BHB moves to limited visitors from Sunday 9 May

Friday 7 May 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that, given the return to a lower prevalence of COVID-19 in Bermuda, it will once more allow limited visitation from Sunday 9 May 2021 for acute care and long term care patients.

Key changes include two visitors allowed at any one time for acute care patients in the ACW, one visitor at any time for acute care patients in the General Wing, and long term care patients can receive one visitor for two hours each day.

Norma Smith, Vice President, Clinical Operations (Acute and Ambulatory), comments: “With the community cases declining, we are very pleased that like the rest of Bermuda we will open up a bit more and once more welcome visitors. We ceased visitation during the worst of the recent surge, but prevalence is low enough for us to once more have visitors, and we are very happy that the mothers in long term care or acute care wards will be able to reconnect in person on Mother’s Day.”

Due to the need to maintain physical distancing within the Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, however, requirements for people attending the Emergency Department are not changing, and patients should attend alone. Companions will only be allowed when the patient is vulnerable, under 18 (legal minor), or if the patient is combative or near end of life. Should a patient pass away, ED will allow an additional person to support the companion. In such circumstances, ED will only permit up to three companions in the ED family room.

Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency, notes: “We appreciate there are circumstances when a patient needs a companion, but outside of the stated exceptions, we do not have the internal space to have patients and companions, while ensuring physical distancing and safety for all. We certainly empathise when there is a passing so will allow up to three people in the family room so that the companion has support, but we still need to ensure and practice safety first at all times and unfortunately can’t accommodate larger groups of family and friends.”

The following requirements must be followed when visiting any BHB services:

  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in patient rooms
  • Visitors must maintain physical distancing at all times, including in patient rooms
  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infection will not be allowed to visit
  • If someone has travelled, they should only visit after they have a negative day 14 test.
  • For infection control purposes, visitors will not be allowed to use patient bathrooms and will need to use public restrooms on each floor.
  • Overnight stays are not allowed at this time, other than in exceptional circumstances.

All current visiting requirements are listed below:

Acute care patients in the Acute Care Wing units (Ace Barber, Ascendant Partner Re, Catlin Lindo): patients who are not on isolation can have up to two visitors in their room at any one time between noon and 8pm.

Acute care patients in the General Wing (Curtis Ward): as these rooms are smaller and have other patients in, acute care patients in the General Wing (Curtis Ward) can have one visitor in their room at any one time between noon and 8pm.

Isolation patients: For patients on isolation due to a known infection of any kind, or in the first 24 hours of admission while waiting for results of the required COVID-19 test, two designated support people pre-identified by the patient will be able to visit for up to two hours per day.

Intensive Care Unit: Designated support people allowed to visit for two hours between 10am and 2pm, or 4pm and 8pm. Visitors must be on the ICU visitors list.

Maternity:

  • One designated support person may stay up to 8 hours after the birth
  • If the mother is not discharged within 24 hours, the one designated support person will be allowed to visit up to 4 hours a day between 10am and 6pm
  • Doulas will be allowed for the birth with a support person

Acute Inpatient Care for Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute services (adult, child and adolescent services):

  • Pre-identified support people can visit for 30 minutes each day between noon and 6pm
  • Support people should check in at the front desk
  • One person can visit at any one time and visitation will be in a public space, such as a family conference room

Long Term Care (KEMH and MWI), including Group Homes:

  • One designated support person can visit for two hours each day between noon and 6pm. No isolated patients can have visitors.

Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre:

  • Patients should come to Emergency on their own, to minimise numbers in the ED waiting room and ensure physical distancing is possible
  • Exceptions for one visitor will be made in the following circumstances:
    • Vulnerable individuals and children (1 parent/support person)
    • Combative individuals
    • End of life cases
  • Please note if someone dies in the ED or is brought to the hospital after passing away, only one person and one support person for that individual can attend. Up to three people can be in the ED family room. Other family and friends should not attend as there is not adequate space to gather safely, and the ability to offer viewings very limited.

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Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.