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 November 25, 2020

  • Visiting hours are 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week
  • Maximum one hour, per visit
  • One visitor will be permitted per day
  • 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 any of the following criteria will be allowed to have a dedicated support person or essential visitor:

  • a patient who is near death
  • a patient undergoing major surgery
  • a patient who is suffering from a critical illness or is unstable (including mental health crisis)
  • a patient giving birth (For the latest information please view the orange information box in the Childbirth & Children section)
  • a patient who the care team determines  requires support with communication (e.g., language interpretation) or mobility
  • an ill child (1 parent or guardian at a time)
  • a patient who has a long stay in hospital (> 14 days)
  • 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
    • NOTE: If your loved one is admitted to hospital as an inpatient, you will not be permitted to accompany them to the unit directly from the ED. You will need to contact the admitting unit to make further arrangements to visit.

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.

Appeals to the essential visitor COVID-19 policy

If you would like to pursue an exception to the Essential Visitors policy, please contact the Patient Relations office via email at, 905-472-7141.