COVID-19

Welcome to Providence Health Care!

We strive to provide the most up-to-date information so you’re prepared for your visit at our site. If you’re looking for more information about the latest COVID-19 updates, please visit the BCCDC’s website.

Coming to our sites? Click the link that best describes your visit:

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VISITING ACUTE CARE FACILITIES

If you’re visiting someone in the following areas:

  • St Paul’s Hospital
  • Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
  • Holy Family Hospital Rehabilitation Unit

Please read our most recent guidelines below:

The acute visitor policy is as follows:

  • Essential and social visitors are now referred to generally as visitors.
  • Visitors are not required to maintain physical distance; however, they should respect personal space between people.
  • Up to two visitors may visit a patient at a time.
  • Patients and visitors are encouraged to work in partnership with care providers to determine how best to coordinate visits (e.g., it may be best to avoid visits during shift change or patient rounds). Patients can refuse to provide consent for a visit and this will be respected.

Vaccination requirement

Effective immediately, all visitors to acute care facilities are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (BC Vaccine Card or equivalent).

Visitors who do not demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated will not be able to enter a facility, including passing through the facility to access an outdoor space.

Vaccination requirement does not apply to:

  • Visitors with an approved medical exemption.
  • Children under the age of vaccine eligibility (currently ages 12 and above).
  • The following care settings:
    • Visits to the emergency department and intensive care unit*.
    • Visits for compassionate care including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care and end-of-life**.
    • Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery (e.g., support persons).
    • Visits paramount to the patient’s physical and mental well-being.
    • Visits to support the patient’s decision-making.

*Emergency rooms and intensive care units are limited to one support person at a time.

**More than two visitors may be allowed for pediatric care, labour and delivery, palliative and end-of-life care.

Masks

All visitors must wear a medical mask when entering and moving around any health care facility, including clinical and non-clinical areas.

All persons accompanying a patient in admitting/waiting areas, including emergency departments, must wear a medical mask. 

Who is exempt from the mask policy?

  • People under 12 years old
  • People unable to wear a mask because of a health condition or physical or mental impairment. 
  • People unable to put on or remove a mask without help from another person. 
  • To accommodate site-specific circumstances (e.g., staff/visitor/patient masking may not be required when eating/drinking at retail food establishments or cafeterias).

Parking

PAY PARKING SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Pay parking for patients, staff, and visitors at all health authority owned and operated sites, including those of Providence Health Care, is suspended effective April 1, 2020 until further notice.

  • The City of Vancouver is also providing street parking in neighbourhoods near all Vancouver hospitals, including all Providence sites. 
  • St. Paul’s has reserved 46 spaces dedicated for patients and the public - these spots are located along the inside wall, spots 286–299 and 462–495.

 

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ACUTE CARE PATIENTS (INPATIENT AND OUTPATIENT)

If you’re coming to our site for:

  • Diagnostics (ex: MRIs, x-rays, blood work)
  • Outpatient procedures and surgeries
  • Inpatient care

Please read our most recent guidelines below:

All patients must wear a medical mask when entering and moving around a health care facility, including patient transport, except when requested to remove their mask by a health care professional. 

  • Admitted patients must wear a medical mask when they leave their room.
  • Admitted patients will generally not be required to wear a medical mask in their rooms, with exceptions based on a health care professional’s point of care risk assessment.

Who is exempt from the mask policy?

  • People under 12 years old
  • People unable to wear a mask because of a health condition or physical or mental impairment. 
  • People unable to put on or remove a mask without help from another person. 
  • To accommodate site-specific circumstances (e.g., staff/visitor/patient masking may not be required when eating/drinking at retail food establishments or cafeterias).

Please click here for more information on the masking policy.

Parking

PAY PARKING SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Pay parking for patients, staff, and visitors at all health authority owned and operated sites, including those of Providence Health Care, is suspended effective April 1, 2020 until further notice.

  • The City of Vancouver is also providing street parking in neighbourhoods near all Vancouver hospitals, including all Providence sites. 
  • St. Paul’s has reserved 46 spaces dedicated for patients and the public - these spots are located along the inside wall, spots 286–299 and 462–495.

 

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LONG TERM CARE VISITORS

Effective March 18, the number of visitors to long term care facilities will no longer be restricted. 
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In balancing the needs of our residents and families in returning to a life of contentment and social activity, the following guidelines remain in place to help ensure the safety and daily wellbeing of residents, visitors and staff:

SCREENING

All visitors will be screened upon arrival and visitors are required to show proof of vaccination status prior to entry (e.g. BC Vaccine Card or equivalent).

  • Exemptions are in place for end-of-life visits, children under the age of 12 and those with an approved medical exemption.
  • A visitor list, with contact information and vaccination status, will continue to be maintained as per provincial COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance for long-term care and seniors’ assisted living.

MASKS

All visitors in LTC and Assisted Living (AL) homes are required to wear medical masks for the duration of their visit (indoor and outdoor), including in a resident's shared room. If visiting a resident in a single occupancy room, fully vaccinated visitors may choose to remove their mask during their visit

RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING

  • All visitors in LTC homes are required to complete rapid antigen testing before their visit begins.
  • Rapid antigen testing may be conducted at the care home upon arrival or in the community prior to a visit. A rapid antigen test conducted in the community should be completed as close to the visit as possible and not more than 48-hours prior to the visit.
    • Rapid antigen test results are to be communicated verbally as part of the screening process at the care home.
  • Visitors may access a Rapid Test kit from the care home on their next visit from the Screener or a member of the care team.
    • Exemptions to rapid testing are in place for end-of-life visits and children under the age of 12.

To accommodate the expected increase in visiting, while upholding physical distancing and supporting resident safety, we have established visiting hours and a capacity for each neighbourhood. WorkSafe BC and site capacity safety plans inform the maximum number of people for safe visitation.

Entry to the site for visiting hours will be up to 1800 (6pm) to accommodate screening practices. Once screened, visitors may stay for the evening. If you need accommodating outside of these hours, please call the charge nurse in the designated neighbourhood to assist you.

Visitor capacity will be determined by each individual care home. If you are concerned about your ability to visit due to space constraints, please call ahead to confirm. Screeners and visitation support workers will provide guidance around capacity when you arrive.

Please be aware that at the direction of the Medical Health Officer, social visits may be suspended in the event of an outbreak. Essential visits and visits by a single designated visitor may continue during an outbreak.

Each resident is supported to have a single designated visitor. Single designated visitors will be able to visit and support residents, without restrictions on frequency or duration of visits, while adhering to all preventative measures in place, including in facilities/units where there is COVID-19, including during declared outbreaks.

Specific guidelines for designated and essential visitors are described below.

Vaccine Verification in Long Term Care

As per the Public Health Order and Ministry of Health (MoH) directives, you will now be required to show proof of your vaccination status. This directive supports public health decision making in the event of a COVID-19 exposure in the care home.

When arriving to the care home for your first visit, the screener will ask you to show proof and will document this. You will not be required to show proof at subsequent visits. Your information is confidential and will not be shared with others.

If you are not fully immunized*, or do not show proof, you will be denied entry to the facility. Exceptions related to compassionate care, such as end of life care, will be considered on an individual basis with additional preventative measures required to support visits involving partially or unimmunized individuals.

Visitors who do not demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated may visit outdoors in space that does not require entry to or passage through the facility. Partially or unimmunized visitor are required to follow and adhere to all IPAC requirements, including wearing a medical mask for the duration of their visit.

*Fully Immunized is defined as seven days after receiving the full series of a World Health Organization (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of approved WHO Vaccines.

How to choose a single designated visitor:

  • Please identify the designated visitor (1 per resident) to the site leadership.
  • The designated visitor is not required to be approved by site leadership.
  • If you need to change the designated visitor, a reason for changing out the designated visitor is to be communicated to site leadership in advance, ie extenuating circumstances such as illness, etc.

Visiting at our residences (designated visitors):

  • Designated visits may occur without an appointment or advance notice
  • Designated visits may occur in the resident rooms (one visitor per room) or in areas that will allow for adequate physical distancing.
  • There is no time limit for visits but please respect that space is limited and only one visitor is allowed per room. 

What is an essential visit?

The BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) defines an essential visit as “an essential need that could not be met in the absence of the essential visit.” This can include:

  • Visits for compassionate reasons including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, and end of life.
  • Visits paramount to the resident’s physical care and mental well-being (e.g., assistance with feeding, mobility, personal care or communication, assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities).
  • Visits for supported decision-making.
  • Visits required to move belongings in/out of a resident’s room.
  • Essential visits shall be limited to one visitor per resident within the facility at a time (except in the case of palliative/end-of-life care). Based on resident needs and at the discretion of the site leadership, there may be more than one essential visitor for some residents – determined on a case by case basis at the discretion of the site leadership. 
  • An essential visit is not a social visit and essential visits are permitted in a care home/residence that has an active COVID-19 outbreak, under guidance and direction from the local medical health officer.

If you have specific questions related to social visiting with your loved one, please connect with the designated care home contact directly.

Visiting Appeal Process

In line with the MoH and the Public Health order, we want to make you aware of the appeal and review process for both essential and social visits in LTC. Should you have a concern regarding a decision relating to visitor status, we encourage you to speak with a clinical care team member or clinical care team leadership at the time of concern. If you are not satisfied with the response, our Resident Care Manager will be involved, providing you a written decision including the rationale.

In the event you are not satisfied with the decision by the care home, you are encouraged to contact Patient Care quality Office (PCQO) at 604-806-8284 or email them at phcpcqo@providencehealth.bc.ca for re-consideration.

In the event you are not satisfied with the response on behalf of PHC, the issue may be escalated to the Provincial Health Officer via PCQO or independently by mail to: Hlth.visitorappeal@gov.bc.ca.

For the updated guidance for long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities, visit BC Centre for Disease Control’s website.

Residents of our long-term care facilities and their families can find more information here.

Please note: Visits are not allowed to units if there is an active COVID-19 outbreak - except for compassionate (end-of-life) visits.

All Providence Health Care sites have controlled access protocols in place and all visitors can expect to be asked the reason for their visits and may not gain access to the site, based on the above criteria.

Please see attached document on restrictions and requirements for bringing a care package for a patient.

Parking

PAY PARKING SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Pay parking for patients, staff, and visitors at all health authority owned and operated sites, including those of Providence Health Care, is suspended effective April 1, 2020 until further notice.

The City of Vancouver is also providing street parking in neighbourhoods near all Vancouver hospitals, including all Providence sites. 

Online Memorial

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ASSISTED LIVING VISITORS

  • It continues to be a requirement that all visitors be vaccinated, with exceptions for those with medical exemptions or end of life visits. Rapid tests are mandatory for these visitors.
  • Masks are required at all times during the visit, even when alone with the tenant or in a single room.
  • The requirement for visitors to undergo rapid POC testing does not apply at standalone seniors’ AL residences at this time.

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DONATIONS

All offers of goods and services with respect to the COVID19 response can be emailed to SPFoundation@providencehealth.bc.ca. For monetary donations to the COVID-19 response fund, please visit the St. Paul’s Foundation website. A heartfelt thank you to the many community members and businesses generously offering assistance.