Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Updates

Visitor Restrictions and Processes During Covid-19


To ensure that we are supporting patients to connect with family and loved ones, while also protecting our staff and patients, visitation restrictions to health care sites are being constantly re-evaluated as COVID considerations continue to develop.

Visitation to Acute care sites, including Obstetrics and Paediatrics, is now limited to two visitors per stay. Visitors must be identified beforehand by the patient and pass site screening protocols. This means if you are staying in an acute care unit for multiple days, you can indicate two important people or loved ones who will be able to visit you when needed, as long as they pass the regular screening process. 

For Outpatient care, one support person per visit is allowed, with an exception for Paediatric patients who are allowed two support persons. For example, if you are requiring an ultrasound for your pregnancy, you will now be able to bring a partner or support person for that visit to our outpatient lab and diagnostic imaging clinic; a youth who is undergoing care will be able to have two parents/guardians present as support. 

Long Term Care: during Phase 2 of Emerging Wisely, we have begun a phased approach to introducing in-person visits with residents. It will begin with LTC residents being able to have 1 essential visitor, who must be over 18 years of age. Regional managers and supervisors are now working with residents and families to designate 1 essential visitor for each resident and put a schedule in place to ensure only a total of 5 visitors at any one time are in the facility.

Visitors will also be required to go through screening, sanitize their hands, wear a medical mask, and keep physical distancing while they are visiting.

Visitors to Palliative care, including those in Long Term care settings, are limited to two people at any one time. Visitors who have traveled and need to visit loved ones in Palliative care will need an exemption from Self-Isolation from the CPHO, and will need to follow an infection control plan for the visit.

Please ask to speak with the manager for your care area for directions on getting a visitor exemption.

Screening and Visitors During COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) continues to adjust our operations. We are working to reduce the potential for spread and exposure for our staff and the public, and have instituted the following measures:

  • Every person entering will be screened for flu-like symptoms and personal travel history. Upon entry to these sites you will first be asked questions regarding your current health and any recent travel within and outside Canada. These screening procedures will apply to anyone seeking health care services, as well as visitors.
  • Any visitors displaying any flu- like symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing) will be denied visitation access.

Please do not visit care sites unless required. If you need care and services and have flu like symptoms, call ahead before presenting. If you are visiting family or friends remember these additional measures are in place to protect our clients and our staff.

Visitor Exemptions

If you believe you require a visitor exemption, speak with your care provider and then they will follow the process below.

Click here to download a PDF version of the Visitor Exemption Process information.

Click here to download an editable version of the Visitor Exemption Letter template.

Process for Visitor Exemptions:

  1. Manager or discharge planner may discuss with Chief Operating Officer (COO) in advance a visitor exemption* (not always possible to complete in advance).
  2. Manager or discharge planner to email following details to COO or designate:
    1. Name of visitor
    2. Patient’s relationship with visitor
    3. Unit the patient is admitted
    4. Date(s) visitation is needed (can be indefinite)
    5. Reason visitation is required.
  3. Letter is prepared by administrative assistant or designates (based on information provided in #2), printed and sent to COO for approval.
  4. Once approved, the letter can be scanned for facility records; the original is given to the Manager (often by email and hard copy).
  5. A copy of the letter can be provided to the visitor to be presented to screeners. This ensures ease of visitation approval after appropriate screening has taken place.
  6. If Manager is unavailable and staff requires guidance with visitor exemption, the same request process would be forwarded to the Senior Manager on call for review and approval.

If visitor presents to screener requesting visitation to an area listed in the visitor exemption list. The screener will notify their supervisor who will then follow the process for visitor exemption above.

* Visitor exemptions may include:

  • Palliative care patient
  • Pediatric patient
  • Patient with intellectual/developmental disabilities (visitors include both family and caregivers)
  • Intensive care patient
  • Labour and Delivery patient