VICTORIA -- As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across B.C., Island Health has launched a new series of restrictions at hospitals and health care facilities.

Effective immediately, all patients, families and Island Health staff are being asked to abide by the provincial health officer’s recommendations of social distancing and visitors at health facilities are asked to come in small numbers.

“We understand the importance of visits from family and loved ones to our patients and long-term care residents and we appreciate your support in helping to keep everyone safe,” said Island Health in a release Monday.

Besides limiting the number of visitors at health facilities, Island Health is completely restricting anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been in contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days from making visits.

Additionally, anyone who is feeling ill is asked not to come to any health facility, especially if symptoms include: fever, cough, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat and/or diarrhea.

Island Health’s new visitor restrictions are:

  • 1 adult caregiver/support person at hospital emergency departments, intensive care/critical care areas
  • 1 adult caregiver/support person at perinatal units
  • 2 adult caregivers/support persons at neonatal ICU
  • 2 adult caregivers/support persons at inpatient pediatric and adult areas
  • 1 adult caregiver/support person at inpatient areas, with additional precautions in place
  • 1 adult caregiver/support person at primary and urgent care centres
  • 1 adult caregiver/support person at outpatient clinics
  • 2 adult caregivers/support persons at long-term care homes
  • Patients and family members can arrange special accomodations with Infection Prevention and Control for people in palliative and end-of-life care

Island Health says that signage will be placed at the entrances of all health care facilities so that visitors know what restrictions are in place, depending who they are visiting.

“While there are confirmed cases in the province, the risk to British Columbians and Vancouver Islanders remains low,” says Island Health.

As of Monday, Vancouver Island had a total of eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, while the province had a total of 103.