Why we're asking our patients, visitors and vendors to wear a mask

Updated Policy: Effective November 23, 2020

Everyone entering UHN must wear a medical mask. You will be given a mask by screening staff. If you are wearing a mask from home, screening staff will give you a medical mask to wear instead. Patients must wear a mask at all times while inside the hospital, including inpatients when leaving their room. This policy also applies to pre-approved visitors, vendors, suppliers and contractors.

COVID-19 may be spread by people who do not have any symptoms. This is why we are asking you to wear a mask.

Mask exemption cards are not accepted at UHN. Medical exemptions will only be considered for patients, and must be pre-approved with the clinic.

When you arrive:

  • Entrance screening staff will give you a mask and explain how to put it on properly. They will only give one mask per day.
  • If you need to remove it to eat or drink, clean your hands first and remove it carefully. Do not touch your face.
  • Continue to maintain physical distancing (2 metres) inside the hospital.
  • Always use clean hands when putting on or taking off your mask.

You will be given a medical mask by screening staff. If you are wearing a reusable mask, we suggest you bring a plastic bag to store it while you are in the hospital.

What if I can’t or don’t want to wear a mask?

All patients coming to UHN for appointments, tests or treatments, and any pre-approved Essential Care Partners, must wear a mask inside the hospital. This is to protect those around you who may be at a higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19.

If you are a patient who has a legitimate medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, contact your UHN doctor or nurse practitioner’s office before your appointment. If your exemption is approved, you will receive a Face Mask Exemption Form. You must show this form to the entrance screeners when you come to the hospital. You will be given a face shield to wear instead.

Entrance screeners are not able to give Face Mask Exemption Forms at the hospital doors. There are no exemptions to the Universal Masking Policy for Essential Care Partners or other visitors at this time.

If you have questions or health concerns about wearing a mask, please let your health care team know before arriving for your appointment.

Inpatients — Where do inpatients have to wear a mask?

Inpatients must wear a medical mask when leaving their room for any reason, such as for medical tests or appointments. Keep the medical mask on at all times when outside your room.

When in your room, please wear a mask when:

  • interacting with your health care team
  • visiting with your Essential Care Partner
  • you cannot stay 2 metres (6 feet) or more away from other patients sharing your room, such as when getting to the bathroom

Ask your health care team for a mask. Please do not use a mask from home.