Patient Information and Visitor Policy during COVID-19

Patient Information and Visitor Policy during COVID-19


MSH has developed a measured, careful and planned approach to resuming scheduled services as of June 10, 2020. We are looking to slowly ramp up services in surgery, diagnostic imaging, outpatient clinics (ambulatory care), and mental health services.

When you come for care, you will experience new precautions and processes that have been put in place with your safety in mind.  
This includes:  

  • Screeners at the entrances 
  • Essential visitor policy in place
  • Expanded cleaning of high touch surfaces 
  • Anyone who enters the building will be asked to wear a mask, perform proper hand hygiene (clean their hands) regularly and practice social distancing
  • Care may be provided using alternative methods, like virtual care, where possible  

Our top priority is to make sure everyone – patients and staff – is safe when they come to our sites. Work is ongoing and continues to strike the balance between slowly starting scheduled care and continuing to be ready for however the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. 

Patients that cannot make their scheduled appointment must reschedule or cancel with the appropriate member of their care team. This will ensure other patients who are waiting for an appointment can also be seen in a timely fashion. 

Entering the hospital

In order to maintain the health and safety of our patients and staff at both the Markham and Uxbridge sites we have implemented the following entry restrictions and enhanced screening precautions.

Everyone coming through the open entrances will be screened for signs and/or symptoms of respiratory illness. This means that everyone who enters the building will be asked a set of questions by screeners each time they enter. If you have an appointment at the hospital, please arrive early to give yourself time to go through the screening process.

Markham site:

Entrance Access Hours
Main entrance Patients and authorized support person/essential visitor 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
After 8 p.m., use emergency entrance
Emergency Department (ED) entrance

ED specific patients and support person(s)


Non-emergency patients and essential visitors

24 hours


8 p.m. – 6 a.m.

Oncology entrance Open to oncology patients only 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Uxbridge site:

Entrance Access Hours
Main entrance All patients and essential visitors  (Emergency Department, Diagnostic Services and Med/Surg Unit) 
24 hours
Emergency Department (ED) entrance Ambulances only Closed

Visitor policy

Essential visitor policy 

As of Wednesday July 8, scheduled essential visiting will be allowed for many patients at both the Markham and Uxbridge sites. 

Protecting the health and safety of our patients, staff and community is our top priority. For this reason, visiting hours, duration of visits and the number of visitors permitted in the hospital at one time will be restricted to maintain safe distancing between all those on-site. 

Booking your visit

In order to maintain safe physical distancing in the hospital, visitors must schedule visits in advance with a patient’s care team. Please call the patient’s department/area directly to schedule the time of your visit

Patient visits

Patients (including inpatient and outpatient) who meet any of the following criteria will be allowed to have a dedicated support person or essential visitor:

  • a patient who is near death
  • an ill child (1 parent or guardian at a time)
  • a patient giving birth  – information about the childbirth policy can be found here.
  • a patient undergoing major surgery
  • a patient who the care team determines  requires support with communication (e.g., language interpretation) or mobility
  • a patient who has a long stay in hospital (> 30 days)
  • a patient who has a life altering event and/or diagnosis
  • a patient who is suffering from a critical illness or is unstable (including mental health crisis)
  • a patient who has a cognitive impairment or significant development or intellectual disability
  • a patient who has a caregiver that supports essential patient care (such as feeding)
  • a patient who is in the emergency department (as determined by the health care team) and;
    • space permitting for physical distancing
    • visitor must stay in the patient room
    • patients who are moved out of the ED must meet the above mentioned criteria in order to have a visitor in their new area

Visitor safety when on-site:

  • Screening: All visitors must enter through the main entrance on Church Street (at the Markham site) and the Emergency Department (at the Uxbridge site) and will be screened before entering the building. Visitors who have travelled outside of Ontario in the last 14 days or who have respiratory illness symptoms will not be allowed inside the building. 
  • Hand washing: All visitors must wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub when entering the hospital and before entering a patient care area and room.
  • Masking: All visitors that come into the hospital are required to wear a mask. Visitors will be given a new surgical mask to be worn at all times, for the duration of their visit. Personal or cloth masks are not permitted in the hospital.
  • Physical distancing: Visitors are asked to maintain two metres (six feet) of distance between themselves and others at all times. Visitors are asked to go directly to the patient’s room or clinic area and not stop in other areas of the hospital. 
  • Visitor identification: All visitors who enter the building will be asked to wear an identification badge (visitor sticker) for the duration of their visit.

Delivering essential patient belongings

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are discouraging the practice of having personal items and food brought into the hospital.

However we recognize there are some essential items that may support and comfort our patients. With this in mind, we will permit the delivery of specific essential items. 

The items that will be accepted include:

  • Essential “bedside basics” for patients (i.e., walkers, hearing aids, mobile devices, phone chargers, toiletries etc.)
  • Food that is culturally required and not provided by our food services and food that is part of a patient’s care plan 

 Items must be able to be wiped for disinfecting purposes or be in a bag or container that can be wiped and disinfected upon arrival at the hospital. 

NOTE: This applies to patients that are not COVID positive or suspected COVID positive.