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

Last updated on December 4, 2020.

The safety of our patients, visitors, families and caregivers is a top priority. Michael Garron Hospital (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. 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
 

Entering the hospital

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:

  • 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, vendors etc.  The public is not allowed to use any of the other hospital entrances.
  • 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.
  • All individuals coming through the main entrance are screened for signs and/or symptoms of respiratory illness. Please be prepared to answer questions about symptoms, potential exposure to COVID-positive individuals, travel history and more.
  • Screeners are collecting necessary information such as your name and/or contact information. If you have an appointment at the hospital, please arrive early to give yourself time to go through the screening process.
  • All patients and visitors are reminded to please limit the amount of personal belongings being brought into the hospital. Please only bring what is necessary for your visit.

Wearing a mask

  • Anyone entering the building is required to wear a medical grade procedure/surgical mask for the duration of their visit.
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Individuals who are visiting inpatients will also be provided with a face shield/visor which must be worn in patient rooms and can be disposed of after the visit is over.
  • Those who do not have a medical grade mask will be provided one by an MGH screener upon entry.

Patient appointments

  • You may be contacted ahead of your appointment to answer screening questions over the phone.
  • Before visiting the hospital for an appointment, please contact the clinic ahead of time if you:
    • are experiencing a fever or a combination of respiratory symptoms (cough, congestion, runny-nose)
    • have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
    • have recently travelled outside of Canada or have been in close contact with someone who has travelled outside of Canada
  • If you have respiratory symptoms, exposure to someone with COVID-19 or have returned from travel outside of Canada recently, your appointment may be re-scheduled.
  • Escorts/family members bringing you to your appointment are not able to accompany you throughout your visit. Please contact your escort/family member when you are ready to go home so that they can come back to pick you up. Please see below for more information on our visitor policy. 

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

  • Our Emergency Department (ED) remains open for those seeking urgent care.
  • Upon arrival, you will be screened for signs and/or symptoms of respiratory illness. Individuals experiencing signs/symptoms of respiratory illness will wait in a designated area of the ED.
  • For visitor and support person information, please see the visitor information section below. 

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. For those who require a safe space to eat or drink during their visit due to dietary needs, please 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 will not be allowed inside the building.
  • For information on bringing food and drink when visiting a patient, please see the Visitor section below. 

COVID-19 Assessment Centre

In response to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Toronto and community spread of the virus, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) has opened a COVID-19 Assessment Centre

Virtual APPOINTMENTS

We 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.

FOR VISITORS

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

INPATIENT VISITS

Patients who meet the visitor permission criteria below are asked to name one designated essential visitor and one alternate who may visit. Visitors are limited to these two individuals.  

Frequency of visits varies for different patient groups.

A patient on the Family Birthing Centre may have one dedicated support person for labour and delivery and to help with newborn care.

The following patients can have one visitor daily:

  • A patient who is near death
  • A pediatric patient
  • A patient with a significant developmental or intellectual disability

The following patients can have a one-time visit:

  • A patient having major surgery (one visitor before surgery.  No visitors after surgery)
  • A patient with a critical illness
  • A patient experiencing a mental health crisis

The following patients can have a visitor 2 times per week:

  • A patient with cognitive impairment
  • A patient who is unable to communicate effectively
  • A long stay patient (>14 days)

VISITING HOURS FOR ESSENTIAL VISITORS

The designated essential caregiver or alternate may visit the patient once per day between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visits will be limited to one hour long. Please note that visiting hours may vary for different areas and patient groups.

BOOKING YOUR VISIT

In order to maintain safe physical distancing in the hospital, visitors must schedule visits in advance with a patient’s care team. Please call the patient’s department/area directly to confirm its visiting hours and to schedule the time and duration of your visit. If you do not have the extension of the patient’s department/area, please call the Hospital’s switchboard at 416-461-8272 and ask to be transferred.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT:

Patients may have one visitor if they are essential to the visit:

  • Patient is unable to fully participate in decision making (e.g. developmental or intellectual delay, cognitive impairment)
  • Essential for care (e.g. Primary caregiver, translator or communicator for the patient)
  • Pediatric patients – 1 parent at a time
  • Critically ill/ end of life or palliative
  • Patient is experiencing a life-altering event (e.g. mental Health crisis or childbirth)
  • Patient is expected to receive a life-altering diagnosis.

The visitor should stay with the patient and not use the common area except for the quiet room during resuscitation. If the patient is transferred to a different unit in the hospital, the visitor cannot accompany the patient without approval from the receiving care team.

INFORMATION FOR OUTPATIENTS:

One visitor may be considered to support a patient coming for an outpatient appointment if the patient has mobility or cognitive challenges, or requires translation.  Please communicate with the clinic directly to request an exception.

VISITOR SAFETY WHEN ON-SITE:

  • Screening: All visitors must enter through the main entrance on Coxwell Avenue and will be screened before entering the building. Visitors who are under the age of 16, have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days or who have respiratory illness symptoms will not be allowed inside the building. 
  • 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.
  • Masking: Anyone entering the building is required to wear a medical grade procedure/surgical mask that must be worn at all times. Those who do not have a medical grade mask will be provided one by an MGH screener upon entry.
  • 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. . 

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. 

VIDEO VISIT OPTIONS:

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

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.

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