Updated June 11, 2021

We are experiencing rapid changes to visiting requirements as the province reopens and we recognize that these rapid changes can lead to feelings of frustration. We are doing everything we can to make these changes as quickly as possible. While the changes may seem simple on the surface, we need to ensure that we keep every one safe. We will keep families updated of any changes to visiting requirements as soon as possible.

Visitors play a key role in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our health centre. Visitors to the organization will have to adhere strictly to the rules that have been established to help ensure the safety of everyone at the Health Centre. Please continue reading below for the specific visiting requirements for St. Joseph’s long-term care and hospital programs. Visitors who do not comply with these requirements will have their visiting privileges suspended and the client they visited with may need to complete a 14-day isolation as part of infection prevention protocols.

CLICK HERE for information about St. Joseph’s Rapid Antigen Testing.

Visiting the Health Centre during COVID-19

Visiting a Resident in Long-Term Care

Visiting inside the Health Centre

Visits within the facility apply to essential caregivers and general visitors and include any garden areas that can only be accessed through the building.

  • Essential caregivers may visit at any time. General visitors may only visit 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • All visitors whether essential caregivers or general visitors must complete active screening including Rapid Antigen Testing upon entry to the facility. The testing clinic opens daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and visitors must complete regular testing.
  • The visitor must wait for the test results in the designated area prior to proceeding with their visit.
  • Only 1 visitor (either an essential caregiver or general visitor) is permitted to visit indoors at a time. You may only visit with one resident per day.  Please be respectful and considerate of others who may also wish to visit with their loved one.
  • Essential caregivers and general visitors must be at least 16 years of age to visit indoors and must follow all applicable policies and precautions that are in place. If an exception is requested, approval must be granted by the DOC/ADOC or designate.
  • All essential caregivers and general visitors must wear the mask and face shield provided by St. Joseph’s at all times while visiting indoors, without exception (e.g. no drink/food, do not remove mask/face shield when making a phone call).
  • Only essential caregivers may visit a resident in isolation or when a neighbourhood is in outbreak as additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be required.
  • Essential caregivers and general visitors must go directly from the main entrance to the resident’s room. They cannot visit with others in common areas (e.g. dining rooms, lounges, cafeteria and/or central areas). You may take residents directly outside for a walk, or to the gardens.  Physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained at all times from other individuals and residents.
  • When essential caregivers or general visitors are visiting over meal times, meals will be provided for the resident in the resident’s room. Essential caregivers or general visitors cannot assist with meals in the congregate dining area.  Remember that visitors are not allowed to eat or drink during their visit.

Visiting Outdoors at the Health Centre

  • Up to four (4) visitors (two essential caregivers and two general visitors) at a time may visit outdoors with a resident. You may only visit with one resident per day.
  • All visitors whether essential caregivers or general visitors must complete active screening including Rapid Antigen Testing upon entry to the facility. The testing clinic opens daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and visitors must complete regular testing.
  • The visitor must wait for the test results in the designated area prior to proceeding with their visit.
  • All essential caregivers and general visitors must wear the mask provided by St. Joseph’s at all times during their outdoor visit (e.g no food/drink may be consumed, do not remove mask to make a phone call). A face shield is not required for outdoor visits.
  • General visitors younger than 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult ( and are included as one of the two general visitors allowed to visit at the same time). They must follow all applicable policies and precautions in place.
  • Outdoor visits may take place in our gardens, however, only one visitor may visit in the gardens at a time as these gardens are only accessible through the building.
  • Physical distancing of six feet must be maintained from other individuals and residents.

Absences from the Health Centre

Updated Ministry requirements announced last week also reintroduce resident absences to long-term care homes. These absences are permitted under specific circumstances. SJHCG will provide a medical mask to the resident (as tolerated) and remind them to follow public health measures, such as physical distancing and hand hygiene, while they are away from the home.

The latest government documents recognize four different types of absences:

Medical Absences are when a resident leaves the home to seek medical and/or health care

  • These visits include outpatient medical visits or a visit to the Emergency Department that lasts less than 24 hours.
  • Resident is not required to be tested or to isolate on return to the LTC Home
  • All other medical visits (e.g., admissions/transfers to other health care facilities, multi-night stays in the Emergency Department) may require testing and isolation, (if applicable) upon return to the Home.

Compassionate/Palliative Absences are for a resident visiting a dying loved one outside of SJHCG.

  • SJHCG will assess these situations on a case-by-case basis.
  • Single day absences (less than or equal to 24 hours in duration) do not require testing or self-isolation upon return.
  • Temporary or overnight absences require PCR testing and isolation upon return

Short Term (day) Absences are less than 24-hours in duration.

  • Testing or self-isolation of residents is not required upon return.
  • There are two types of short term (day) absences:
    • Essential Absences include absences for groceries, pharmacy, and outdoor physical activity. All individuals, regardless of their immunization status, can participate in essential absences, unless the resident is in isolation and on Droplet and Contact Precautions or as directed by the local public health unit.
    • Social Absences (less than 24 hours) include absences for all reasons not listed under medical, compassionate/palliative, and/or essential absences that do not include an overnight stay.  Only residents who are fully immunized are permitted to leave the LTC Home for a Social Absence.

Temporary Absences (overnight/2+ days) involve two or more days and one or more nights and are for non-medical or social reasons.

  • Fully immunized residents must have prior approval from the Director of Care or designate to go on a temporary absence.
  • Partially or unimmunized residents are not permitted to leave on a temporary absence.
  • There are testing and isolation requirements for the resident returning from a temporary absence which may include but is not limited to PCR testing and up to 14 days of isolation.

Visiting a Hospital Patient (Complex Continuing Care, Palliative Care and Rehabilitation)

Visiting inside the Health Centre

As of June 10, 2021, SJHCG’s hospital programs will no longer differentiate between essential caregiver and general visitors and we will not keep a list of essential caregivers.

Please note the following rules:

  • Visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • All visitors must complete active screening including Rapid Antigen Testing upon entry to the facility. The visitor must wait for their test result in the designated waiting area before visiting.
  • Only one visitor is permitted to visit indoors at a time and may only visit with one patient per day.
  • Visitors must be at least 16 years of age to visit indoors and must follow all policies and precautions in place.
  • Visitors must wear the mask and face shield provided by St. Joseph’s at all times while visiting indoors, without exception.
  • Visitors cannot eat or drink while they are at St. Joseph’s.
  • Visitors must go directly to the patient’s room. They cannot visit with others in common areas (e.g. lounges, cafeteria and/or central areas).

Visiting Outdoors at the Health Centre

  • Up to four visitors may visit outdoors at a time with one patient.
  • All visitors must complete screening, including Rapid Antigen Testing before proceeding with the outdoor visit. Visitors must wait for their test results in the designated waiting area before visiting.
  • Visitors must wear the mask provided by St. Joseph’s at all times while visiting outdoors, without exception (e.g. no drink/food, do not remove mask when making a phone call). A face shield is not required for outdoor visits.
  • Visitors younger than 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (and are included in the visitor count). They must follow all policies and precautions in place.