Current Guidelines


To help keep patients, residents, and staff safe and healthy, visitors with COVID-19 symptoms (or any flu or cold symptoms) are asked not to visit patients or residents in care facilities. 

If you have symptoms like fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, acute loss of sense of smell or taste, new onset of muscle aches, or other symptoms ( please delay your visit and call 8-1-1.

For individuals presenting for an appointment or routine service:

  • If you have any one or more symptom(s) of COVID-19, please do not enter a health-care facility.
    • Please stay home.
    • Call ahead to cancel/reschedule your appointment.
    • Complete an online assessment or call 8-1-1.

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services advises the public of updates to masking requirements at health-care facilities across the province, effective Monday, April 1, 2024. These updated guidelines are based on the continued monitoring of epidemiology, hospitalizations, and outbreaks. 

The public is reminded that self-screening for COVID-19/respiratory illness remains in effect, and visitors/support persons should not visit a health-care facility if they feel ill or are experiencing COVID-19, flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms. 


  • Masking is no longer required for visitors/support persons, clients, and patients, pending they meet the self-screening requirements, in clinical areas in health-care facilities (including waiting areas for health-care services/appointments, clinical care/treatment areas, and while visiting patients and long-term care residents). 
  • If a facility experiences an outbreak, additional masking protocols may be implemented; visitors or support persons should check with the care team for the required personal protective equipment.  
  • Reminder: Individuals seeking or receiving health-care services who are symptomatic (i.e. experiencing any one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms) must always wear a mask upon entry and while inside the health-care facility. Visitors/support persons feeling unwell or sick should not visit patients/residents or accompany others to appointments.  
  • Masks continue to be available at health-care facilities across the province. Individuals who would like to continue wearing masks are encouraged to do so. 
  • Individuals can wear their medical mask, or a mask provided at the health-care facility. 
  • Visitors and support persons are also asked to consider the safety of those they are visiting. It can be especially important to wear a mask if you are around others who are at risk of more severe disease and outcomes, including those with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems, and older adults or young children.  

Please read the Masking Guidance section (above) prior to visiting a health care facility.

  • Visitors/support persons are directed to follow signage at health-care facilities and meet the self-screening requirements before proceeding inside the health-care facility.
  • Visitors/support persons can also complete the below self-screening prior to arrival at the health-care facility.

Visitor/Support Person: COVID-19/Respiratory Illness Screening

1. Do you have any one or more of the following symptoms?

  • Fever (including chills/sweats).
  • New onset of muscle aches.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours.

New or worsening:

  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Runny, stuffy or congested nose (not related to seasonal allergies or other known causes/conditions).
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing.
  • Headache.
  • Acute loss of sense of smell or taste.
  • Unusual fatigue, lack of energy.
  • Loss of appetite.

If yes, do not visit.

2. Are you self-isolating (including modified self-isolation)?

If yes, do not visit (except in specific situations for labour and delivery and end-of-life visitation, and only in consultation with the clinical care team).

All visitors/support persons must:

  • Perform hand hygiene.
  • Follow all guidelines for the unit/area you are visiting. (Visitation policy: Two people may visit at the same time).

Patient Screening: Patients, residents and clients are screened at point of registration. The COVID-19/respiratory illness screening tool allows for any necessary precautions (e.g. personal protective equipment and isolation protocols) to be put in place, as required, to help protect patients, staff and physicians as they provide health-care services. Patients are directed to contact the relevant clinic prior to arriving for their appointment at an Eastern Health hospital or facility if they are experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating

COVID-19 Testing

All patients requiring hospital admission as well as patients who receive health-care services in hospitals, health-care centres/clinics and via home visits from Eastern Health staff, will be screened for COVID-19/respiratory symptoms via the triage risk assessment screening tool. Individuals who have symptoms will be assessed via the screening tool and will be tested, as needed.