Visitor restrictions added to more N.S. hospitals; PCR test results delayed

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The QEII Health Sciences Centre is joining the list of N.S. hospitals limiting visitors to one per person, except in certain situations. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
The QEII Health Sciences Centre is joining the list of N.S. hospitals limiting visitors to one per person, except in certain situations. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

Three more Nova Scotia hospitals are bringing in visitor restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19.

According to a release from Nova Scotia Health, the changes made at the QEII Health Sciences Centre and Dartmouth General Hospital are due to "COVID-19 activity."

As of Saturday, in-patients at both facilities can have only one consistent visitor, except for the following circumstances:

  • palliative care and other patients nearing end of life.

  • patients receiving medical assistance in dying.

  • children under 18 seeking treatment and/or admitted to hospital.

  • outpatients, including patients arriving at the hospital for emergency and ambulatory care clinics, appointments or procedures who need support to receive care due to physical, intellectual, cognitive and emotional conditions.

  • patients requiring support for critical treatment decisions such as organ transplantation, initiation of hemodialysis, and at the discretion of the clinical team.

The same restrictions were brought in at Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro on Friday, but those in-patients are also allowed an extra exemption for labour and birth.

There is no date on when the restrictions for the three facilities will end.

Update planned for Sunday

As of Friday, 34 were in hospital with COVID-19, including four people in intensive care. Nova Scotia reported 618 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and estimated there were 5,117 active cases of the virus.

The province will not be releasing COVID-19 statistics on Saturday but plans an abbreviated update on Sunday and Monday.

These hospitals are the latest to bring in restrictions that began in recent weeks at four other hospitals across the province.

At Glace Bay Hospital and Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital, the restrictions that began on Dec. 27 will continue until Monday. The restrictions at Guysborough Memorial Hospital begin Dec. 28 and continue until Tuesday.

St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish began restrictions on Dec.24. No end date has been set.

Restrictions and exemptions differ for every hospital, so check online for exact rules.

Delayed PCR test results

A Nova Scotia Health news release Saturday afternoon said there are delays in providing PCR COVID-19 test results due to high volume.

People may have to wait 72 to 96 hours, the release states.

Anyone waiting for more than 96 hours for a result is being asked to call 1-844-996-0694 and leave their name, date of birth, health card number and the date the test was taken.

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