Visitor Policy

New Care Partner Presence Policy in place effective Monday, June 6:

Visitors and Care Partners at LHSC

LHSC continues to monitor and adapt the Care Partner Presence policy to align with provincial direction, LHSC Infection Prevention and Control recommendations, and regional hospitals.

LHSC staff, physicians, and volunteers remain vigilant in order to effectively protect our patients, their families, and one another. We’re asking you to join us by not visiting or accompanying patients in hospital unless necessary. 

Care Partners can help keep patients and staff safe by wearing a mask at all times in hospital. A hospital mask will be provided at screening. For this reason, we ask that you plan to consume food and beverages outside of the hospital. 

As of Monday, June 6:

ONLY Essential Care Partners permitted for units on outbreak or patients with COVID precautions.+

Inpatient: Limit to two (2) Care Partners total at the bedside a time*

Outpatient: Limit to one (1) Care Partner per patient*

+Check in with the care team for specific permissions and any additional precautions.

*Registration of Care Partners is not required at this time. Exceptions may be considered by leaders based on patient care needs. 
 

What do I do before I visit the hospital?

Review https://www.lhsc.on.ca/coronavirus/hospital-entrance-restrictions 

What do I do when I get to the hospital?

  • Proceed to a patient/visitor entrance for screening. You will be required to go through entrance screening upon arrival into the hospital. It is important that you answer all screening questions honestly for the safety of yourself and others. 
  • Clean your hands (remove gloves). Please clean your hands using the hand sanitizer provided. If you are wearing gloves, you will be asked to remove them in order to clean your hands properly.
  • Put on a mask. Everyone entering LHSC must wear a mask at all times.* A hospital mask will be provided at screening. Your mask should be fully covering your nose, mouth and chin at all times. Try to avoid adjusting your mask or touching your face while you are wearing your mask. Always wash your hands both before and after putting on or taking off your mask. Leave your mask on until you are outside of the hospital or back home. 

   *Please see patient and visitor masking guidelines for exemptions.

What should I do in the hospital?

Proceed directly to a patient’s room or appointment. You will need to go directly to your appointment or stay with the patient while you are inside LHSC. You may be directed to stay in a designated waiting area if you need to be separated during tests or treatments. We kindly ask that you not walk around the hospital and avoid public spaces (e.g. Cafeteria) to assist in maintaining physical distancing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is LHSC limiting visitors and care partners?  
We recognize how important families and friends are to supporting patients. Our top priority is keeping patients, visitors, and staff safe. We are balancing these priorities with the need to address patient care backlogs with high volumes and tight spaces. The hospital is distinctly different than other spaces, such as shopping malls. To provide as much patient care as we can while trying to keep everyone safe, we must limit the number of people in our hospitals to those who need to be here.

What are other hospitals doing?  
LHSC continues to work with regional hospitals and patient/family advisors in the review/revision of this policy. 

Can a patient visit outside?
Patients who can walk or who can be assisted by a care partner will not be restricted from going outside. Please check with unit staff before going outside for any considerations for care or safety while off unit. 

Are there visiting hours?
While visiting hours are not part of the current Care Partner policy, there are many patient and unit specific considerations when planning your visit. Check in with the patient or the unit prior to coming to the hospital.

Do I need to be vaccinated in order to visit?
Effective Monday, June 6: Although being fully vaccinated/boosted is highly recommended, care partners will no longer be asked to provide proof of vaccination (universal masking and hand hygiene are still expected).

Do I need to be registered in order to visit?
Effective Monday, June 6: Care Partners will no longer need to be ‘registered’ to enter the hospital. However, only two care partners can be at the bedside in an inpatient unit, and only one care partner can attend an outpatient appointment.