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Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority opens up long-term care facilities to outdoor visits, by appointment only
Following guidelines from Shared Health Manitoba, Interlake-Eastern RHA is opening up outdoor visitation at long-term care sites. Visits will be time limited and by appointment only as staff work to accommodate as many visitors as possible in a limited space dedicated to visiting and within limited hours of the day when staff are available to support the visitation process. 
“We’re happy that families and residents to be able to resume outdoor visits as we know isolation from loved ones is extremely difficult. That being said, the COVID-19 virus is still circulating in Canada and throughout the province,” says regional director of the long-term care program for Interlake-Eastern RHA, Tara-Lee Procter. “As we have seen in other parts of the country and world, this virus is known to have particularly devastating effects on older, vulnerable long-term care populations, which is why we’re adhering to strict guidelines for visitors at this time.”
During visits, there is no exchanging of gifts/items with residents and visitors are not permitted inside the building for any reason. Strict infection prevention requirements are in place including: hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing ( 6 feet apart) and visitors are asked to please bring and wear a non-medical (cloth) mask when visiting with residents.
Each personal care home has developed specific plans for outdoor visitation due to differing layouts and the needs of residents and visitors. This information will be communicated to families with specific guidelines on how to make an appointment to visit a resident. Up to two essential visitors per resident will be permitted at a time and drop-in visits cannot be accommodated. 

Although indoor visits remain suspended, exceptions will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis as per existing guidelines from Shared Health. Examples of exceptions are visits for compassionate and/or end of life reasons. 

Easing of visitor restrictions applies only to long-term care homes. All visitor restrictions are still in place for hospitals for now, even in facilities where the hospital and long-term care home are under the same roof.  Procter added that it is up to all Manitobans to abide by the public health protocols in place to continue to help keep people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 safe.

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