Alberta Health is ordering a provincewide ban on visitors to long-term care centres, licensed group homes and other facilities as part of the ongoing work to limit the spread of COVID-19.
No visitors will be allowed unless a resident is dying or the visitor is essential for delivering care that cannot be provided by staff.
There have been 1,348 cases of COVID-19 identified in the province as of Monday. This includes 112 confirmed cases and 13 deaths at continuing care facilities.
“Residents of all continuing care sites are at extreme risk if exposed to COVID-19, and we are doing everything possible to ensure their safety,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.
“I know this will have a profound impact on the lives of those residents and their families; this is not a step that we take lightly. I’m asking all Albertans to reach out and support their loved ones through the phone, video and any other means possible.”
The new restriction also applies to all residential addiction treatment operations licensed under the Mental Health Services Protection Act.
Family, friends and religious leaders will still be allowed to visit a resident who is dying. In these cases, only one visitor can enter at a time and they cannot interact with any other residents while in the building.
Exceptions will also be made if an essential visitor is needed to provide specialized care for a resident.
Any visitor entering these facilities must undergo a health screening before stepping inside.