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Infection Prevention and Control

Designated support persons and COVID-19

​What is a designated support person?

A designated support person is someone that a patient or resident of an Alberta Health Services facility chooses to be involved in their healthcare. They are an important part of the healthcare team.

The following information is about being a designated support person during COVID-19, and how to help keep yourself and others safe.

Who can be a designated support person?

You can be a designated support person if:

  • Your loved one chooses you. (For example, you’re a family member, close friend, or other caregiver.)
  • You’re physically and mentally able to help care for your loved one.
  • You’re 14 years of age or older.

Your loved one should have the same designated support person for their entire stay at the facility. But they can name a replacement if needed.

What are my responsibilities as a designated support person?

Your responsibilities include the following:

  • helping your loved one to feel safe, comfortable, and supported
  • sharing important information about your loved one with the healthcare team
  • participating in your loved one’s care planning
  • helping your loved one to move around, feed, and do daily personal care (hygiene)
  • bringing your loved any items they need
  • helping your loved one to transition and leave the facility (discharge)

Who can’t be a designated support person during COVID-19?

A designated support person can’t:

  • be a close contact of someone who may have or who has COVID-19
  • be on isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19

Does a designated support person need to be immunized against COVID-19?

Alberta Health Services also strongly recommends that a designated support person be fully immunized against COVID-19.

How can I lower my risk of COVID-19?

You can do the following to help lower your risk of COVID-19:

  • Get fully immunized against COVID-19.
  • If you gather with people, do it outside instead of indoors.
  • Limit the number of people you have contact with.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Wear a mask and stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others when you’re out.

How can I help to lower the risk of COVID-19 for patients and staff?

To lower the risk of COVID-19 for facility patients and staff:

  • Don’t visit your loved one if you’re sick, have tested positive for COVID-19, or are waiting for COVID-19 test results.
  • Don’t visit your loved one if you’re a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
  • Take the facility’s entry health screening, and be honest.
  • Follow all facility safety precautions—clean your hands, stay at least 2 metres away from others, and always wear a mask.
  • Go directly to and from your loved one’s room—don’t go anywhere else in the facility.
  • Wear your Designated Family/Support Person identification.

How can I work with my loved one’s healthcare team to lower the risks of COVID-19?

If you’re going to visit your loved one, contact the facility before you arrive in case any procedures change.

Talk to your loved one and their healthcare team about how you can support them safely. Ask questions like the following:

  • What supports does my loved one need?
  • Can I meet any of my loved one’s needs virtually (not in person)?
  • If I need to visit, when is the best time? How often should I visit? How long should I stay?

What resources should I know about?

See the following resources, which are helpful for designated support persons during COVID-19:


Current as of: January 18, 2022

Author: ECC COVID-19 Family Presence and Visitation Taskforce, Alberta Health Services