COVID-19 UPDATES

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines:

Flu Vaccines:

Effective October 26, all MGH visitors must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter the hospital. Learn more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for MGH patients and visitors

Last updated on October 19, 2021. 

The safety of our patients, visitors, families and caregivers is a top priority at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH). MGH has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and continues to implement changes across the hospital to protect the health and safety of our community.  

With safety in mind, starting October 26, 2021, all visitors at MGH will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (defined as having a full series of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine plus a minimum of 14 days passed) OR an approved and documental medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccination, along with government-issued photo I.D., in order to enter the hospital.

Please note: This temporary policy will not apply to patients. No patients will be denied care or service due to their vaccination status. For more information about this policy, please click here.

Below, you will find important information for patients and visitors about what to do if you are planning on coming to the hospital.Please check this page before coming to the hospital to ensure you are up-to-date with the latest changes.

what to expect

In order to maintain the health and safety of our patients, staff, visitors and community at large, MGH has implemented the following entry restrictions and enhanced screening precautions:

Entering the Hospital

  • Entry into the hospital is restricted to the main entrance on Coxwell Avenue for all members of the public including patients, patient escorts, visitors, caregivers, and vendors Hematology, oncology, chemotherapy and dialysis patients must also use the main entrance on Coxwell Avenue. 
  • The Emergency Department entrance remains open for those seeking urgent care.

Screening

  • All individuals coming to MGH must complete self-screening when they enter the hospital. Screening questions can be found in the Coxwell Lobby.
  • Any patients or visitors who fail self-screening cannot enter the hospital and should call their healthcare provider or Telehealth Ontario.

proof of vaccination

Starting October 26, 2021, all visitors at MGH will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (defined as having a full series of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine plus a minimum of 14 days passed) OR an approved and documental medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccination, along with a government-issued photo I.D., in order to enter the hospital. This is a temporary measure to keep our patients, visitors, staff, and the community safe.

Visitors who are fully vaccinated but do not have proof of vaccination on them may ask a staff member at the front entrance for assistance. Visitors who are not fully vaccinated, who do not have a medical exemption and who do not meet exception criteria will not be able to enter the building. 

Please review our Proof of Vaccination Policy for Visitors page for more information about this policy and exceptions. 

Wearing a mask

  • Everyone entering the hospital is required to wear a medical grade procedure/surgical mask for the duration of their visit.
  • Medical grade masks will be available to patients and visitors entering the Coxwell lobby.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

  • If you have an appointment at the hospital or are visiting a loved one, you cannot eat or drink on-site to ensure that your mask is on at all times. If you purchase food or beverages from one of our vendors, please wait until you have left the hospital before eating or drinking.
    • Those who require a safe space to eat or drink during their visit due to dietary needs may use the G4 Cafeteria which is set up to accommodate physical distancing measures.  
  • Members of the public who do not have formal business at the hospital but who wish to use the hospital’s food and retail vendors cannot enter the building.
  • For information on bringing food and drink when visiting a patient, please see the Visitor section below. 

outpatient appointments

virtual appointments

Some departments are using virtual appointments to reduce the number of people in the hospital. During a virtual appointment you do not come to the hospital to meet in person. Instead, you speak with your care team using a regular telephone, smartphone or your computer. Click here for more information if you have been scheduled for a telephone or virtual appointment with your care team at MGH.

in-person Patient appointments 

Before visiting the hospital for an appointment, please contact the clinic ahead of time if you:

  • Are experiencing any new or worsening symptoms including:
    • Fever and/or chills
    • Sore throat
    • Cough
    • Runny/congested nose
    • Shortness of breath
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting/diarrhea or stomach pain)
    • Decrease or loss of taste or smell
    • Unexplained headache, muscle pains or fatigue
  • Have been advised by a doctor, healthcare provider, or public health unit to isolate (stay at home)
  • You have not been fully vaccinated and live with someone who has been told by a doctor, health provider, or public health unit that they should isolate.

OUTPATIENT APPOINTMENT ESCORTS

Patients attending an outpatient appointment at MGH may be permitted to bring one (1) escort if they:

  • require mobility support
  • require communication and/or translation support
  • have a cognitive impairment or a significant  developmental/intellectual disability
  • are under the age of 18 (paediatric patient)

As per our Proof of Vaccination Policy for Visitors, we request escorts to be fully vaccinated. However, we will permit one (1) unvaccinated escort based on the criteria above if required and if approved by the clinic. Please speak to the clinic prior to the appointment to discuss support person options. 

If you would like to explore an appeal to the mandatory vaccination policy, please contact Patient Relations at @email or 416-469-6096.

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

  • The Emergency Department (ED) remains open for those seeking urgent care.
  • Upon arrival, patients will self-screen for signs and/or symptoms of respiratory illness. Individuals experiencing signs/symptoms of respiratory illness will wait in a designated area of the ED.
  • Patients coming to the ED who are acutely ill or vulnerable may have one visitor present until seen by the physician.
    • This visitor may enter the ED with the patient or arrive separately after. Visitors who arrive after a patient is already inside the ED are asked to call 416-469-6435 before entering to confirm if the patient is still in the ED or if they have been admitted to another unit.
    • If the patient has been admitted to another unit, visitors are asked to contact the unit/care team to confirm if visitors are allowed. If permitted, they may enter the building using the Coxwell Lobby entrance.
    • Self-screening will be required at both the ED and Coxwell Lobby entrances. Visitors who pass self-screening may proceed into the ED with the patient.  Those who fail self-screening cannot enter the hospital and should call their healthcare provider or Telehealth Ontario.
  • The visitor must stay in the room with the patient and not use the common area except for the quiet room during resuscitation.

Visiting a patient at MGH

Protecting the health and safety of our patients, staff and community is our top priority. We continue to update our visitor guidelines as the COVID-19 situation evolves in our community.

VIDEO Family visits

We understand that in-person visits may be difficult for some patients and their loved ones. Virtual visiting (which is arranged for patients using the Zoom platform on a hospital iPad) is available in all clinical areas. Click here to learn more about our Video Family Visit program.

PATIENTS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS

No in-person visits are permitted for patients who are under investigation for respiratory infections, with the exception of patients at imminent end-of-life. Please contact the care team if you feel that your loved one meets this exception.

Eligibility for visits will be reviewed once a patient under investigation for respiratory infections is reassessed by the medical team. 

INPATIENT VISITS

Starting October 26, all visitors at MGH will be asked to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (defined as having a full series of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine plus a minimum of 14 days passed) OR an approved and documental medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccination, along with government-issued photo I.D., in order to enter the hospital. This is a temporary measure to keep patients, visitors, staff, and the community safe.

Exceptions to the proof of vaccination policy will be made for people visiting:

  • patients at imminent end-of-life
  • paediatric patients (patients under the age of 18)
  • patients with a significant developmental or intellectual disability
  • patients in labour and delivery (one unvaccinated essential caregiver permitted)

Visitors who meet these exception criteria are advised to contact the patient’s care team to discuss visiting options.

For more information about this policy, exceptions or how to file an appeal, please click here

VISITING NUMBERS AND TIMINGS 

Most patients admitted to Michael Garron Hospital are able to have two in-person visits per day*. 

  • Patients and their families are asked to name one designated visitor and one alternate 
  • Only one designated visitor can be with a patient at a time
  • All visits must be arranged with a patient’s care team
  • In most clinical areas, visits are limited to one hour long

*Additional visitors (who are able to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination) may be present for the following patients:

  • A patient at end of life may have more than two designated visitors. Please speak with the palliative care team to determine a visiting plan.
  • A patient in the Family Birthing Centre may have two visitors with them at the same time. A Doula may be included as the second designated visitor.
  • pediatric patient (less than 18 years old) or a patient with significant developmental or intellectual disability may have two visitors with them at the same time. 

BOOKING YOUR VISIT

In order to maintain safe physical distancing in the hospital, visitors must schedule visits in advance with the patient’s care team. 

If the patient you are trying to visit is admitted to a medical unit (A3, B3, F3, H7, B2, CIU) or surgical unit (A5, B5), please contact the Visitor Booking Office by phone at 416-461-8272 ext. 2084, or email @email to book an appointment. If the patient is admitted to another unit at MGH, please call the switchboard at 416-461-8272 and ask to be transferred to that unit to request a visit.

APPEALS TO THE FAMILY PRESENCE DURING COVID-19 POLICY

If you would like to pursue an exception to the Family Presence (Essential Visitors) policy, please contact the Patient Relations office via email at @email or via phone at 416-469-6096. A Patient Experience Specialist will guide you through the appeals process.

VISITOR guidelines WHEN ON-SITE

In addition to passing screening and showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination, all visitors must abide by the following guidelines:

  • 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.
  • MaskingAnyone entering the building is required to wear a medical grade procedure/surgical mask that must be worn at all times. Medical grade masks are available in Coxwell lobby for those who do not have one. 
  • Physical Distancing: Visitors are asked to maintain 6 ft. 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.  

patient belongings 

While in hospital, patients may require essential personal items. Only items on the list below may be brought to the hospital. These items can be dropped off at the Information Desk in the Coxwell lobby, and will be brought up to the patient. 

Patients can have the following items while admitted to MGH:

  • Personal items: Glasses, hearing aids, dentures
  • Electronics: Tablets, cell phones, chargers
  • Entertainment: Books, magazines, puzzles. Items must be brought to MGH in a wipe-able bag. 
  • Toiletries/grooming items: Please ask the care team first to see if the needed items can be provided by MGH.
  • Items needed by the team to safely provide care: including shoes, home medications. 
    • Please do not bring these items until they are requested. 
  • Clothing: At time of discharge only.
  • The following items cannot be brought to MGH at this time:
    • Flowers
    • Food items that do not meet the guidelines below

MGH does not take responsibility for any lost or misplaced patient belongings.

OUTSIDE FOOD

Food will be permitted if it is part of a patient’s care plan or if specific cultural practice requires outside food and drink. In these cases, food must be brought in sealable, wipeable containers. Use of hospital fridges and/or microwaves will not be permitted.

Visitors are asked to refrain from eating or drinking while at the hospital to ensure that masks are worn at all times

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