Patients will be screened for COVID-19 in their clinics. Essential Care Partners, contractors, suppliers and anyone else entering UHN will be expected to self-screen at the hospital entrance. Our screening, masking and visitor vaccination requirements continue to be stronger than those in other public settings because UHN cares for some of the most vulnerable patients.

Complete your screening online

On the day of your visit, use our COVID-19 Self-Screening Tool before arriving.

COVID-19 Self-Screening Tool

As of May 1, 2023, we will no longer be reporting daily COVID cases at UHN hospitals.

There are currently no outbreaks at UHN.

Past outbreak information

Commonly Asked Questions About Outbreaks

How do you define an outbreak?

The definition of a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital is set by the province of Ontario. It is declared when there is evidence of transmission of the disease within the hospital on a single unit. Below is how we decide if there is a COVID-19 outbreak at UHN, where we have a low threshold to declaring an outbreak. Declaring an outbreak lets us put in additional measures to work towards preventing further transmission.

Definition of a COVID-19 outbreak involving patients and staff

When we have one hospital-acquired patient case, we investigate and initiate outbreak measures to mitigate risk while discussing the situation with Toronto Public Health. Sometimes we call an outbreak on just the one case, depending on the situation. Other times we continue with heightened precautions. If a second case in a patient or staff member occurs within 14 days, an outbreak may be called.

Definition of a COVID-19 outbreak involving staff only

If two or more cases occur within 14 days and there is reasonable concern for acquisition of infection within the hospital in these cases – an outbreak is called.

For non-COVID, communicable disease outbreaks, UHN defines an outbreak as an occurrence of cases of an infectious disease in excess of what would normally be expected on a clinical unit or units, where patient safety is deemed to be at risk. Read UHN's outbreak policy  to learn more about how we handle communicable disease outbreaks at our hospitals.

Who declares an outbreak?

It is a joint decision made by UHN – with our Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and Occupational Health teams – and Toronto Public Health.

What steps is UHN taking to address the outbreaks?

For all outbreaks

  • An outbreak management team comes together to work with staff on the unit and implement control measures to prevent further transmission among patients and staff.
  • Testing of all staff and patients on the affected unit.
  • Contact tracing where appropriate for possible exposure of patients and staff.
  • Thorough terminal clean and enhanced ongoing cleaning of the unit, including all common areas on the unit.
  • Reinforcement of general IPAC practices around use of PPE, disinfection of shared equipment, movement of people onto and within the unit, and adherence to social distancing requirements.
  • Review all processes in detail to ensure we've done everything possible to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • PPE coaches who are already available across UHN for added support of staff, visit the area to further support staff in donning and doffing PPE.
  • Visitor and Essential Care Partner access will be limited to prevent further spread. Decisions about visitor access is made by the outbreak management team and unit manager.

On-going UHN-wide measures throughout the pandemic

All staff continue to be asked to:

  • Practice physical distancing, especially during break times.
  • Wear a mask at all times, in keeping with our masking policy.
  • Not share food due to risk of contamination with COVID-19 and transmission to others.
  • Diligently perform hand hygiene at all times.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms, stay home if sick, and call Occupational Health hotline for guidance if experiencing symptoms.

Should I be worried about coming to the hospital?

If you are a patient with questions or concerns about coming to the hospital, please contact Patient Relations at 416 340 4907 or

Current Policies

UHN continues to manage our activities to balance the needs of our patients with public health measures. Everyone must clean their hands using the hand sanitizer provided and put on a medical mask.

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

Everyone entering UHN must wear a medical mask. Medical masks are available at the hospital entrances.

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.

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.

All staff, Essential Care Partners, visitors, vendors, suppliers and contractors must wear their medical mask at all times, except in areas designated for eating and drinking.

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.

When you arrive:

  • Review the entrance self-screening posters.
  • Clean your hands.
  • Collect and put on a medical mask, covering your nose, mouth and chin. Clean your hands again.
  • Maintain physical distancing from others as well as you can.
  • Go directly to your care area and check in with registration staff for additional screening.

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

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. Bring your approved exemption form with your to the hospital, as you will be asked to show it by hospital staff. You will be given a face shield to wear instead.

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.

When in your room, please wear a mask when:

  • interacting with your health care team
  • visiting with your Essential Care Partner
  • you cannot stay 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.

Mandatory Vaccination at UHN

UHN has required that everyone entering UHN — including staff, contractors, researchers, visitors and Essential Care Partners — be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since October 22, 2021. Essential Care Partners and other visitors should be able to provide proof of vaccination if requested.

Patient & Visitor Information

UHN's mandatory vaccination policy came into effect on October 22, 2021.

Download the vaccine policy info sheet 

Looking for vaccination resources? Please visit our COVID-19 Vaccine page.

As a hospital, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to protect our patients, staff and community. We know that vaccinations are key in helping stop the spread of COVID-19. For that reason, UHN requires that everyone coming to our sites is fully vaccinated. Note – this policy does not apply to patients.

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines, that are authorized by Health Canada. This means you must have two doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series. Your final dose must have been at least 14 days ago.

Learn more about Ontario’s vaccination program on the Ontario COVID-19 Vaccines page.

Yes – all our existing policies and protocols still apply. All visitors must pass self-screening, and continue wear a medical mask and practice physical distancing and hand hygiene while inside UHN spaces.

Some exceptions will be made in emergency situations, or on compassionate or human rights grounds. Speak with the patient's care team about exceptions. Pre-approval for an unvaccinated ECP will be needed by the unit or clinic manager, except in an emergency situation.

If an exception is approved, a negative COVID-19 test result will be needed. This can be a rapid antigen test result done on the day of the visit, or a PCR test done within the last 48 hours. A photo can be shown to the manager. Learn more about COVID-19 testing locations and COVID vaccines in Ontario.

Inpatient settings:

  • Patients who are at end-of-life (less than two weeks): Patients with a high risk of dying within the next two weeks must have 24 hour access to family/people of importance. 2 ECPs are permitted at the same time (concurrently). Where space is limited, teams may offer scheduled access to accommodate different family members. Unvaccinated ECPs may receive an exemption directly from the manager.
  • Patients who are otherwise palliative or who have a significant life limiting course with greater than 2 weeks expected: Unvaccinated ECPs may receive an exemption in this case but should consult with the team.
  • Patients considered vulnerable, including those who:
    • are under 18 years old;*
    • are receiving a life-altering diagnosis;
    • are experiencing mental health crisis;*
    • have a significant developmental or intellectual delay;*
    • are frail and need continuous support to safely eat, move or manage mental or social needs;
    • are unable to effectively communicate, and communication cannot be adequately supported by Interpretation and Translation Services (ITS) or other clinical supports;
    • have a pre-existing cognitive impairment that cannot be supported by the care team (not a new-onset neurological impairment). This allowance will vary by unit.
    • have a complex discharge where ECP discharge training is required.
  • An ECP who has applied for an exemption based on medical or other human rights grounds, and has been approved by the UHN Vaccine Exemption Panel.

* Visiting hours do not apply for these patients. Allow 24-hour access.

Outpatient settings:

Reminder: All outpatients may have 1 ECP accompany them to an appointment. Pre-approval is not required.

Consider exceptions to the ECP Vaccination Policy for patients who:

  • Require a support person to safely attend their appointment. For example, due to dementia, significant developmental or intellectual delay, inability to effectively communicate, mobility issues, etc.
  • Meet the vulnerable patient criteria listed above.
  • Are receiving a life altering diagnosis.
  • An ECP who has applied for an exemption based on medical or other human rights grounds, and has been approved by the UHN Vaccine Exemption Panel.

If you pass symptom and risk factor self-screening, you can help the patient to the triage area. You will not be allowed to enter the Emergency Department or wait with them, unless approved for an exception.

If approved, you must do a rapid antigen self-test and receive a negative result to enter.

Although full vaccination is not required for outdoor visits, we strongly recommend choosing visitors who are vaccinated. If visitors need to go inside the hospital at any time during the visit, such as to pick up a patient or use the washroom, they will need to be vaccinated if over 12 years old.

Whether you are going indoors or not, you will need to pass hospital COVID-19 screening and wear a medical mask.

For the safety of other patients, visitors and our staff, our clinic and unit managers must follow UHN 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 by the unit/clinic manager, but feel that you should be eligible, you can contact UHN Patient Relations at 416 340 4907 or

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.

Useful Information

  • The shuttle bus between Toronto General and Toronto Western is currently for staff use only to allow for safe physical distancing.
  • Our food court vendors are open and seating is available for patients with appointments, essential care partners and hospital staff.

Virtual Care

During a virtual visit, you do not come to the hospital to meet in person. Instead, you speak with your care team using a regular phone, smartphone, tablet or computer.

Virtual visits are not new. UHN and healthcare teams across Ontario have been using virtual visits for some time. We are using virtual visits more often at UHN to reduce how many people come to the hospital. This is to protect our patients, staff and the community from the spread of COVID-19.

Your healthcare team talks to you about your current health status, any symptoms you are experiencing and your needs. If your care team feels that an in-person visit is needed instead of a virtual visit, they will discuss your options and next steps with you.

Health Information

Resources about coping during the pandemic and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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