Support for Essential Visitors
Last Updated: 2020-07-30
Essential Visitor (Care Partner) Policy
Sinai Health’s visitor policy has been updated to allow essential visitors (care partner) for patients at Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare.
The safety of our patients and our people is paramount. Visiting hours, length of visits and the number of visitors permitted in the hospital at one time will be limited to maintain a safe environment for everyone.
Patients who meet the criteria for having an essential visitor (see list below) must schedule visits in advance with the patient’s care team unless otherwise determined by the care team. Please call the patient’s department/area directly if you meet the criteria to confirm that scheduling is appropriate.
Essential visitors are allowed in the following situations:
- Parents of a baby in the NICU
- Parents of patients under 18
- Birthing partner of a woman in labour and postpartum
- Patient who is near end of life or palliative
- Patient who has a significant cognitive impairment or where there are significant barriers to communication that the clinical team is unable to overcome through other means e.g. telephone
- Patient with a critical illness who is unstable and declining or is experiencing a significant mental health crisis
- Patient undergoing surgery (essential visits begin one day after surgery)
- Patient with a stay over 30 days
- Patient requiring discharge support by the essential care partner
We urge all families and caregivers to keep in touch with patients by phone or digital technologies (see more details below), and we look forward to welcoming all visitors back when it is safe to do so.
All visitors will be screened before entering the hospital for a fever higher than 37.8 and/or respiratory illness symptoms, including cough, sore throat or runny nose. If you have any of these symptoms or if you are currently waiting for COVID-19 test results, live with someone who is waiting for COVID-19 test results or has COVID-19, you will not be permitted to enter the hospital.
If the clinical team is unable to assist you, please contact Patient Relations with any appeals related to your situation or if you have further questions. Appeals can take 48 hours to process, so please address time-sensitive requests with the clinical team. Patient Relations can be reached at 416-586-4800 x 5066 or [email protected] (Use Appeal in your subject line).
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
How to Stay Connected
Complimentary Guest WI-FI access is available at Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare.
Free telephone access is available in patient rooms at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare and in many rooms at Mount Sinai Hospital. Local calling is free. Additional phones and iPads are available. If you need help, please do not hesitate to ask your health care team to help support a virtual visit.
Television service, where available in patient rooms at Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, are provided at no cost to patients.
Essential Visitor (Care Partner) Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe for me to visit a patient in the hospital?
Our hospital is safe for our patients and visitors. We have taken measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and those providing care to them during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Limiting visitor access and the number of people in the hospital
- Screening for symptoms at entrances
- Using masks and appropriate personal protective equipment
- Putting physical distancing measures in place
What steps do I need to take when visiting a patient?
All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering. You will be asked to wear a mask, clean your hands frequently and maintain physical distance of 2 metres when possible. When you are visiting, we ask that you stay at the bedside and do not go to common areas.
Can I bring my own mask?
You may wear your own mask or the hospital will provide you with one. Please clean your hands before putting it on and wear it properly at all times. If you have questions about how to put on or take off the mask, please review this tip sheet or ask someone on the care team.
How long will visitor restrictions be in place?
As the circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to change and evolve, the safety of our patients, visitors, staff and physicians remains paramount. We need to balance the need of family presence and the risk of outbreak. We cannot predict how long the restrictions will be in place. The phased approach to visitor access will allow us to be flexible in increasing or decreasing access as the situation changes.
I don’t currently qualify as an essential visitor, but would like to be considered with special circumstances. What should I do?
If you feel you meet the essential visitor criteria and we should provide you with an appeal, please contact Patient Relations at 416-586-4800 x 5066 or [email protected] (Use Appeal in your subject line). Appeals can take 48 hours to process, so please address time-sensitive requests with the clinical team.
Are visitors who have symptoms or who test positive for COVID-19 allowed to visit a patient?
Anyone with symptoms or who is COVID-19 positive should be self-isolating and not visit. Only in exceptional circumstances will case by case allowances be made in partnership with the clinical team and the Sinai Health Infection Prevention and Control team.
How do I drop off any items for a patient?
Items can be dropped off for patients at Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare to the screeners at the open entrances during the following times:
- Mount Sinai Hospital: Seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (the University Avenue entrance is open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Outside of those hours, please use the Murray Street entrance.)
- Bridgepoint Active Healthcare: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Please label each item delivered with the patient’s first and last name, unit and room number. Unfortunately, we will be unable to accept any perishable items.