Support for Visitors
Last Updated: 2020-09-04
Visiting Patients at Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai
For the safety of our patients and everyone working in our hospitals, Sinai Health has placed some limits on visiting patients in our hospitals. Please read the information below when planning your visit.
What you need to know before you visit an inpatient
The following requirements are in place for visits to inpatients at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare and Mount Sinai Hospital:
- Patients can have one visitor per day at the bedside between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. (Please choose one time slot.)
- Visitors must be over the age of 12 and part of the patient’s household or 10-person social circle. (Read more about social circles here on the Province of Ontario’s website).
- Visitors will be screened at the entrance for symptoms.
- Visitors will need to provide their name and contact information for contact tracing purposes if needed.
- Visitors are asked to check in with the care team when arriving on the unit. If visiting a patient on Additional Precautions, you may be required to wear additional protective equipment.
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.
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 have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
Help keep our hospitals safe during your visit:
- 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 2 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.
Special circumstances and exceptions:
Exceptions to the one visitor per patient per day at the bedside during the visiting times can be made in the following situations, but please speak directly with your care team before you arrive about these exceptions:
- 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
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).
We urge all families and caregivers to keep in touch with patients by phone or digital technologies, and we look forward to welcoming all visitors back when it is safe to do so.
Information and tip sheets:
Visitor (Care Partner) Frequently Asked Questions
Why are hospitals still limiting visitors, when other services and businesses in Ontario are in stage three of reopening?
The phased approach to reintegrating visitors into our hospitals is a separate process to the Province’s staged plan for reopening other sectors. This is essential because safely increasing visitor access involves carefully monitoring for changes in the rates of COVID-19 as more services and businesses open up in our communities.
Increasing visitor access also depends on the risk of outbreaks in the hospital and the community, access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical supplies, staffing levels, ability to maintain physical distancing in a hospital’s available space and the volume of people entering the hospital.
Who is allowed to visit an inpatient in the hospital?
Patients are allowed one visitor at a time. Visitors must be over the age of 12 and who a member of the patient’s household or their 10-person social circle (read about social circles here). Visitors must go through screening when they enter the hospital, wear a mask and stay at the bedside during their visit. Children under the age of 12 can visit only in exceptional circumstances. This is to keep patients, health care providers and the children themselves safe.
What if patients have more than 10 people in their social circle?
If more than 10 people are identified as required in a social circle, an appeal should be submitted to the care team and formally through [email protected].
How do I stay connected to a patient while they are in the hospital?
- WIFI: Complimentary Guest WI-FI access is available at Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare.
- Telephone: 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.
- Email Messages: To send a supportive note to a patient during their stay, use this link for Mount Sinai Hospital and this link for Bridgepoint Active Healthcare and the patient will receive your message.
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 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 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.