Changes to Family Presence and Visitor Policy

Safety remains a top priority at Osler. To ensure the safety of all our patients and their families, staff, physicians and volunteers, we are currently operating with a limited visitor policy. We continue to evaluate the visitor policy, weighing the health and safety of all, while also promoting a compassionate and healing environment for our patients.

Authorized visitors will have the option to use the online self-screening tool on their mobile device prior to coming to the hospital or while they wait in line. While using this tool, you will complete a series of COVID-19 symptom questions to show that you have met the screening requirements before entering the hospital. Self-screening must be completed on the same day that you are visiting the hospital. To find out if you qualify as an authorized visitor, please review our Visitor Policy below.

ONLINE SELF-SCREENING TOOL

Visitor Policy

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Who can visit the hospital?

At this time, there will be no inpatient visitors permitted at our hospitals with a few exceptions. Please note that the length of the visit will be dependent on the type of visit. No overnight visits are allowed at this time, with the exception of end-of-life visits as well as care partners for paediatric and labouring and post partum women that extend into nighttime hours.

  • One care partner for all paediatric patients (under age of 18).
  • One care partner and alternate for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients 30 days old and younger.
  • One care partner and alternate who will support care at the bedside to their loved one during visiting hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Patient must meet specific high-need criteria determined and communicated to care partner and alternate by the Clinical Services Manager.
  • One care partner for all Labour & Delivery and Post-Partum patients.
  • One visitor for Emergency Department and outpatients with cognitive/developmental, physical disabilities or life-altering circumstances.
  • One visitor two times a week for one hour in length for critical care patients on a Critical Care Unit.
  • One visitor for patients who are at the end-of-life for two one hour visits a week (including stillbirth and miscarriage). Two visitors can stay through active dying until death. Osler staff will do our best to ensure that no patient dies alone with primary presence being a family member, friend or spiritual care provider. If that is not possible a staff member may be able to arrange virtual visitation or will be intentionally present for those deaths which are anticipated.
  • Visitation at end-of-life for COVID-19+ patients and Patient Under Investigation (PUI)s are considered on a case-by-case basis by the clinical team.

Any other requests will be considered outside of policy and are to be discussed between the clinical team and the Chief Patient Experience Officer as part of an escalation process.

Why are visitor restrictions in place?

Osler implemented visitor restrictions as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the public, patients, visitors, staff, physicians and volunteers from the potential transmission of COVID-19. We understand these restrictions are very difficult for everyone. We strive to create a safe environment for everyone while being empathetic to our patients and their loved ones. Your patience and understanding is valued as we work together during this time.

Why is Osler implementing an online self-screening tool for visitors?

As Osler continues to gradually welcome more visitors into the hospital, this new tool will enhance the screening process by improving our ability to ensure the health and safety of all those who enter the hospital and will allow faster access for scheduled visits.

This online tool will ask a series of COVID-19 symptom questions. Once you have responded to each question, the tool will indicate whether you are able to safely enter the hospital or not. You will be required to show this confirmation to the screeners at the hospital entrance.

What if I do not have a mobile device or do not want to use the online self-screening tool?

Visitors who do not wish to use the tool or do not have a mobile device can continue to be screened in-person at the entrance.

If you’re having technical difficulties with the online self-screening tool, please come to the hospital and you will be screened in-person at the hospital entrance.

Is it safe to visit the hospital?

Yes – please rest assured that at Osler everyone’s health and safety is our top priority. We are committed to providing safe, compassionate and high-quality health care at our hospitals, and we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who comes into our hospitals.

Among our many safety measures, are:

  • implementing enhanced cleaning practices and safety measures
  • actively screening all outpatients, visitors, staff, physicians, volunteers and contractors
  • providing masks to everyone who comes to our hospitals
  • enforcing visitor restrictions
  • restricting the items that can be brought to our sites

We continue to follow Ontario Health guidelines and will update our policy on a regular basis, to ensure the continued safety of everyone who comes through our doors.

How to make arrangements for an in-person visit?

To arrange an in-person visit to an inpatient or accompany an outpatient during a visit, please contact the clinical team directly. They will be able to determine if you meet the criteria and can schedule your visit. Visitors for patients in the Emergency Department are restricted to paediatric patients, patients with cognitive and physical disability and for those patients at end-of-life.

What guidelines need to be followed when visiting?

Visitors who feel unwell are asked not to visit.

All visitors will be:

  • screened for COVID-19 prior to entering.
  • asked to wear a mask, clean your hands frequently and maintain physical distance of two metres from others when possible.
  • asked to go to the unit or clinic directly and not visit other areas of the building.
  • asked to bring only approved belongings for the patient (see approved list below)

Can children visit a patient?

This decision can vary by unit and the patient or family must discuss this matter with the unit’s clinical team.

Which entrance should visitors use?

Please use the Main Lobby entrance when visiting either Brampton Civic, Etobicoke General or Peel Memorial Centre. Outpatients and visitors can also enter at Entrance B at Brampton Civic.

When will other visitor restrictions be lifted?

Osler has adopted a phased approach to lifting visitor restrictions. We will continue to evaluate the visitor restrictions that are in place, weighing both the safety of our patients, family members and staff, while also promoting a compassionate and healing environment.

Why is Osler taking a phased approach lifting visitor restrictions?

A gradual and phased approach to lifting visitor restrictions will ensure Osler is able to plan and manage the safety of our patients, visitors, staff, physicians and volunteers.

Virtual Visitation

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Is virtual visitation available?

Yes. Patients can use their own mobile devices through free guest access hospital-wide WiFi – available at all three hospital sites. We encourage patients to use their mobile devices for Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp for virtual visits.

For patients who do not have a mobile device and want to set up a virtual visit, please connect with your loved one’s clinical team and they can arrange to book a loaner device.

Are there any guidelines I need to follow during a virtual visit?

Electronic communication is vulnerable to cyber risk. To ensure the privacy and security of patients, virtual visits may not be used for discussions with the health care team. If you have questions for the health care team regarding your loved one’s care, please speak with members of the health care team separately via telephone.

To protect the privacy of all involved, the recording of virtual visits is prohibited. In certain circumstances, there may be the need to conclude a virtual visit to protect the privacy of others.

Can I send an electronic greeting card to a patient?

Yes, Osler does offer a greeting card delivery service for inpatients at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General. Please complete our greeting card request form, and one of our volunteers will make arrangements to deliver the greeting card to your loved one.

Dropping Off Items

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What am I allowed to drop off to a patient?

To help ensure the safety of all our patients, staff, physicians and volunteers we are restricting what can be dropped off for patients to a limited number of essential items. You are permitted to drop off the following items to a patient in our care:

  • Breast milk
  • Breast pumps
  • Car seats
  • Dentures
  • Food in disposable containers and bags (from a non-COVID positive household only)
  • Glasses
  • Hardcover books or electronic readers
  • Hearing Aids
  • Mobile phones, iPads, laptops and chargers
  • Nail clippers/razors (except on Mental Health Units)
  • Non-slip slippers
  • Prosthesis
  • Running shoes and exercise clothes for rehab patients
  • Toiletries
  • Undergarments
  • Walkers/strollers
  • Washed clothing for post-partum mothers, newborns or patients being discharged

Osler does not accept responsibility for lost or stolen items.

Where do I drop off the items?

Items can be dropped off at the following entrances (see maps below):

  • Brampton Civic – Entrance B
  • Etobicoke General – Main Lobby
  • Peel Memorial – Main Lobby

Labour & Delivery

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Can I bring someone with me when I deliver my baby at your hospital?

Yes – one support person is permitted to attend the baby’s birth.

Will my support person and I be screened when we enter the hospital?

Yes – Everyone is screened upon entering the hospital and provided with a mask that should be worn at all times inside. If either mother or support person does not pass screening, secondary screening will be required when they arrive on the unit. Please enter the hospital through the designated patient/visitor entrances:

  • Brampton Civic – Main Entrance, Entrance B
  • Etobicoke General – Main Entrance

Can I bring a doula with me?

Doula are considers members of the patient’s care team and are able to attend the baby’s birth.

Can I bring items with me to the hospital?

There is a list of items that you can bring with you upon admission to the Postpartum/Mother and Baby Unit. This includes, diapers, clothing for mother and baby, a car seat, stroller, breast pump and food. Please see list of approved items in the “Drop off Items” tab above.

Additionally, food deliveries arranged by the support partner should be in disposable containers and plastic bags. All items will be wiped down upon arrival at the hospital.

Are there any guidelines that support persons should follow once on the Labour & Delivery/Birthing Unit?

All support partners will receive and wear a wristband and have limited in/out privileges through the approved patient/visitor hospital entrances/exits. Each time upon entering the hospital, support partners will be screened and provided with a new mask.

Screening

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Who is being screened at the hospital?

All patients, any visitors by exception, staff, physicians, contractors and volunteers are now required to be screened before entering the hospital every day.

Why is everyone being screened?

Everyone entering is being screened to ensure it is safe for them to enter the hospital and they are not at risk of contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

What do you need to know as a visitor entering the hospital?

We ask that you please be patient and answer questions honestly to help keep everyone healthy and safe. If an outpatient does not pass our screening criteria, we will determine if their appointment continues with appropriate protection or can be re-scheduled. If a visitor who is accompanying a patient does not pass our screening criteria they will not be allowed enter and we will identify other ways to escort the patient to their appointment.

Why are patients and staff being asked to use separate entrances?

We are asking staff and patients to use designated entrances to enact social distancing, help reduce line-ups and streamline our screening processes. Please refer to the maps below to know where you should park and enter.

Hospital Maps

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Brampton Civic Hospital

Etobicoke General Hopsital

Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health & Wellness

 

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