ALERT CONTENT PLACEHOLDER

We know how important visitors are to our patients while they are in hospital. We are doing everything we can to ensure that our patients and their families feel supported and connected during this difficult time.

Visitor restrictions are still in effect, even for people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. At Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab, there is no access for the public, or for visitors/caregivers who have not been pre-approved. All inpatient units at UHN require pre-approval as well.

Effective Wednesday, August 4, 2021, our visitor restrictions have loosened to allow for the following on inpatient units and clinic visits:

IconInformationGuidelines
patient All inpatients (including long-term and continuing complex care) may have daily visits with two (2) ECPs each day, 1 person at at time. Inpatients who are under 18 years or have an intellectual disability are eligible for 2 ECPs to visit daily at the same time.
Inpatients at TG, TW, and PM may identify 1 ECP and 1 alternate.
​Inpatients at TRI, may identify 1 ECP and up to 4 alternates.
Visits are allowed from 8:00 am – 9:00 pm.
There is no time limit except in the ICU. Visits are limited to 6 hours on Intensive Care Units.
Please call the unit to coordinate the visit with the care team.
patient Emergency Department patients are permitted to have 1 ECP, so long as the patient is not in isolation, and the ECP has passed all screenings. Note that ECPs are not allowed in the Rapid Assessment Area.
There are no set visiting hours for the Emergency Departments or patients in a mental health crisis or life-altering diagnosis.
entrance check All Essential Care Partners must pass our entrance screening at each visit, including people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.There is no access for members of the public or other visitors.
masking Masks must be worn by both patient and visitor at all times. Everyone entering UHN must wear a medical mask. If you arrive wearing a cloth or disposable mask from home, screening staff will give you a fresh medical mask to wear instead.
Why we're asking our patients, visitors and vendors to wear a mask »
Eating If a patient is eating or drinking during the visit, the ECP or visitor must remain masked and maintain physical distancing (minimum 6 feet of distance).ECPs and visitors are not permitted to eat and drink while visiting a patient.
Outdoors Outdoor visits up to a maximum of 5 visitors plus 2 ECPs are now allowed at all Toronto Rehab sites only. Children are permitted and children under 2 are not counted in the total visitor/ECP number.
ECPs must be pre-approved, but visitors can be anyone you choose.
An outdoor visit counts as your visit for the day.
All ECPs and visitors must speak to the entrance screening staff when they arrive.
Patients and visitors are expected to mask and physically distance. Sharing food is not permitted.
Outpatient All outpatients may have 1 ECP, except for Princess Margaret (PM) as many patients are immune compromised and physical distancing is not possible.
Pre-approval for outpatient ECPs is required at Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab.
All vulnerable patients at Princess Margaret (e.g., mobility, significant language barrier, under 18, intellectual/developmental disability) may continue to have 1 ECP to accompany the patient to outpatient appointment. Please call the clinic to discuss your request and ensure your ECP is pre-approved.



Additional Conditions
  • A patient who is receiving end-of-life care: Patients who are very close to end-of-life may have Essential Care Partner and family visits daily. The number and length of visits can be planned with the unit manager.
  • A patient who is under 18 years old or has an intellectual or developmental disability: Two (2) Essential Care Partner visits daily (at the same time).
  • A patient who is in isolation:
    • Non-COVID isolation: May have an Essential Care Partner visit, unless they are in the Emergency Department. Patients under isolation for any reasons in the Emergency Department cannot have any visitors, unless an exception is approved.
    • Suspected COVID: No visitors permitted
    • Patients with COVID who are cleared from isolation can have an ECP visit.
Who can enter UHN hospitals?
  • Only patients with appointments and their Essential Care Partners are allowed into the hospital. Patients who need emergency care must enter through the Emergency Department entrance only. All Essential Care Partners must pass our entrance screening at each visit, including people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. There is no access for members of the public or other visitors.
  • Children under 12 are not permitted in the hospital except under special circumstances. This rule does not apply to outdoor visits at TR sites.
  • For Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab: Call the clinic or inpatient unit as early as possible before your appointment. Speak with the unit manager or another member of your health care team about your situation. If the manager is not available (after hours), the administrator-in-charge can also discuss approval.
Frequently Asked Questions

UHN is using the term Essential Care Partner to describe essential visitors. You may see either term used at Toronto-area hospitals.

An Essential Care Partner is a support person whose presence is considered essential to the safety and well-being of a patient while they are inside the hospital. They might be a family member, friend, neighbour, paid private caregiver, or someone else. It is up to the patient to choose their Essential Care Partner.

If you would like to identify who your Essential Care Partner is, please discuss it with the inpatient unit or clinic manager. Often, hospital staff and the health care team are able to provide appropriate support in these situations.

 Essential Care Partners are urged to limit close contact before visits and to report any COVID-positive results within 14 days of a hospital visit. If you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you cannot enter the hospital.
  • All inpatients are now allowed 2 daily visits by their ECPs.
  • Inpatients at Toronto Rehab may identify 1 primary and up to 4 alternate ECPs. Inpatients at TG, TW and PM, may identify 1 primary and 1 alternate ECP.
  • Call the unit before your stay. Speak with the unit manager or another member of your health care team about your situation, needs and options. If the manager is not available, talk to the administrator-in-charge.
  • Essential Care Partners may visit the hospital daily between 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, with no time limitations. Visits are limited to 6 hours in the Intensive Care Units.
  • Essential Care Partners must stay with patients at all times. They are not allowed to travel around the hospital.
  • Outpatients are allowed one Essential Care Partner to accompany them to their appointment, except for Princess Margaret (PM) as many patients are immune compromised and physical distancing is not possible. PM patients who require support may speak with the clinic manager for pre-approval to attend with the patient. ECPs may also join outpatient appointments through telephone. Please discuss with your team.
  • Essential Care Partners may be asked to wait in hallways or other waiting areas to allow for physical distancing between patients in the waiting room.
  • Essential Care Partners may also be asked to leave the hospital and come back when the patient is ready leave, if required for physical distancing.
  • If you are having surgery, your clinic will call you the day before your surgery to talk about arrangements for your Essential Care Partner.

Find contact information for your clinic or unit »

  • One Essential Care Partner is allowed, unless the patient is in isolation. The ECP must pass hospital entrance screening, including people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • We do not allow Essential Care Partners in the Rapid Assessment Area because there is not enough room.

If you would like an Essential Care Partner, please discuss it with the inpatient unit or clinic manager. Often, hospital staff and the health care team are able to provide appropriate support in these situations.

If you would like a paid caregiver to act as your Essential Care Partner, please discuss it with the with the inpatient unit or clinic manager. Often, hospital staff and the health care team are able to provide appropriate support in these situations.

  • All Essential Care Partners must check in at the unit and provide their contact information. We ask for contact information in case we need to do contact tracing.
  • Depending on the area you are coming to, your Essential Care Partner may be asked to come at a scheduled time, to wear an ID badge, or receive training for properly putting on and removing personal protective equipment (PPE). There may be other requirements you need to follow.
  • Your Essential Care Partner must stay with you at all times. Essential Care Partners are not allowed to travel around the hospital.
  • In some cases, Essential Care Partners may be asked to wait in hallways or other waiting areas to allow for physical distancing between patients in the waiting room.

Please review our COVID-19 Information page for the most up-to-date, important information about preparing for your visit, and read the handout, What essential care partners need to know before coming to UHN .

Please note that, for the safety of other patients, visitors and our staff, our clinic and unit managers must follow the hospital's policies on who can be allowed to enter UHN during the pandemic.

They are only able to permit Essential Care Partners for patients or situations that fit within the current safety criteria.

If you are declined approval but feel that you should be eligible you can contact UHN Patient Relations at 416 340 4907 or patientrelations@uhn.ca.

While an exception may not be possible, the Patient Relations team will help work with you to understand if there is information that the team was not aware of when making their decision.

At Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab, it is likely that if you come to the hospital without prior approval, that you will not be allowed to enter. There may be exceptions in very urgent or emergency situations, but these will be limited.

Please follow the approval process to help us ensure a safe environment for our patients, other visitors and staff.

Important: Children under the age of 12 who are not patients are not permitted to enter UHN at this time. Please do not bring children with you to an appointment or to visit. Some exceptions may be made in special situations, but must also be approved in advance by a unit or clinic manager.

Yes, the hospital is safe for patients and Essential Care Partner. We have taken many steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and those providing care to them during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of which include:

If you have been approved as an Essential Care Partner, please read this quick guide before coming to the hospital: What Essential Care Partners need to know before coming to UHN .

No. Please do not come to the hospital as a visitor if:

  • You have any symptoms of COVID-19
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19
  • You have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • You have had close contact with someone who has suspected COVID-19
  • A doctor, health care provider, quarantine officer or public health unit indicated that you should currently be isolating (staying at home)

If you are staying overnight in the hospital and your Essential Care Partner is not able to visit you, ask your health care team if you can use a tablet on the unit to have a virtual visit with your Essential Care Partner or other family members.

If your Essential Care Partner is not able to join you at the hospital for an outpatient appointment, they can join you over the phone. Call them on your phone and use the speakerphone so everyone can hear each other.

You can also ask your health care team if you can record your appointment to share with your caregiver later.

  • You can only record in a private setting such as a clinic room.
  • Everyone in the room must agree to be recorded.

Important: To protect everyone's privacy, audio and video recording is not allowed in public and common areas of the hospital.

A change in Essential Care Partner access requires a thoughtful and slow reintegration.

The readiness of a hospital to increase Essential Care Partner access depends on many factors, including the risk of outbreak in the hospital and community, access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical supplies, ability to maintain physical distancing and the volume of people entering the hospital. These factors will be monitored closely each day. Changes to the status of any one of these factors, or an increase in cases of COVID-19 in the community or within UHN, may impact who qualifies to have an Essential Care Partner, the length or frequency of visits, or the number of Essential Care Partners permitted into the hospital.​​​​