Saskatchewan Health Authority reacted to the unprecedented number of COVID-19 patients filling ICUs across the province on Monday by restricting the number of family members allowed in critical care units.
All provincial ICUs, as well as cardiac care units in Saskatoon and Regina, will implement “temporary enhanced surge family presence restrictions,” the SHA said in a news release.
This means a patient will be allowed only one of two designated family members or support people to visit at a time.
There is no change to the end-of-life family presence rules which allows two designated people at a time, the SHA said, adding that limiting the number of visitors will help to ensure proper physical distancing and help mitigate the risk of COVID transmission.
There were 79 patients in ICUs across the province Monday, from a total of 347 people in hospital with COVID-19. Of these patients, more than three quarters were not fully vaccinated.
The visitor restrictions will be reviewed weekly and ICU teams will work to support phone and virtual connections if possible, the SHA said.
On Monday, the province reported 425 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, and four deaths. On Sunday one death and 507 new cases were reported, and on Saturday there were five deaths and 502 new cases. The number of people in the province who have died from COVID-19 is now 751, according to the provincial government’s online COVID-19 dashboard.
Nearly one third of new cases reported Monday were in 20 to 39 age group.
Vaccinations continued over the Thanksgiving weekend, with 1,030 people receiving their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan has fallen slightly and now sits at 483.