February 2021 Update: Detailed information about essential visits is also available on the Patients & Visitors page.
Island Health is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to respond to COVID-19. Strategies are continually evolving to keep the people we serve safe during the pandemic.
To support the Provincial Health Officer’s directions around social distancing, and to protect the people we serve and our staff and medical staff from COVID-19, essential visits in Island Health hospitals between patients/clients and their designated family members/support person will be considered in the following circumstances:
- Visits for compassionate care, including critical illness and end-of-life care;
- Visits paramount to an individual’s physical care (e.g., assistance with feeding, mobility, personal care, communication and/or support with decision-making);
- Visits paramount to an individual’s mental well-being (e.g., cultural practices and spiritual needs essential to well-being);
- Individuals who are young, frail or have a disability requiring a family member or support person to escort them to an appointment for their safety.
* Important updates have been made to the visitor policy for long-term care and assisted living environments – please see Assisted Living & Long-Term Care Services for the most up to date visiting information for these care areas.
Eligible essential visitors must complete health screening upon arrival at designated entrances at hospitals. This means they must answer no to all exposure questions and cannot have any new or worsening signs and symptoms listed on the health screener before proceeding to their visit.
We know the importance of visits from family and loved ones to our patients and long-term care residents, and we appreciate your ongoing understanding and support in helping to keep everyone safe.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is the recommended resource for provincial information that is accurate and current: www.bccdc.ca. Information is updated frequently and individuals are encouraged to check back regularly.
You can also find information about testing, isolation, COVID data, outbreaks and more on Island Health’s website: www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.