Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

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Maternity patients giving birth in Alberta hospitals can bring a person infected with COVID-19 to support, Alberta Health Services (AHS) said in a series of tweets Saturday afternoon.

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AHS confirmed an exemption from quarantine rules that allow a COVID-19 positive person to attend a pregnant patient in exceptional circumstances and if the hospital is notified in advance. A chief medical officer for health orders valid since July 29 says that this designated support person should stay two meters away from everyone except the pregnant patient and infant.

“These exceptions, which have been in force since July 2021, are granted in special circumstances and only at the request of the obstetric patient. We know how important it is to have support at this time. This is a critical part of our approach to patient-centered care, ”reads an AHS tweet.

Despite this, the provincial health authority says there are protocols in place to ensure people are safe.

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“The patient and the significant support person remain under contact and drip isolation. This includes the facility that provides access to bathroom facilities and food, ”says AHS.

The executive order states that a COVID-19-positive designated support person must follow instructions from medical staff while they are in the hospital, and follow the rules regarding mask use, hand washing, and physical distancing.

They are also told that they should walk to and from the hospital without stopping and taking their own vehicle if possible.

AHS also said it strongly recommends that all significant and designated support staff be fully vaccinated.

This was first revealed Saturday by Calgary doctor Joe Vipond, who posted a letter on Twitter describing the exception.

Postmedia has contacted AHS for further information, but has not received a response.

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Pregnant people at risk

COVID-19 poses a significant risk to both pregnant women and their unborn children, and several of them become seriously ill.

In fact, between July 15 and September 18, 14 pregnant patients were admitted to intensive care units in Alberta – twice as much for this group during the first full year of the pandemic, said health chief Dr. Deena Hinshaw Thursday.

She urged pregnant women to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their baby in hopes of tackling misinformation that is spreading about how it is not safe.

“We need everyone who is pregnant trying to conceive, or who has recently delivered, to receive protection for both doses of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible,” she said. “This is the best way to protect you and your baby from COVID-19 and the complications that can come with it.

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, but the data shows that vaccines are safe and effective. For accurate and reliable information, talk to your doctor or call 811. ”

lboothby@postmedia.com

@laurby

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