RED DEER -- Alberta Health Services has put screening measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Visitors and patients who are not arriving for urgent or emergency care will have to answer multiple questions regarding their recent activity before going inside.

For example, staff will ask if individuals have travelled recently and if they have been in contact with anyone who was sick or ill.

“We are doing our best to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities to those who are most vulnerable,” said Dr. Mohammed Mosli, the medical officer of health for Central zone.

“Everyone who is entering an AHS facility is being screened for certain indicators of potential illnesses.”

Patients and visitors will only be allowed to enter the hospital through the main entrance between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. For people entering after these hours, the main entrance will be closed, and they must enter through the emergency department.

“AHS is now limiting the entrances to facilities to be able to have a closer monitoring process,” said Mosli.

“Those who express any symptoms are immediately quarantined and investigated further.”

Staff will be in the hospital to provide personal protective equipment to those who require it, and they will also ensure people are maintaining a physical distance while they wait to be screened.

AHS has also minimized visitation to one person at a time for each patient.

“We are asking family and loved ones of those who are admitted to the hospital to work with us as we try to minimize the risk to their loved ones as well as others,” said Mosli.

Mosli said they have received requests for alterations to the one visitor per patient restriction, but that each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“We are trying our best to coordinate and protect everyone to the best of our ability.”