Frequently Asked Questions

About the COVID-19 situation

About coming to the hospital

About appointments and care



About the COVID-19 situation

How do I practice physical or social distancing?

  • Keep at least two metres away from others. The two-metre rule is important because it’s the maximum distance that droplets from a person’s cough or sneeze can travel, which is one of the ways that COVID-19 is spread.
  • There should be no more than three (3) people in an elevator.
  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community.
  • Limit, postpone or cancel gatherings.
  • Work from home and conduct meetings online.
  • Keep kids away from group settings.

I am worried about my symptoms, what should I do?

I want to donate something (such as masks, food or funds). What is needed?

About coming to the hospital

Is it safe to come to the Emergency Department?

  • The hospital remains safe. If you have an emergency or serious medical injuries and conditions: Call 911 or go to an Emergency Department. Patients with a suspected case of COVID-19 are separated from other patients, and a number of protocols are followed to protect the health and safety of our staff, physicians and patients.

Do I have to wear a mask when I come to the hospital? Will all health-care staff be wearing masks?

  • LHSC has implemented a practice of providing a mask to all staff, physicians and affiliates to wear while in LHSC facilities. Masks are provided to symptomatic patients or high risk/vulnerable patients who are awaiting assessment. Masks are also provided to visitors of certain areas in some circumstances. If you wear a personal mask, you can continue wearing that mask. Everyone entering the hospital will be screened for signs and symptoms of illness. If special circumstances allow you to enter, and a mask is necessary, you will be provided this by the screeners. 

How long does screening take when I arrive at the hospital? How much extra time should I give myself?

  • It depends. During busy times, there may be a line up. Please practice social distancing by keeping two metres away from others. The screening process should be less than a minute. Give yourself about 10 minutes extra time.

How are social distancing rules being applied when patients and visitors are waiting in line to be screened?

  • LHSC has placed marks on the floor to show the two-metre distance in the screening areas, and posters are up to remind everyone to keep this space. Please be aware of the people around you and keep your distance. You have the right to respectfully remind others if they come too close.

What steps is LHSC taking to help with social distancing in public spaces at the hospital, such as the cafeteria?

  • Several steps are being taken or are being developed to increase social distancing at LHSC, including

Are visitors allowed at the hospital?

I am pregnant. Is it safe to come to the hospital?

  • We are working to keep all patients safe as they arrive for care at LHSC.  You will be health screened at the door. We encourage all pregnant patients to contact their health-care providers before attending appointments to confirm.   

What restaurants, pharmacies and shops remain open at the hospitals? 

  • Faye’s Café at Victoria Hospital and third floor cafeteria at University Hospital remain open 24/7. Tim Hortons in LRCP at VH is open 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. Debit and credit is strongly encouraged for payment at this time.
  • Retail pharmacies at LHSC are currently open for their normal operating hours to individuals who are allowed to enter the hospital (including passing the COVID-19 entrance screening). Debit and credit are the preferred payment methods at this time. Those who cannot enter the hospital may call their pharmacy for prescription refills and have them delivered. Patients may also request their prescriptions be transferred to other community pharmacies. The retail pharmacies are limiting prescription filling to a 30-day supply to ensure adequate drug supply for all. The retail pharmacies may not be able to fill all prescriptions, depending on whether the medications are needed for the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. salbutamol or Ventolin® inhalers).
  • All gift shops are closed until further notice.

I would like to accompany my family member or friend to the hospital for their appointment/procedure as I am concerned that they will need my support to cope or to understand the information being shared with them by the health-care team. 

  • We understand that being unwell and needing hospital care causes anxiety and it is understandable that you would like to be there to support your loved one during these appointments. At this time, to protect patients, staff and physicians, and the community, there are visitor restrictions in place. Please see Visiting the Hospital for the current visitor policy and to learn about the Virtual Visits Program. Exemptions to the policy will only be considered in rare circumstances. Unfortunately, the situation above would not qualify for an exemption. LHSC’s health-care teams will do their best to support your loved one during their visit.

Are patients with COVID-19 allowed to have visitors?

  • For any questions about visitors, please see Visiting the Hospital for further information and to learn about the Virtual Visits Program.

Are there outdoor restrooms available on-site at the hospitals?

  • Yes, there are outdoor restrooms at University Hospital and Victoria Hospital. Please see the maps on Hospital Entrance Restrictions for their locations.

About appointments and care

I have an upcoming appointment/procedure scheduled. Has it been canceled?

  • It is important for the hospital to ensure we are ready to support patients who have or may have been affected by COVID-19; while also continuing to care for the critically ill and injured. This has required limiting non-urgent and elective surgeries and outpatient clinics to be cancelled. Any patient whose appointment or procedure is impacted by these reductions will receive direct communication from their physician or health-care team to discuss their ongoing care plan.

I’m a patient at the hospital and have a question about my care. Who can I contact? 

  • Patients are encouraged to contact their physician’s office or health-care team directly for questions about their ongoing care plan.

Why am I receiving care in an unexpected space?

  • LHSC remains committed to providing high quality care and protecting the health and safety of patients, families, staff, physicians and the community. Given this, LHSC has decided to cohort COVID-19 patients and create patient care spaces in non-traditional locations. For more information, please read this document.

I need to contact Patient Relations. How do I reach them?

I need care unrelated to COVID-19, what should I do?

What should I bring to my appointment in case I am admitted to the hospital?

My care has been postponed in some way, (surgery cancelled, cancer care delayed, etc.) and I am worried about the risk to my health.

  • We recognize that the changes in our service delivery cause uncertainty for our patients and their loved ones. Any patient whose appointment or procedure is impacted by these reductions will receive direct communication from their physician to discuss their ongoing care plan. If you have concerns, including worsening symptoms, please reach out to your physician or other members of your health-care team directly. Please see “Further reductions in non-urgent and emergent care” section on Service Changes webpage for more information.