Patients, visitors, staff and healthcare providers can find the latest COVID-19 updates here.

COVID-19: Safety, Screening, Reporting, and Vaccinations

Mandatory reporting of COVID-19 vaccination status, additional vaccine resources

Health concerns or issues that may impact your ability to receive the vaccine should be discussed with your primary care physician.

HHS Resources

Vaccine Intervention Resources

Provincial Resources


Staff Screening, safety and COVID-related absences

Laboratory Testing for COVID-19

New COVID-19 only test

The HRLMP virology lab is now testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19 as a stand-alone test, in addition to the current test where COVID-19 is tested along with the routine respiratory virus panel (Influenza A & B, RSV, Metapneumovirus, Parainfluenza 1, Rhino/Enterovirus, Adenovirus).

A nasopharyngeal swab is the preferred specimen. Proper collection is essential for a good quality specimen. Refer here for collection instructions.

 Order Entry mnemonics for testing:

  • COVID-2019 ONLY – Meditech: COVID19 Dovetale: COVID-19 PCR
  • Full respiratory virus panel including COVID-2019 – Meditech: CVIRNPS; Dovetale: Nasopharyngeal, virology detection

Please avoid duplicate testing. Only ONE of the COVID-19 tests on a NPS should be ordered at the same time

Sputum for COVID-19

  • Sputum for COVID-19 is now tested at the HRLMP virology laboratory. Use the order entry meditech mneumonic COVID19.
  • Sputum and other lower respiratory specimens (ETA, BAL) should not be ordered routinely at the same time as a NPS. If the NPS is negative and the patient has pneumonia, consider obtaining a sputum (non-induced) /ETA if the clinical picture is highly suggestive of COVID or if symptom onset to testing is >5-7 days. There may be high risk situations with disease severity when both may need to be collected at the same time, but this should be uncommon.

Alternative swabs and transport media

Refer to the Laboratory Test Information Guide

Please refrain from contacting the virology lab directly. Specimens are tested upon arrival at the laboratory and expedited testing of individual specimens is not possible. Please continue to transport COVID specimens by Porter NOT the tube system.

Staff Travel

Travel Regulations Memo (Updated July 2021)

The federal government has now eased travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers who are permitted to enter Canada:

Effective on July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated Hamilton Health Sciences staff and physicians who return from travel abroad will no longer be required to isolate at home.

You can read more on the impact of the newly revised federal regulations for HHS healthcare workers here.

This reporting form must be filled and sent to Employee Health Services (EHS) before any international travel.

Questions can be submitted to EHS by email at covidforms@hhsc.ca.