Wednesday 27 January 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that, given the return to a lower prevalence of COVID-19 in Bermuda, that it will allow more visitation from Wednesday 27 January 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 an hour each day.
Norma Smith, Vice President, Clinical Operations (Acute and Ambulatory) comments: “We have watched the encouraging drop in local transmission over the last couple of weeks and believe it is safe enough to once more allow more visitation, although everyone is reminded that masks and physical distancing remain mandatory. People who are visiting will need to have a temperature check and mask check as they enter the building and, as before, people who have travelled should not visit friends and family at the hospitals until they have a negative day 14 COVID-19 test. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and restrictions may have to be increased should prevalence rise again; please call the unit if you are unsure. Please also remember that visiting for all areas, except ICU, ends at 6pm and visitors will not be able to access the wards after this time. Please work with us to keep patients safe.”
People attending the Emergency Department are reminded, however, that companions should still not attend with them other than in exceptional circumstances.
Dr Chikeze Dean Okerekie, Chief of Emergency comments: “Although the prevalence of Covid-19 in Bermuda is presently low, we still have to socially distance and consequentially, the ED waiting area cannot accommodate every patient having a companion. The ED will allow one companion in cases where 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 three companions in the ED family room. BHB cannot accommodate groups of family and friends due to the pandemic restrictions on gatherings and having people in enclosed spaces. We recognise how difficult such moments are, but need to ensure and practice safety first at all times.”
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.
· For infection control purposes, visitors will not be allowed to use patient bathrooms and will need to use public restrooms on each floor.
· If someone has travelled, they should only visit after they have a negative day 14 test.
· Overnight stays are not allowed at this time, other than in exceptional circumstances.
As different areas have responded at different times in response to the pandemic, all current visiting requirements are listed below:
Acute care patients in the Acute Care Wing units (Ace Barber, Ascendent 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 6pm.
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 6pm.
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.
· One designated support person may stay up to 8 hours after the birth
· If the mother is not discharged within 24 hours, the support person will now 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 12 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 one hour each day between 12 noon and 6pm.
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. Family and friends should not attend as there is not adequate space to gather safely, and the ability to offer viewings very limited.