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Northern Health to slowly return to standard services for Connections buses amid COVID-19

Certain requirements must be met in order to travel
Northern Health Connections Bus. (via Facebook/Northern Health Connections)

More regional patients who need to get to and from communities for hospital treatments will soon be able to do so.

Northern Health Connections has announced it’ll start gradually returning to standard bus services on June 1 by expanding passenger eligibility with the province continues Phase Two of its COVID-19 restart plan.

Passengers who will be able to use the Connections buses must meet certain requirements, but those travelling without a medical appointment, which includes seniors aged 60 and over.

Specifics for passengers needing to use the bus include:

  • Those traveling for non-urgent medical procedures, such as chiropractors and massage therapists – an appointment verification will be required
  • Discharges (by health authority hospital staff) – appointment verification not required
  • Medically-necessary companions
  • Staff and Physicians (including health care students), who are travelling for work

The buses are set to have limited seating and upgraded safety features, while some changes will be switched to a permanent basis:

  • All travel must now be booked 48 hours in advance
  • We will not be accepting any walk-on passengers, with no exceptions
  • Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms will not be allowed to travel
  • In order to ensure physical distancing, a maximum of 12 passengers will be allowed on a coach and up to five passengers will be allowed on a minibus

More eligibility is expected to be announced, but Northern Health those details will be released ‘in the future.’