Visiting a patient

Visiting a patient

Visiting a patient

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 July 26, 2021

  • 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.

Please see below for detailed information about visiting:

Inpatients

At this time, most visits need to be scheduled in advance with the team caring for the patient. In most cases only one visitor at a time is allowed for inpatients.

General hospital inpatients

Hospital inpatients not specified below will be permitted a maximum of one (1) visitor/family members at a time. All visits must be scheduled in advance and visiting hours are from 1-7 pm.

ICU

ICU patients will be permitted two (2) visitors/family members visiting at a time. All visits must be scheduled in advance.

Palliative Care and end-of-life patients (including MAID)

Visits will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the care team.

Paediatric patients and NICU

Paediatric patients (under the age of 18) will be permitted two (2) visitors/family members/support persons visiting at the same time for the duration of the stay.

Labour and Delivery and Postpartum

Labouring parents will be permitted one (1) family member/support person for labour and delivery. Postpartum patients will be permitted one (1) family member/support person.

Inpatient Mental Health

Visits will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the care team.

Emergency department and outpatients

Due to space constraints in the Emergency Department and in outpatient areas, the following restrictions are in place to allow for appropriate physical distancing to keep our staff, patients and visitors safe.

Emergency Department

All Emergency Department patients will be permitted one (1) support person. Patients under the age of 18 will be permitted two (2) family members/support persons.

Outpatient visits, day surgery and procedures

The following outpatients will be permitted one (1) support person to attend in the following cases:

- Patients who are unable to communicate effectively

- Patients with a language barrier

- Patients who need medical or special assistance

- Patients with a cognitive impairment

- Pediatric outpatients

- Patients who are having an obstetrical ultrasound or obstetrical procedure

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 visiting@msh.on.ca 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.