As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Squamish's health authority, Vancouver Coastal Health, is restricting non-essential visits to healthcare facilities.
In our region those facilities include Squamish General Hospital, Hilltop House and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Sea to Sky Community Hospice.
The restrictions apply to all the health authority's facilities in its jurisdiction, which includes Vancouver, Richmond, the North Shore and Coast Garibaldi, Sea-to-Sky, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
"We understand the importance of visits from family and loved ones to our patients and long-term care residents and we appreciate your support in helping to keep everyone safe during these unprecedented times," the press release from VCH said on March 23.
Hospitals, assisted living sites, long-term care, community health centres and clinics are all on the list for where not to go unless necessary. VCH defines essential visits as compassionate care (for end of life or a critical illness), visits that are crucial to a patient's or resident's care and well-being, or existing registered volunteers.
Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms, however, cannot visit any VCH facility.
"We ask the public to also do their part, which includes staying home when you are sick and social distancing — staying at least two metres away from others — to help reduce virus transmission."
This update comes after long-term care homes shut their doors to visitors who are not immediate family members on March 21.