COVID-19: Appointments & Visiting

Visiting Guidelines

Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Before visiting our hospitals, there are a few important things you should know:

Proof of vaccination
As of March 1, 2022, we no longer require visitors to our hospitals to show proof of vaccination.

Screening
All visitors must pass COVID-19 screening to enter the hospital. Screening prior to your arrival can help reduce wait times. Simply visit screening.hhsc.ca and follow the prompts using your personal device or home computer.

Wear a mask

The provincial announcement lifting most masking requirements in Ontario by March 21 includes a provision that masking will remain in effect for some high-risk settings, such as hospitals. At Hamilton Health Sciences, we will continue to require everyone who enters our hospitals to wear a mask.

• A medical mask will be provided at designated hospital entrances. However, visitors and patients who choose to wear their own clean, well-fitting mask (N95 or KN95) will be permitted to do so.
• Those who refuse to properly wear a mask will not be permitted entry.
• Respirators, or masks with valves, and cloth masks are not permitted.
• Speak with us if you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, we will work with you to accommodate your needs.

Please note that physical distancing is no longer required in areas where masks must be worn, including waiting areas.

Inpatients
Adult In-patients are allowed two essential caregivers/support persons/visitors to be at the patient’s bedside every day. Children under the age of 12 who are supervised and able to mask may visit. For patients who are imminently at the end of life, the clinical managers or delegate, in partnership with the patient and essential caregivers/support persons, will determine the best options for caregiver/support person presence.

On adult Hematology units (C4 and B4), patients are allowed one essential caregiver/support person/visitor and only one essential caregiver/support person/visitor can be at the patient’s bedside every day.

Outpatients
Patients attending ambulatory visits and the emergency department may have one essential caregiver/support person accompany them to the visit. The department reserves the right to temporarily restrict visitors to specific areas if needed.

Pediatric patients
Pediatric patients on all inpatient units (including children and youth in the mental health program) may have two parents/support persons present at a time at the bedside. Children under the age of 12 who are supervised and able to mask may also visit.

Pediatric patients in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centre and Ambulatory Care Clinics may be accompanied by two parents/caregivers. The second parent/caregiver may be asked to leave at any time if their presence is no longer deemed essential to the patient’s visit or where there are concerns about crowding coupled with masking non-compliance.

Pediatric patients scheduled for Diagnostic Imaging are permitted to be accompanied by one parent or caregiver.

Neonatal ICU Patients
Patients may have up to two consistent caregivers/support persons present 24/7. Children who are visiting an infant sibling may be any age, provided they are able to wear a mask. Non-sibling visitors must be 12 years of age or older.

Patients who are pregnant, in labour, or postpartum
Labour & Delivery patients may have two consistent caregivers/support persons present 24/7.

Once transferred to the post-partum unit, a patient may have two individuals present at the bedside during visiting hours, and one caregiver/support person overnight.

Antenatal clinics are located on 4B1, 2F, PND.

Some units may have exceptions. Please check with the unit before visiting the hospital to address any exceptions with the clinical manager or care team..

There are limited exemptions to these policies, including:

  • Families of an end of life patient – as determined by the clinical team
  • Essential caregiver if he/she is caring for a highly dependent family member who needs their frequent support
  • Compassionate reasons (e.g., life or limb threatening situations)
  • Partner of a patient giving birth; excludes visits to antenatal appointments
  • Parents of pediatric patients and parents of infants in the NICU
  • Visitors who have valid proof of medical exemption

The presence of family members, caregivers and support persons is important to the well-being of our patients. However, we must balance this with the need to keep everyone within our hospitals safe. We appreciate your support as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please explore the content below.

 

In Our Hospitals

Food & Beverage

  • Outside food brought in for patients must be individually packaged and not shared. All leftovers must be discarded as they cannot be kept in unit fridges.
  • Do not eat or drink while in a patient’s room.
  • Food service locations are limited to take-out packaged options only. In accordance with COVID-19 requirements, café and cafeteria seating areas are for staff use only.
  • Please practice good hand hygiene at all times, including when entering and leaving the hospital and before eating food.

Parking at Hamilton Health Sciences

Learn more about parking fees and directions to our sites. Parking fees help cover the cost of maintenance and lease payments for our parking lots, as well as vital medical equipment that is not funded by the government.

 

Patients

Outdoor Visiting

Outdoor visiting continues with caregivers/visitors, who are screened when they arrive at HHS. The patient and caregiver/visitor may remove their masks when they reach their outdoor destination, and don masks again when they re-enter the building.

Exceptions

Exceptions to the visiting guidelines may apply, and must be approved by the clinical manager.

We will do our best to include caregivers/support persons throughout the varying waves of disease spread during the pandemic period. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Support for physical care and mental well-being, including:
    • Assistance with meals; mobility; personal care Communication assistance for persons with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments
    • Assistance for patients with disabilities
    • Provision of emotional support and/or spiritual support
    • Supported decision-making
  • Support for care coordination and discharge planning, including Aboriginal Patient Navigators and LHIN Care Coordinators
  • Patients attending surgery or other procedures.
  • Other special needs as determined by the care team in partnership with the clinical manager.

 

Visiting

Connecting with your loved ones

During times like these, we know the importance of keeping connected with your loved ones that are staying in hospital. At Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), there are several ways to keep in touch, including sending a note through our “email-a-patient” service, or through virtual means of communication.

The “email-a-patient” service allows you the option of sending a special note to your loved one. If you wish to send a message to your loved one, please fill out the form found on the website and a staff member will hand deliver it.

In terms of keeping in touch through virtual means, we encourage you to connect with patients by telephone or by video conferencing, such as FaceTime or Skype. Free telephone and public Wifi access are available by accessing “HHS Free Wifi” in your device’s network settings.

External service providers, contractors and vendors

More information on our Vendor Information page.

 

If you have any questions, please contact your care team or Patient Experience at patientexperience@HHSC.CA.

For further detailed information please ask your health care team. Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to keep patients, families and staff safe.