Visitor restrictions increased across N.S., temporary surgery reductions introduced

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Public Health has increased visitor restrictions across the province to further reduce the risk of the virus being introduced into its facilities.

Effective immediately, two designated support people per day, one at a time, are allowed for palliative care and other patients nearing end of life, patients receiving medical assistance in dying, and children under 18 admitted to hospital.

One designated support person is allowed for labour and birth or children under 18 years in outpatient settings.

Public Health also says one designated support person per week will be permitted for hospital inpatients or outpatients who need support to receive care due to physical, intellectual, cognitive, or emotional conditions.

The decision to allow a support person in those circumstances requires agreement between the patient and the care team. 

On Friday, the province announced a temporary reduction in surgeries that require admission at hospitals throughout the region, including the Aberdeen Hospital, Colchester East Hants Health Centre, and Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.

Public Health says these changes are necessary to build capacity, including beds and staffing, to support COVID-19 response measures. 

Mental Health and Addictions program is not reducing outpatient services, with new referrals still being accepted, though outpatient teams will be providing virtual appointments and treatment sessions.

The decision to support or undertake in-person assessment and/or treatment will be based on patient needs.