Toronto (April 7, 2003) - University Health Network (UHN) is not relaxing its strict No Visitors Policy.

"We are asking the public to be patient and understand that while these measures may cause inconvenience and frustration, they are designed with everyone's safety in mind," said Tom Closson, President & CEO, UHN.

Mr. Closson said that UHN's three hospitals – Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospital – have suddenly started to receive a flood of inquiries from family and friends of patients under the wrong impression that they can now come to hospital to visit their loved ones. This is due to a statement made at the government's SARS media briefing yesterday. Some people are showing up at entranceways, only to find they are not allowed inside.

At all three hospitals, the only visits allowed are those with patients who may be facing imminent death within 24 hours.

"Our hearts go out to our hospital patients who may feel isolated and lonely," said Mr. Closson. "We also empathize with the family members and friends who are frustrated that they cannot visit their loved ones in time of need. However, we have no indication at this time that we should be letting our guard down and will continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff."

Family and friends who have concerns about the visiting policy should contact the UHN Patient Relations Department at 416 340 4907.

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