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

Last Updated: December 21​, 2021

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. If you arrive wearing an N95 respirator or KN95-style mask, you may continue to wear it under your hospital medical mask. UHN's medical masks have undergone quality assessments to ensure they are appropriate for hospital use. Please be aware that there are many counterfeit KN95 and N95 products on the market. We are unable to check the quality of your mask from home at our entrances.

Patients must wear a mask at all times while inside the hospital, including inpatients when leaving their room or when others are within 2 metres of them inside 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.

Medical exemptions will only be considered for patients, not for Essential Care Partners or other visitors.

Exemptions must be pre-approved by your UHN doctor. If this is your first time coming to UHN, contact the clinic or care area you will be visiting before coming to the hospital to ask for a medical exemption. Entrance screening staff cannot provide exemption forms.

Mask exemption cards are not accepted at UHN.

When you arrive:

  • Entrance screening staff will give you a mask and explain how to put it on properly. They will only give you one mask per day.
  • If you need to remove it to eat or drink, clean your hands first and remove it carefully by handling the ear loops. Do not touch your face.
  • Continue to maintain physical distancing from others (2 metres) inside the hospital.
  • If you came into the hospital wearing a reusable mask, we suggest you bring a plastic bag to store it while you are in the hospital.

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 medical 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 and to protect yourself.

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 first 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.