Western Cape allows limited hospital visits to commence
Cape Town – Allowing patients to be visited by their loved ones is an essential part of their recovery and wellness, says Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
The Western Cape Health Department's adjusted guidelines will therefore allow limited hospital visitation to commence amid lockdown level 1. But visitors and escorts are only allowed at health facilities under special circumstances, such as the rapid deterioration of a patient's condition.
Covid-19 patients and those under investigation will not be allowed any visitors. Parcels can, however, be dropped off, such as toiletries, food and books.
Exceptions will be made for terminally ill Covid-patients. Families will be updated on a patient’s condition.
’’These guidelines will be assessed and implemented according to each facility's current situation and capacity,’’ the department said in a statement.
’’They are also dependent on where we find ourselves during the pandemic, keeping the best interest and safety of both staff and patients' as top priority.’’
Adult inpatients will be limited to a 30-minute visitation per visitor. It will be necessary to confirm with hospital what the ward’s visiting hours as there will only be a 60-minute visiting period per day.
Terminally ill patients are allowed to be visited by loved ones for 30 minutes a day, with more people and longer times possible at the discretion of the ward manager. The critically ill are allowed one designated visitor once per day.
Outpatients will be allowed one escort for paediatric, disabled, vulnerable or enfeebled (weak) patients. No escorts allowed for other patients.
At emergency units, one escort may accompany a paediatric patient into an emergency room, while one or two family members are allowed at a time for terminal patients.
Disabled or vulnerable patients may have one escort, depending on the situation, while all other patients are allowed one escort, who will remain in the waiting room if space allows.
Adult inpatients will be limited to 30 minutes visitation per visitor, over a period of one hour per day, while terminally ill patients are allowed to be visited by loved ones for 30 minutes per day, with more people and longer times at the discretion of the ward manager.
Paediatric inpatients are allowed one parent/caregiver, who can alternate with another parent/caregiver, while more family members are allowed for terminal patients for 30 minutes, one person at a time. More people and longer time slots will be allowed at the discretion of the ward manager.
Mothers may remain with the neonatal patients or visit regularly, while a birthing partner or a designated person may visit daily for 30 minutes, with longer visitation at the discretion of the ward manager.
In terms of maternity and labour, Covid-19 patients in labour are not allowed birthing partners, while those who test negative are allowed one during active labour, if sufficient space and privacy are available.
Those undergoing Caesarean sections are not allowed birthing partners in theatre, but are allowed to visit for 30 minutes in the postnatal ward.
Winde said: “With the Covid-19 pandemic we must remain vigilant to avoid congestion and to maintain a safe physical distance between people by decreasing the number of people in our facilities.’’