Non-patient visitors in Yukon hospitals will now be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the hospital announced Sept. 1.
Visitors to the hospital are already restricted due to the COVID-19 numbers in the territory and are only allowed into the hospital to see patients in very limited numbers.
As of Sept. 1 approved hospital visitors must be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine and 14 days past their second dose date. Support people accompanying patients are still allowed to enter the hospital regardless of vaccination status.
Patients and support persons do not need to be vaccinated in order to receive care.
“Most importantly, our hospitals continue to care for every patient who needs our care,” said spokesperson Matt Davidson.
“This decision was made because we’ll take every necessary precaution to protect our patients, staff, physicians and visitors. Our teams encounter COVID activity and care for Yukoners in a high-risk environment,” said Davidson.
“We balance this risk with our responsibility to make sure Yukoners have access to the care they need, when they need it, which is why we have several safety measures in place. These include mandatory masking, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and screening people for risk factors,” he added.
Staff are not required to be vaccinated at this time, but Davidson said almost 95 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated.
Right now inpatients, emergency department and intensive care unit patients are permitted one vaccinated visitor or one support person. Maternity patients are permitted one visitor, but they must remain in the unit if unvaccinated.
Outpatients and patients on precautions are allowed one support person.
A limit of five consistent visitors, with two at a time, are allowed for patients near the end of life on the advice of a doctor.
A support person must be either a guardian of a minor patient, the patient’s decision-maker or they provide assistance to a patient with a mental or physical disability. They can be unvaccinated.
All visitors will be screened on arrival and must be symptom-free and not have been or be a close contact of a person asked to self-isolate or self-monitor.
The hospital’s notice also advises that non-urgent hospital services could be limited or postponed, including surgeries and lab tests.
Contact Haley Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org