Horizon and Vitalité ease COVID-19 restrictions, allow visitors again

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Healthy visitors who are fully vaccinated are now allowed at Horizon and Vitalité health centres between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily. (BlurryMe/Shutterstock - image credit)
Healthy visitors who are fully vaccinated are now allowed at Horizon and Vitalité health centres between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily. (BlurryMe/Shutterstock - image credit)

New Brunswick's two regional health authorities are both moving back to the orange COVID-19 level today and hospital patients will now be allowed to have social visitors for the first time this year.

The visitors must be healthy and vaccinated and are subject to certain conditions, such as visiting one at a time, Horizon and Vitalité health network said in a news release Monday.

Other protective COVID health measures, such as masking and distancing, remain in effect.

Horizon and Vitalité facilities have been under red level protocols, the most restrictive, since Dec. 31.

"The downward trend in the COVID-19 positivity rate combined with the substantial reduction in the number of outbreaks in our health facilities is allowing" the move to the less restrictive level, Vitalité president and CEO Dr. France Desrosiers said in a statement.

COVID-19 remains present, however, she said, and people must continue to be very cautious..

"The network is monitoring the situation closely and will adjust again if things change," Desrosiers said.

Under the changes, visiting hours are between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

No social visitors are allowed on units with a COVID-19 outbreak or under investigation for a potential outbreak, the regional health authorities advised.

Social visitors must:

  • Monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms before each visit

  • Answer the screening questions at the facility entrance

  • Wear a mask at all times

  • Maintain physical distancing and clean their hands frequently during visits

  • Limit their interactions with staff, and other patients and visitors

  • Leave the patient's room when staff are conducting procedures

  • Visit only one patient

Staff may restrict the number of visitors in an area or the length of visits to ensure guidelines are adhered to, the regional health authorities said.

Designated support persons must visit separately from social visitors, with some exceptions. The hours for designated support persons are flexible and are determined in discussion with health-care staff.

More information is available on th Horizon and Vitalité websites.

"The network is pleased to once again welcome visitors into our facilities while at the same time keeping our patients and staff safe," Vitalité said.

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