Patient Information and Essential Visitor Policy during COVID-19

Patient Information and Essential Visitor Policy during COVID-19


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 Department doors
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


Essential visitor policy

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 may be restricted. We continue to update our essential visitor policy as the COVID-19 situation evolves in our community.

Updated visitor guidelines, effective November 25, 2020

  • Visiting hours are 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week
  • Essential visitors are not permitted to eat or drink for the duration of their stay.
  • Essential visitors must stay with the patient they are visiting at all times.
  • If in extenuating circumstances an essential visitor is permitted to stay for a longer period, there will be allowance for in and out privileges within the hospital so the essential visitor may eat in designated areas, such as main lobby (Markham site) etc.
  • Stay home if you are sick or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild.

Patient visits

Patients (including inpatient and outpatient) who meet the criteria listed below will be allowed to have a dedicated support person or essential visitor.

Life altering events

End-of-life.jpgEnd of life (including MAID)


High risk of dying in next two weeks: 1 essential visitor or designated alternate daily. All other palliative/end of life patients: 1 essential visitor or designated alternate daily at fixed visiting times.

Mental-health-crisis.jpgMental health crisis 


Visits will be assessed case by case with the care team based on the patient’s needs.

Major-surgery.jpgMajor surgery


1 essential visitor on the day of surgery. Additional visits only if needed based on patient’s health.



1 essential caregiver for labour, birth and postpartum. 1 essential caregiver for paediatric patients at all times. 1 essential caregiver for NICU.

Critical-illness.jpgCritical illness


1 visitor and the need for more reassessed by team after 24 hours based on severity of patient status.



Vulnerable patients

Emergency-department.jpgEmergency Department


1 essential visitor.

Under-18-years.jpgUnder 18 years


1 essential visitor or designated alternate daily.

Significant-developmental-or-intellectual-disability.jpgSignificant developmental or intellectual disability


1 essential visitor or designated alternate daily.

Cognitive-impairment.jpgCognitive impairment


1 essential visitor or designated alternate 2x per week and increased by team as needed.

Unable-to-effectively-communicate.jpgUnable to effectively communicate


1 essential visitor or designated alternate 2x per week.

Patients-requiring-transition-support.jpgPatients requiring transition support


No visitor.

Long-stay-patients.jpgLong stay patients


1 essential visitor or designated alternate 2x per week.

Low-acuity,-short-stay-patient.jpgLow acuity, short stay patient


No visitor.

Patient-requiring-caregiver-to-support-hospital-workflow---including-outpatients.jpgPatient requiring caregiver to support hospital workflow - including outpatients


1 essential visitor.



Booking your visit

In order to maintain safe physical distancing in the hospital, essential visitors for the inpatient units 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.

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.

Questions about the COVID-19 essential visitor policy

If you have questions or concerns about our visitor policy during COVID-19 please reach out to or 647-640-6203. Our Patient Relations team includes a Visitor Navigator who can assist with your inquiries. Kristina, our Visitor Navigator supports and collaborates with clinical units to schedule in-person visits and to facilitate virtual visits.


Delivering essential patient belongings

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are discouraging the practice of having items such as, but not limited to flowers, personal belongings 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.