Emergency Department During COVID-19

Last Updated: 2020-10-21

Mount Sinai Hospital’s Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Centre serves close to 60,000 patients a year who come through our doors 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. All patients will be screened for COVID-19 prior to entering the building.

Visitor access for the ED

As partners in care, visitors have an important role in keeping our hospital safe. At this time, only patients that meet specific criteria are eligible for visitors in the Emergency Department (ED) to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff. Please read the information below. 

Given space limitations in the ED because of renovations and physical distancing requirements, we cannot accommodate visitors in our waiting rooms. Once a patient arrives in the ED, the following steps will be taken to determine visitor eligibility.

Step 1: Visitors will be asked to wait outside of the hospital until the patient is in a dedicated assessment space and the clinical team has determined if they are eligible to have a visitor. This may take some time depending on the volume of patients currently in the ED. You can provide the patient/clinical team with a contact number where you can be reached for updates.

Step 2: If the patient is eligible for a visitor, the team will call to inform you that you can now enter the ED and join the patient. There are no in-and-out privileges so ensure you have everything you need before entering the hospital, including food.

Step 3: If you are not eligible to join the patient in person, you may ask the clinical team about ways to connect remotely.

*Note: Visitors of patients meeting specific criteria may be asked to accompany the patient to triage to assist with sharing important information with the clinical team before being asked to wait outside.

Other means of staying connected with the patient and plan of care

We know how important a patient’s support network is to their care. The ED has a number of ways to engage family and friends who are not able to be physically present with the patient.

  • Provided that the patient consents, the ED staff are supportive of including families in the discussion about clinical findings and/or the care plan using telephones and tablets. Let the clinical team know if you would like to be included virtually.
  • The ED team also consists of social workers and peer support workers who may be able to greet patients and families at the entrance to the department, facilitate the patient’s transition into the department and, if the patient consents, provide updates as to the patient’s care trajectory.

Visitor Appeals

Please contact Patient Relations with any appeals related to your situation, if the care team is unable to assist you, or if you have further questions. Appeals can take 48 hours to process, so please address time-sensitive requests with the care team. Patient Relations can be reached at 416-586-4800 x 5066 or [email protected] (Use “Appeal” in your subject line).

Help Keep our Hospitals Safe

Help keep our hospitals safe if you are visiting. Anyone that does not follow these infection prevention protocols, may be asked to leave.

  • Please wear a mask when you come to visit. Wear the mask properly so that it covers your nose and mouth at all times while you are in the hospital. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided when you enter.
  • Practice physical distancing and keep two metres from others as much as possible.
  • Clean your hands often for at least 15 seconds.
  • Stay at the patient’s bedside. Please do not go in other patient rooms, lounges or common areas.
  • If the patient you are visiting is on Additional Precautions (there will be a sign on the door to the patient’s room), you may be required to wear additional protective equipment. The clinical team will tell how to properly put on and take off personal protective equipment (PPE).