Family Presence Restrictions
Although public health restrictions have eased, the risks to Saskatchewan's most vulnerable remain. The health and safety of our staff, patients, residents and families remains our top priority.
On July 11, 2021, all SHA facilities, except for Long Term Care, will continue to follow and enforce continuous masking and facility screening, including all health care workers; including those working in home care and community. Vaccination status does not impact the need to wear a medical grade mask while in SHA facilities. This will be continuously re-evaluated based on epidemiology and modeling.
This easing of restrictions while not yet a full return to open family presence, is a safe progression towards open family presence.
Medical Health Officers will continue to have discretion to introduce or maintain restrictions, depending on factors such as community transmission or COVID-19 cases within a home. See list of family presence restrictions in LTC and acute facilities.
Public Health Order (PHO) can temporarily alter our family presence restrictions. If a PHO states restrictions, those restrictions are the current law and must be followed.
Family Presence in Long Term Care
In SHA Long Term Care (LTC) and affiliates, while there is no limits to the number of family members/visitors, the timing of visits and number of people present at one time will vary in each home based on factors such as available space. Masking will no longer be required by residents, family and visitors but everyone is encouraged to wear them, especially when a two-metre distance cannot be maintained. Screening is required prior to visiting.
Staff in long term care and personal care homes will continue to take precautions to protect residents. This includes screening, wearing a mask and COVID-19 testing.
Family Presence in Acute Care
Acute care family presence has been restricted to Level 1 family presence, which means that two family members/supports can be designated with one present at a time. Starting the week of July 26, Integrated Health Incident Command Centres in north, rural, Regina and Saskatoon, will begin assessing readiness for enhanced family presence. Decisions for enhanced family presence in acute care will be made by local Medical Health Officers and leaders as part of a weekly review process. Any decisions to further restrict family presence due to COVID-19 spread in the community or outbreaks will also be made during these weekly reviews.
Levels of Family Presence
View the Family Presence During a Pandemic Policy Guidelines reference sheet on Levels of Family Presence.
Recovery Phase: A Safe Progression to Open Family Presence
Long Term Care:
No limits on the number of essential family/support persons or visitors that can be designated for each resident.
No limit on the amount of family/support persons or visitors that can be present at a time for indoor or outdoor visits.
Screening is required before you enter and mask use is strongly encouraged.
Timing of in-person visits may be subject to scheduling limitations of the home.
Larger groups need to schedule the use of common areas before they come
- No limits on the number of essential family/support persons or visitors that can be designated for each resident.
- Follow SHA Guidelines for screening, personal protective equipment and distancing.
- Timing of in-person visits may be subject to scheduling limitations of the unit.
- Two essential family/support persons can be present at a time indoors. NOTE: Up to four essential family/support persons can be present at a time in these areas: intensive care, maternal, postpartum, and pediatric units; end of life or palliative care.
- No limit on the amount of family/support persons or visitors that can be present at a time outdoors.
Level 1 – Pandemic Restrictions
Every inpatient, outpatient, or resident can have two essential family/support persons designated. One person can visit at a time.
Level 2 – Family Presence Restrictions
All patients/residents can designate one essential family/support person(s) to provide in-person support for care and/or quality of life needs. Timing and frequency of family presence to be determined in collaboration with the staff, patient, and essential family/support person based on patient needs and considerations of care team/service area.
More than one person can be designated in the following circumstances;
- critical care or intensive care units;
- end-of-life/palliative care; and
- maternal, postpartum or pediatric units.
Level 3 – End of Life Reasons Only
Examples include, but are not limited to: palliative care, hospice care or those who are at high risk for loss of life, dramatic shift in the functioning of a patient or patient unlikely to leave hospital.
Click here to access Family Presence COVID-19 specific resources
Note that some information may be updated or changed, pending how COVID-19 evidence continues to evolve. It is important to maintain a balance between these recommendations and patient/resident needs.