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Good news for Delta long-term care residents and their familes

The pandemic had taken a toll of isolation on people in long-term care
delta seniors homes visit changes
People living and working in long-term care and assisted living were among the very first in B.C. to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

It’s welcome news for people in Delta long-term care homes and their loved ones.

The provincial government last week announced the easing of visitation rules commencing Thursday, April 1.

All residents in long-term care and assisted living will be able to have frequent, routine opportunities for social visitation with the removal of the requirement for a single designated social visitor only.

The number of visitors can be up to two, plus a child, to visit at any one time.

The new rules also include changing the allowable location of visits, so family and friends can visit in residents' rooms without staff present.

Physical touching between visitors and residents will also be allowed, provided appropriate infection prevention and control measures such as masks and hand hygiene are in place.

Social visitation will continue to be suspended during outbreaks and will continue to require advanced booking, visitor health screening, use of medical masks and frequent hand hygiene, the Ministry of Health explained.

Katherine Chubbs, president and CEO of Good Samaritan Society which operates Delta View in East Ladner as well as many other long-term care residences, told the Optimist that news of visitation changes is welcome.

“It has been a long year, and while we have worked hard to create opportunities for interaction, we know virtual visits are not the same as seeing someone in person. We are looking forward to welcoming more visitors back into our homes. Still, I would like to remind people that with these changes comes an increased responsibility for all of us to ensure that we are following the public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission for some of the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Chubbs.

“While the vaccine has given us hope, we need to remember that COVID-19 can still spread. As an organization, Good Samaritan will do our part to ensure that all protocols are followed to keep our residents, visitors, and employees safe. I want to thank everyone for their patience as we implement the protocols necessary to prepare for the April 1 visitation change,” she added.

In an open letter to residents and their families, Augustine House executive director Jackie Reiners also described the change as positive.

“We are reviewing these changes and will work with Fraser Health to ensure these changes are done in a safe manner. As soon as we have more details about how this will look in our community along with instructions from Fraser Health, with regard to infection control policies and procedures required, we will pass these details on to you,” she explained.