COVID-19 screenings at health care facility entrances to end

NS Health Release:

Site screeners will no longer be stationed at entrances to Nova Scotia Health facilities, units, or departments as of Sunday, Sept. 10.

Entry screening was introduced at Nova Scotia Health facilities and some outpatient blood collection sites early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Screeners assisted in maintaining facility access control, asking specific COVID-19 screening questions, and distributing masks and ensuring hand hygiene by patients and visitors.

Site screeners have provided an invaluable service to patients, visitors, and the public and Nova Scotia Health is extremely grateful for their work and dedication to the health and safety within its facilities.

Pre-screening for respiratory viruses will now occur at the unit or clinic level via questions asked through appointment letters and phone calls. Staff will also conduct assessments when interacting with patients to determine risk of exposure and will consider appropriate precautions for safe care on an ongoing basis.

Signs will identify entrance protocols and front entrances will have self-serve dispensing units for masks and hand sanitation.

Masking is no longer required upon entry to Nova Scotia Health facilities, in common areas, and most ambulatory/day surgery and clinic areas.

Patients will be required to put on a mask when entering a Nova Scotia Health facility If they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

Visitors, or people without appointments or care needs, should avoid Nova Scotia Health sites when they are ill.

Health care workers will continue to wear masks while providing direct patient care on inpatient units, in emergency departments and ambulatory areas that provide care to immunocompromised patient populations or those at highest risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection.

Regardless of clinical setting, a mask must be donned by health care workers if the patient or essential care partner is masked, or if they request the health care worker be masked during the interaction.

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