The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) announced Thursday that all acute care hospitals in Saskatoon are reinstating restrictions on visitors following a substantial uptick in COVID-19 cases in the city.
The province saw 286 new cases and an additional death on Thursday, bringing the total to 3,416 active cases. Saskatoon has the highest share of the active cases at 972. Of the 184 people hospitalized across the province, 32 are in intensive care.
The health authority is changing the family presence restrictions at Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon City Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital, and Jim Pattison Children's Hospital from Recovery Phase to Level 1 on Friday.
This means each patient can designate only two consistent essential family members or support people for visits, unless the patient is in intensive care, end-of-life or palliative care.
Only one visitor can be present at a time indoors. But there will be no limit on the number of people allowed to visit outdoors.
Two essential family or support people can be present at the same time if the patient is in intensive care, maternal, postpartum and pediatric units, end-of-life or palliative care.
SHA said the hours of family presence will remain from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
"These measures are only activated temporarily in order to keep patients, family members/support persons, and health care workers safe at this time of elevated local COVID activity. Recovery family presence will resume as soon as possible," SHA said in a news release.
Any visitor coming into these hospitals will be also required to wear a medical grade face mask at all times while in the facility including in the patient's room.
"Failure to wear a mask may result in being denied access to the facility. People coming into SHA hospitals are also strongly encouraged to be vaccinated," the news release read.