are committed to limiting the community spread of COVID-19 and keeping clients, families and staff as safe as possible. While we continue to support our clients and families to have visiting and family time, we are modifying visitation and limiting the number of people that can gather together at once in order to achieve the best possible infection control and comply with physical distancing recommendations. Our new hospice visition guidelines support a consistent approach to hospice visitation across VCH and with long-term care settings where appropriate.

Hospice visitation guidelines 

The number of visitors a client may have at one time is only limited by the ability to maintain physical distancing within a client’s room 

  • Visitors must remain in client’s room during their visits.

  • There are no limits to the hours of visitation or the length of time visitors may stay, including overnight.

  • Common areas are closed due to surfaces being at high risk for viral spread.

  • No take-out food or beverages will be allowed. Food from home will be allowed. Containers need to be bagged when leaving the facility, taken home and cleaned in a dishwasher.

  • Compassionate exceptions will be discussed on a case by case basis in situations where the client is actively dying, has increased agitation or behavioral concerns, or requires specific assistance from the family.

Visitor Screening 

All visitors will be greeted and screened at the door and will be required to sanitize their hands upon entering and exiting the building

Resources

 

The Ministry of Health, working with the provincial health officer, has developed updated guidelines to support visits between family members and residents of long-term care and seniors’ assisted living homes.

All visitors must:

  • be screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19, and possible exposure to COVID-19, prior to every visit;

  • wear a mask for the duration of the visit; 

  • maintain two-metres of physical distance where possible; and

  • practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough/sneeze etiquette). 

Under the current guidelines for social visits, residents can visit with one designated family member or friend*. Visitors will be able to socialize in specific areas identified by staff. Visits must be booked in advance and will not be allowed if there is an active COVID-19 outbreak at the residence.

Essential visits may not need to be scheduled in advance. If there is another family member or friend providing essential care, only one visitor is allowed at a time – the exception being for palliative and end-of-life care, where more than one visitor may be permitted. 

In addition to visits in person, we also encourage you to stay in touch with your family or friend at the facility either virtually or remotely.

*Facility staff/operator can approve a change to the designated visitor under extenuating circumstances; for example, if the visitor moves away or becomes ill and is unable to visit.

 

Vancouver Coastal Health continues to support visitors for essential visits. Essential visits are limited to one visitor per patient/client within the facility at a time (except in the case of palliative/end of life care). Essential visits include, but are not limited to:

  • Visits for compassionate care, including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end of life and medical assistance in dying (MAID)

  • Visits paramount to the patient, client or resident's physical care and mental well-being (mental and emotional support). This includes:

    • Assistance with feeding, mobility, personal care

    • Communication assistance for persons with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments

    • Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities, including emotional support

    • Visits for supported decision-making

    • Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery

  • Existing registered volunteers providing the services described above.

  • Visits required to move belongings in or out of a patient/client or resident's room.

  • Police, correctional officers and peace officers accompanying a patient/client for security reasons.

  • Spiritual care providers of all denominations are considered part of the care team. The single visitor guideline does not apply to them

 Review of decisions about essential visits: Families and visitors can ask for a review of a decision about what is considered an essential visit by contacting the VCH Patient Care Quality Office.

These restrictions are in place to protect the health of our patients, clients, residents, staff and physicians. Thank you for your understanding.

A list of our hospitals can be found at the bottom of our hospital care webpage. Click on the hospital name to open the directory listing which includes the address, map, contact and parking information, if available.

 

Please check in with the unit before visiting to determine the best time for your visit and what you should do when you arrive.

 

Visit our restarting our services page to learn what to expect when visiting our hospitals and outpatient clinics in the time of COVID-19. 

Be a health hero and help us fight the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Do not enter if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, sore throat, loss of appetite, chills, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea and vomiting, cough or exacerbation of chronic cough, headache, muscle aches, shortness of breath, fatigue, runny nose or diarrhea.

  • Wash or sanitize your hands upon entry and exit 

  • Keep physical distance of 2 metres from others and follow signage guidelines

  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow

Look up accommodation information on the CIBC Centre for Patients & Families website to find reasonable and discounted rates for people visiting friends or family in our facilities.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, updates on available accommodations are continually changing. Because of this, the CIBC Centre for Patients & Families website is not currently updating accommodation listings at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience and strongly recommend contacting accomodation providers directly for the most up-to-date info.

Well Wishes is a free service that allows you to stay in touch with friends and family staying at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Visit our send well wishes page to get started.

Gift shops are available at many of our locations for those who would like to support a patient with a gift.

  • Lions Gate Hospital gift shop: 604-988-3131 ext. 3733

  • Powell River General Hospital gift shop: 604-485-3211 ext. 4347

  • Sechelt Hospital gift shop: 604-885-2224 ext. 4273

  • Squamish General Hospital gift shop: 604-892-5211 ext. 3372

  • Vancouver General Hospital gift shop: 604-875-5895

Beginning December 1 through March 31 each year, all visitors to this facility must have had a flu shot or wear a mask. Flu shots for visitors are free and can be obtained at your family doctor, VCH flu clinics, walk-in clinics; or pharmacies. People planning to visit loved ones in a health care facility or who will take family members to outpatient appointments are also eligible for a free shot.

Masks are available at nursing stations, outpatient reception desks and/or the main entrances of our facilities.

Stay home if you aren't feeling well

We want to give our patients and clients every chance to get well. Do not visit the hospital if you are feeling unwell (for example, if you have a cold or the flu) or have been near someone else who is sick. It is also important to wash your hands or use available alcohol-based liquid/foam hand sanitizers before and after visiting a loved one in the hospital or clinic.

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