Alberta Health Services alters visitation rules at hospitals, acute care facilities
Friends, family and support workers of patients in Alberta hospital and acute care facilities are being encouraged to find other ways to connect with their loved ones instead of in-person visits.
The move comes as the province is in the midst of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and under a state of public health emergency with new restrictions in place.
Alberta Health Services announced Friday that, effective Sept. 20, designated support and visitation access will be altered at "all acute, ambulatory and emergency/urgent care sites" in the province.
"This was decision was not made lightly," said AHS officials in a series of social media posts. "We know the importance of family presence for patients and staff, and we understand how difficult adjustments in access are for all involved.
"We encourage patients, family and friends to connect in other ways, including virtually or by phone, whenever possible rather than in-person at our sites."
The province announced Thursday that 86 per cent of its 310 intensive care unit beds are currently occupied, predominantly by COVID-19 patients.
As of Thursday, there are 18,706 active cases in Alberta including 896 hospitalizations. More than 2,500 Albertans have died as a result of COVID-19.