Support for Visitors

Last Updated: 2022-04-14

Visiting Patients at Hennick Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai Hospitals

The Government of Ontario’s recent announcement related to lifting public health requirements for COVID-19 includes a condition that some high-risk settings, like hospitals, can and should maintain infection prevention and control measures.

Visitors and essential care partners are required to:

Wear the mask provided to you at all times, including when you are in patient rooms.

Be screened at our entrances and show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and personal identification to visit a patient or accompany a patient to an appointment.

Do not eat and drink while you visit. This includes in patient rooms and waiting rooms. If you need to eat or drink, you must go to the Food Hall or cafeteria on the main floor.

Practice physical distancing and keep two metres from others. Stay at the patient’s bedside. Do not go into other patient rooms.

Clean your hands often for at least 15 seconds.

Wear the mask provided to you at all times, including when you are in patient rooms.

Be screened at our entrances and show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and personal identification to visit a patient or accompany a patient to an appointment.

Do not eat and drink while you visit. This includes in patient rooms and waiting rooms. If you need to eat or drink, you must go to the Food Hall or cafeteria on the main floor.

Practice physical distancing and keep two metres from others. Stay at the patient’s bedside. Do not go into other patient rooms.

Clean your hands often for at least 15 seconds.

Essential care partners must strictly follow hospital protocols.  If you do not, you may be asked to leave.

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Essential Care Partners

This policy does not apply to patients. Patients will not be denied care or access to our hospitals due to vaccination status.

What essential care partners will need to do to enter the hospital:

  1. Show one piece of personal identification that includes your name and date of birth
  2. Show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, on paper or a mobile device, showing that it has been at least 14 days since you received your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine OR proof of medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination
  3. Complete screening for symptoms of COVID-19 at the entrance. For a smoother screening process, use our pre-screening tool.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirements

Exceptions to the vaccination requirements for essential care partners

Exceptions to the proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement may apply for eligible essential care partners who are visiting or accompanying a patient in the following situations:

Essential care partners who wish to request an exception for special circumstances should contact Patient Relations at 416-586-4800 ext. 5066 or [email protected] with “Appeal” in the subject line.

If no vaccinated essential care partner is available, and an exception is made, only one unvaccinated essential care partner will be permitted for the duration of the admission. Switching is not permitted.

Documentation required for medical exemption

Documentation of a medical exemption must be provided by either a physician or a nurse practitioner (note: A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who holds an extended certificate of registration under the Nursing Act, 1991). The exemption must clearly indicate the reason why the individual cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 (i.e., clear medical information that supports the exemption).

This includes:

  • Name and contact information of the physician or registered nurse in the extended class
  • Logo or letterhead identifying the physician or registered nurse in the extended class
  • Statement that there is a medical reason for the individual’s exemption from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Any effective time-period for the medical reason which includes the date the patron is seeking access to the business or organization

Ministry of Health Medical Exemption Guidance

Criteria for Visiting a Patient

The following requirements are in place for visiting patients or accompanying a patient to an appointment at Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital.

  • Patients who meet the criteria for having an essential care partner will need to designate essential care partners.
  • The designated essential care partners must stay the same throughout the hospital length of stay.
  • Hospitals are a high-risk setting. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must wait 10 days after the date of specimen collection or symptom onset (whichever is earlier) before visiting the hospital.
  • At Mount Sinai, essential care partners need to check out with the screeners at the Information Desk in the main lobby at the end of their visit.
  • Essential care partners should also check in with the care team on arrival to the unit and must remain at the bedside during indoor visits.
  • If visiting a patient on Additional Precautions, the patient will not be able to leave their room and you may be required to wear additional protective equipment.
  • Essential care partners must strictly follow hospital protocols. If they do not, they may be asked to leave.

Hospital Protocols

  • Do not visit if you are feeling unwell with any symptoms of illness—even mild symptoms, including fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.
  • Do not visit if you or others in your household are ill or waiting for COVID-19 test results due to recent or ongoing symptoms or a known exposure to COVID-19.
  • If you have travelled out of the country in the last 14 days, you must follow the return from travel requirements of the Canadian government before being permitted entry.
  • Wear your mask at all times during your visit, including at the bedside.
  • Do not eat or drink while you visit. This includes in patient rooms and waiting rooms. If you need to eat or drink, you must go to the Food Hall or cafeteria on the main floor.
  • Clean your hands often for at least 15 seconds.
  • Keep two metres apart from others as much as possible.
  • Stay at the patient’s bedside. Do not go into other patient rooms.

Essential care partner visiting guidelines

Daily visit between 7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. from two essential care partners or as determined appropriate by clinical care team. Two essential care partners can visit at a time.

  • All inpatients at Hennick Bridgepoint – can designate up to five essential care partners
  • Patients at Hennick Bridgepoint who are at end of life with a prognosis of less than two weeks are able to have 24-hour essential care partner access (please speak with your care team about visits from people of importance)

Daily visit between 7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. from two essential care partners or as determined appropriate by clinical care team. Two essential care partners can visit at the same time.

  • Inpatients at Mount Sinai with a stay longer than seven (7) days – can designate up to five essential care partners
  • Inpatients at Mount Sinai with a stay less than seven (7) days – can designate up to two essential care partners

This includes:

  • Patients who are at end of life with a prognosis of more than two weeks
  • Patients receiving a life-altering diagnosis
  • Patients experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Parents/guardians of patients under 18 years
  • Patients with significant developmental disability
  • Patients who are within one year of transitioning from pediatric to adult care
  • Patients with cognitive impairment, or who are unable to effectively communicate, patients benefitting from enhanced patient care support needing transition support
  • Indigenous patients

24-hour essential care partner access for two essential care partners. After 7:30 p.m. only one essential care partner can remain overnight, unless an exception has been granted.

  • Patients in the ICU that are critically ill

24-hour essential care partner access for two essential care partners at the same time.

  • Patients who are at end of life with a prognosis of less than two weeks (please speak with your care team about visits from people of importance)

Visitor Appeals

If the care 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 care team. Patient Relations can be reached at 416-586-4800 x 5066 or [email protected] (Use “Appeal” in your subject line).

Visitor Appeal Information

Select a language below for more details

Outdoor Visits

Are outdoor visits supported at Mount Sinai?

Outdoor visits are not supported at Mount Sinai due to limited outdoor space.

What units are able to have outdoor visits at Hennick Bridgepoint?

Patients at Hennick Bridgepoint who are medically stable to leave the unit and who are not on any additional infection control precautions may have outdoor visits from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Maximum of five outdoor visitors at one time. Children are able to visit outdoors and those under two are able to visit outdoors without wearing a mask and are not counted in the total visitors.

Brief hugs are allowed outdoors.

  • Safety: All outdoor visitors must complete screening and follow infection control precautions, including wearing a procedure mask appropriately and physically distancing. Please do not eat or drink while you are visiting indoors or outdoors. 
  • The outdoor visitors do not need to preregister in advance of visiting, but please complete screening upon arrival.  
  • Outdoor visitors are required to remain outside and wait for the patient to visit. Only the designated essential care partners may enter the building. Patients should coordinate with their essential care partner if they require mobility assistance to go outdoors for a visit.
  • Designated visiting areas: Outdoor visiting spaces include: 1) Main Entrance Driveway 2) Labyrinth and 3) Main Floor West Terrace. All these spaces must be accessed directly from outside as outdoor visitors do not have access to the building other than screening.
  • Essential care partners and patients are able to exit and enter the hospital through the Main Floor Entrance for outdoor visits only.
  • All outdoor visits are weather permitting. The Main Floor West Terrace at Hennick Bridgepoint is covered so can be used to provide protection from rain and sun.
  • Parking: As all outdoor visitors are asked to remain outside, there are a number of street level parking lots in the neighbourhood that can be used by outdoor visitors to park.

Essential Care Partners Frequently Asked Questions

How long will visitor restrictions be in place?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change and evolve, the safety of our patients, visitors, staff and physicians remains paramount. We need to balance the need for family presence and the risk of outbreak. The phased approach to visitor access allows us to be flexible in increasing or decreasing access as the situation changes.

What is an essential care partner?

Essential care partners are defined as those people allowed access to the hospital in situations based on: compassionate care; visits that are paramount to the patient’s/client’s fundamental care needs, mental health and emotional support; enable processes of care and patient flow; and, discharge from the hospital.

Why are essential care partners required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to visit a patient?

Throughout the pandemic the safety of everyone in our hospitals has been paramount. Preventing exposures and outbreaks in health care settings are essential. Patients and their families entrust us to care for them when they are at their most vulnerable. Hospitals have a duty to ensure that patients are cared for in a safe environment.

Essential care partners must continue to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and personal identification to visit a patient or accompany a patient to a clinic appointment.

Who is allowed to visit an inpatient in the hospital?

Essential care partners are able to visit. Care partners must go through screening when they enter the hospital, wear a mask at all times and stay at the patient’s bedside during their visit. This is to keep patients and health care providers safe.

Are children able to visit a patient?

Children between the ages of 5 and 12 may now visit if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • A maximum of two (2) children may visit at the same time. To allow for more than two children to visit at the same time, a request for exception must be made through the appeal process through Patient Relations at 416-586-4800 ext. 5066 or [email protected].
  • Children are not included in the total number of essential care partners permitted to visit.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult. The patient cannot be responsible for children who are visiting.
  • Some exceptions apply so please check in with unit before visiting.

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.

What steps do I need to take when visiting a patient?

  • Everyone will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the hospital.
  • You must wear a procedure mask, clean your hands frequently.
  • Maintain physical distance of two metres when possible.
  • Please do not take off your mask to eat or drink when in the hospital. Instead, eat or drink before or after you visit.

When you are visiting, we ask that you stay at the bedside during indoor visits and do not go to common areas.

What can patients and essential care partners do for the safety of themselves, other patients, and the health care team?

  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Be truthful when answering screening questions
  • Wear a mask at all times when in the hospital
  • Essential care partners should not visit if they are experiencing any symptoms or may have had a high-risk exposure
  • Essential care partners should not eat or drink while in the hospital
  • Clean your hands frequently
  • Ensure physical distancing
  • Follow all public health guidelines in the community
  • If you have any symptoms, or feel unwell, get tested for COVID-19

Can I know the COVID-19 vaccination status of a patient’s roommate or other essential care partners?

The COVID-19 vaccination status of another patient is personal health information.

Sinai Health has many policies and processes in place to keep patients, essential care partners/families and the health care team safe. These include:

  • Patient screening and routine testing on admission
  • Routine symptom surveillance and testing
  • Infection prevention and control best practices (e.g. placing a symptomatic patient in an isolation room)
  • Use of appropriate personal protective equipment for patients, essential care partners and our staff
  • Implementation of outbreak mitigation strategies for health care providers, patients and essential care partners
  • Limiting hospital visitor access to essential care partners 

Can I bring my own mask?

The hospital will provide you with a medical grade surgical mask when you arrive. You must wear it at all times. 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.

Can I still get food at the hospitals?

We need to do everything we can to prevent outbreaks and keep everyone safe. Everyone is required to wear a mask—covering the nose and mouth and below the chin—at all times while in the hospital building. This means that you cannot eat or drink while inside the hospital or while on hospital property. This applies to all areas of the hospital, including patient rooms, hallways and public areas. We encourage you to eat or drink before or after you visit.

I would like to be considered with special circumstances for visiting a patient. What should I do?

If you feel we should provide you with an appeal, please contact Patient Relations at 416-586-4800 ext. 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.

How do I stay connected to a patient while they are in the hospital?

How do I drop off any items for a patient?

Items can be dropped off for patients at Mount Sinai Hospital and Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital 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.)
  • Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital: 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.