New rules

New operating procedures have been put in place at Kelowna-area long-term care homes such as David Lloyd Jones, shown in this file photo. The measures are intended to guard against transmission of the coronavirus, Interior Health says.

No outbreaks of COVID-19 currently exist in any long-term care homes operated by Interior Health.

Nevertheless, IH is taking steps protect seniors and address potential pressures on the acute-care system, it was announced on the weekend.

“Interior Health, along with all other B.C. regional health authorities, is restricting visitors in long-term care to essential visits only,” according to a release.

“Essential visits include compassionate visits for end-of-life care and visits that support care plans for residents based on resident and family needs (e.g. families who routinely visit to provide assistance with feeding or mobility).”

As well, Interior Health is prioritizing admissions to long-term care facilities from acute care over those from the community where possible. All adult day programs have been suspended, and in-facility respite care has been suspended except in cases of “intolerable risk” and for those who require end-of-life care.

The movement of residents from one care home to another will be suspended in most circumstances.

“These changes will enable health-care staff to focus on increased surveillance and infection prevention protocols and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our vulnerable seniors,” IH says.

In the Kelowna area, IH’s long-term care homes include residences at Brookhaven, Cottonwoods, David Lloyd Jones Home, Brandt’s Creek Mews, Mountainview Village and Lakeview Lodge.