The move is precautionary due to increased COVID cases in the community.
As COVID 19 cases in the northeast consistently grow, including in the Melfort area, visitors to the Melfort Hospital have been restrict as of November 18.
The only visits allowed will be for compassionate reasons such as end-of-life care and long term care patients whose quality of life or care needs are not being met.
“This is a precautionary measure at this time due to increased COVID activity in the community,” said the SHA in a news release.
Active cases on Wednesday in the Melfort Sub District 2, which includes Star City and as far as Kinistino, were at 29.
The limitations will be in place until it is safe to return to the previous level of family presence, said the SHA.
The decision to restrict family presence is not taken lightly, said health officials. “These measures are in place to keep you, your loved ones, and health care workers safe. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is asking the public for their support and cooperation in order to contain the spread of the virus.”
Two people have died so far in the Northeast after contracting COVID-19, although both were in the Nipawin subdistrict where the active cases were at 60 on the same day.
Family members and support people who are permitted into the hospital must undergo a health screening prior to entering the hospital. This includes a temperature check and questionnaire.
The family member or support person will be required to perform hand hygiene (hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the hospital and when entering and leaving a resident’s room.
Family members and support people will be required to wear a medical grade mask while inside the hospital and potentially additional personal protective equipment if required. Family members and support people are not permitted to wait in waiting rooms or other common areas.
Local area residents, along with everyone in Saskatchewan, are urged to follow public health measures and personal safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including maintaining a physical distance of two metres from others and masking when that’s not possible, frequent hand hygiene and self-isolating if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
Detailed information about family presence during COVID-19 can be found at saskatchewan.ca/covid19.
How to avoid getting sick:
Keep at least two metres away from others when in public and be certain to wear a mask when that’s not possible.
Limit gatherings to the numbers specified in public health orders.
Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Recognize the symptoms: Stay home if you have symptoms and monitor yourself. Symptoms include: fever, cough, headache, muscle and/or joint aches and pains, sore throat, chills, runny nose, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, dizziness, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite (difficulty feeding for children), loss of sense of taste or smell, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.
COVID-19 is in Saskatchewan: Protect yourself and your family at all times during the pandemic by following all public health orders and recommendations and ensuring you do your part to stop the spread. COVID-19 is transmitted through coughing and sneezing (droplet transmission), and by touching surfaces with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands. Every day we are learning more about COVID-19 and other ways it may be transmitted.
Get tested: Learn more about testing and take the online self-assessment at Saskatchewan.ca/COVID19 to determine if you need to get tested. Testing is universally available to anyone who requests it, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. Please note that in accordance with the latest expert advice on COVID-19, testing for symptomatic people may be delayed until their symptoms have been present for 48 hours to minimize the number of false negative tests. Call HealthLine 811 or your physician for a referral.
Care for yourself and others: Remember, anyone at any age can contract COVID-19, so be kind to each other and follow the recommended practices.
COVID-19 Alert APP: The Health Canada COVID Alert app is available to all Saskatchewan residents at no cost in the Apple and Google Play app store. The app is another tool available to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by letting people know of possible exposures without sharing any personal information. For more information, visit the COVID-19 Apps webpage.