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?

  • Yes, all patients, visitors, staff, physicians and affiliates are required to wear a mask while at the hospital if possible. If you wear a personal mask, you can continue wearing that mask. For more information about masking, please refer to the Visiting the Hospital page.

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

  • During busy times, there may be a line up at the screening entrances and you may be standing in line for 30 to 45 minutes. Please dress appropriately for the weather and give yourself extra time to get to your scheduled appointment or visit. 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 weekdays 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. Tim Hortons featuring On-The-Go in B2 at VH is open weekdays from 7:00 am to 1:30 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.

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’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.Patients will be notified of opportunities to reschedule procedures and other appointments, including those who are waiting for surgeries. They will hear directly from their physician’s office when their care can be rescheduled.

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 service changes will receive direct communication from their physician to discuss their ongoing care plan and opportunities to reschedule. If you have concerns, including worsening symptoms, please reach out to your physician or other members of your health-care team directly. For more information, please see Service Changes webpage.