REGINA -- Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer on Monday ordered that visitors to long-term care homes, hospitals, personal care homes and group homes are restricted to essential visitors only.

Essential visitors are immediate family visiting for compassionate reasons, the province said in a news release.

“We do want to decrease all unnecessary visits to hospital despite if you’ve travelled or not, we really want to protect our most vulnerable,” Dr. Saqib Shahab said at a news conference Tuesday.

Plus, those who have flu-like symptoms or have travelled out-of-province in the last 14 days are asked not to visit at all, especially to those in long-term care.

“Don’t go if you have a cough and fever,” Shahab said. “You may need to wait it out or get tested and confirm that you don’t have COVID-19, because that’s what we need to avoid.”

Those no longer allowed in include Adam Aalbers, who spent most of his Tuesday waiting while his wife underwent a procedure at the Regina General Hospital.

“They phoned and I have to wait outside until she’s done, then I can pick her up outside the hospital,” Aalbers said.

Aalbers says he thinks some of the measures over COVID-19 are an overreaction but adds if medical professionals believe it’s appropriate, he’ll go along.

Part of the issue with Tuesday’s wait for Aalbers is the diminishing number of places out-of-town visitors can go to pass some time,

“A lot of the stores are closed, you can’t go sit in a restaurant and about half the places in the mall are closed,” Aalbers said, who ended up just sitting in his car.

Saskatchewan confirmed its eighth presumptive case of COVID-19 on Tuesday.