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Proof of vaccination soon required for visitors at Island Health hospitals

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Visiting someone at a hospital on Vancouver Island?

Starting Tuesday (Nov. 9), in order to enter a hospital within Island Health, visitors need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination.

In a Monday press release, the health authority said this change is in light of an “important amendment” to the Provincial Acute Visitors Policy, aimed to protect vulnerable patients and care providers.

According to Island Health, from tomorrow on, visitors who do not show proof of vaccination won’t be able to enter a facility. This includes passing through to access an outdoor space.

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However, kids under 12 years old, people with approved medical exemptions documentation, as well as unvaccinated visitors who meet specific care setting criteria won’t have to prove they’re vaccinated.

Care teams will also consider requests for a visit from an unvaccinated visitor based on the following exception guidelines:

  • Visits as a support person to the Emergency Department;
  • Visits to the Intensive Care Unit;
  • Visits for critical illness and end-of-life care;
  • Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery; and
  • Additional exceptions will be considered for spiritual, cultural and/or clinical needs by the care team.

This announcement comes in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak within the Transitional Care Unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. On Friday, Island Health said six patients and one staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

As well, as of today, the BCCDC’s dashboard finds 68 people on Vancouver Island are currently hospitalized with the virus. Of that total, 19 are in intensive care.

For more details on the Provincial Acute Visitor Policy, see the guidelines for visitation

For more information about visiting someone in hospital in Island Health, visit:

To read more about proof of vaccination and to obtain your BC Vaccine Card, visit:

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