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COVID-19 Information at UHN


As COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario lift, UHN is moving away from actively screening everyone who comes in to the hospital as of July 4, 2022. Patients will continue to be screened 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 will 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 to get through our screening process as smoothly as possible.

COVID-19 Self-Screening Tool 


Number of patients on an intensive care unit: 0
Number of patients on an inpatient unit: 24

Total number of COVID-19 cases at UHN hospitals: 24

Last Updated: October 4, 2022 (7:45 am)

There are 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.

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 concerns about coming to the hospital, please contact Patient Relations at 416 340 4907 or patientrelations@uhn.ca, who can answer your questions and provide support.


Current Policies


UHN continues to manage our activities to balance the needs of our patients with public health measures.

Patients who have symptoms will still be permitted to access the hospital. Please answer the screening questions honestly. If you do not "pass" the screening, you will still be allowed to enter while taking extra precautions to keep you, other patients, and our staff safe. Essential Care Partners or visitors who have symptoms will not be allowed to enter. Essential Care Partners who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must still pass our entrance screening.

Everyone must also 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

Last Updated: July 4, 2022


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 (2 metres) 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 2 metres (6 feet) or more away from other patients sharing your room, such as when getting to the bathroom

Ask your healthcare 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 — show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 since October 22, 2021. Essential Care Partners and other visitors should be able to provide proof of vaccination if requested.


Hospital Entrance Information


  • University Avenue (South entrance)
    • Daily: 5:30 am – 11:00 pm
    • After-hours: Badge access only
  • University Avenue (North entrance)
    • Badge access only
  • Elizabeth Street
    • Daily: 5:30 am – 11:00 pm
    • After-hours: Badge access only
  • Gerrard Street
    • Daily: 5:30 am – 11:00 pm
    • After-hours: Badge access only
  • R. Fraser Elliott
    • Badge access only
  • MaRS/TGH connection
    • Open
  • Peter Munk Parking Garage
    • Monday to Friday: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
      No entry to the hospital. Exit to the street and enter the hospital through an approved entrance.
    • Pedestrian door is locked at 11:00 pm; please retrieve your vehicle before that time
    • After 11:00 pm: Use the Elizabeth Street parking garage
    • Please note — wheelchair-accessible parking for TGH is currently only available at the 200 Elizabeth Street lot.
  • Leonard Street
    • Badge access only
  • Nassau Street
    • Daily: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
    • After-hours: Badge access only
  • Bathurst Street
    • Daily: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Dundas Street
    • Daily: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
    • After-hours: Badge access only
  • Krembil Discovery Tower (60 Leonard Avenue)
    • 6:00 am – 10:00 pm; after-hours access unchanged
  • TW/Krembil connection
    • Closed
  • 610 University Avenue
    • Monday – Friday: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
    • Saturday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
    • After-hours: Badge access only
  • 620 University Avenue
    • Badge access only
  • Murray Street
    • Daily: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
    • After-hours: Badge access only
  • Ambulatory Waiting Area (sliding doors)
    • Badge access only
  • University Centre
    • Elm Street
      • Daily: 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
      • University Avenue
        • Badge access only
  • Bickle Centre
    • Daily: 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Lyndhurst Centre
    • Daily: 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Rumsey - Cardiac Centre
    • Monday, Wednesday - Friday: 7:00 am - 4:30 pm
    • Tuesday: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Rumsey - Neuro Centre
    • Monday - Friday: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Visitor Information


Effective July 4, 2022

Visitor restrictions remain in effect at UHN. Only patients and their Essential Care Partners (ECPs) may enter UHN hospitals.

Requirements:

  • Self-screening is in effect at hospital entrances for ECPs and other visitors. Please review the self-screening posters and do not enter if you do not "pass" screening.
  • All ECPs must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It must have been at least 14 days since receiving your final dose of a series of a Health Canada-approved vaccine
  • Everyone must wear a medical mask at all times. Medical masks are available at the hospital entrances. Masks can only be removed in areas designated for eating and drinking, such as food courts or restaurant areas.
  • ECPs must be over 12 years old. Younger visitors may be approved in special circumstances. Everyone over 2 years old must wear a well-fitted medical mask. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Exceptions may be permitted in special circumstances or on compassionate grounds. Speak to the clinic or unit manager if you are a patient who needs a mask or visitor limit exemption, or an ECP who needs a vaccination exemption.

Outpatients (all sites)

You can bring 1 essential care partner with you to your appointment, test, treatment or surgery. They may be asked to wait in another area during your visit if space is limited.

Surgery Patients

You can have 1 essential care partner accompany and wait for you in the Surgical Waiting Room on the day of your surgery. You can have an additional ECP once you have been admitted to an inpatient unit.

Inpatients (all sites)

You can have 2 essential care partners visit at one time. Please try to limit the number of different visitors who come to see you during your hospital stay. In most areas, visiting hours are between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm, but hours may differ on certain units or in special circumstances.

Emergency Department

You can have 1 fully vaccinated person accompany you to the Emergency Department. ECPs must wait in the general waiting area if you are placed in isolation for any reason. ECPs are not allowed in the Rapid Assessment Area due to limited space.

Toronto Rehab

Outdoor Visits
  • Outdoor visits up to a maximum of 2 ECPs plus 5 other visitors are allowed at Toronto Rehab sites only.
  • Children under 12 are permitted (outdoors only) and children under 2 do not count toward the total.
  • All ECPs and visitors must self-screen staff when they arrive, be fully vaccinated (if over 12 years old), and wear a mask (over 2 years old).

What can I expect when coming to the hospital with an Essential Care Partner?

All ECPs must check in at the unit and provide their contact information, in case we need to do contact tracing. Depending on the area of the hospital, your ECP may be asked to come at a scheduled time, wear an ID badge, or receive training for properly putting on and removing personal protective equipment (PPE). There may be other requirements to follow.

Your ECP must stay with you at all times. ECPs are not allowed to travel around the hospital. In some cases, ECPs may be asked to wait in hallways or other areas to allow for physical distancing in the waiting room.

Please review Limits on Who Can Enter UHN and ECP/Visitor Guide .

What if I have an upcoming surgery?

If you have any questions about an upcoming surgery, please call your surgeon's office, or speak to a member of the care team. You can bring 1 essential care partner with you to check in for your surgery and to wait for you in the Surgical Waiting Room.

Who can I contact if I disagree with a decision for my situation?

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.

Can I visit if I have symptoms, confirmed COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

No. Please do not come to the hospital if you have any symptoms, a recent exposure, a confirmed COVID-19 case, or if you are waiting for test results.

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 site.


Why has UHN implemented COVID-19 vaccination requirements for visitors?

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.


What is the definition of "fully vaccinated?"

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.

Vaccines approved by Health Canada include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.


If I'm fully vaccinated, do I still need to follow other public health protocols while at UHN?

Yes – all our existing policies and protocols still apply. All visitors must pass the entrance screening, and continue to mask and practice physical distancing and hand hygiene while inside UHN spaces.


Are there exceptions for ECPs who are not fully vaccinated?

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.

Conditions Managers Consider for Visitor Vaccine Exceptions

  1. Patients who are near end-of-life.
  2. Patients who are under 18.
  3. Patients who may be receiving a life-altering diagnosis, are experiencing a mental health crisis, or who have a significant development or intellectual delay.
  4. Patients requiring a support person to safely attend their appointment. For example, due to dementia, significant developmental or intellectual delay, inability to effectively communicate, or mobility issues that cannot supported by the healthcare team.
  5. 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.

I'm assisting someone to the Emergency Department, but I'm not fully vaccinated. What can I do?

If you pass symptom and risk factor 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.


Can I visit a Toronto Rehab patient outdoors, if I'm not fully vaccinated?

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.


Who can I speak to if I disagree with a decision for my situation?

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 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.


Patient Information


(All resources are in PDF  format unless otherwise indicated)

Will my appointments be cancelled?

No. Depending on the reason for your appointment, your health care team may offer you a virtual visit. This will only be offered as an option if it is safe to do so. This could be a phone call, or a video chat. Clinic staff may ask you what technology you have access to and are comfortable using. Please let them know if you have any concerns.

What if I have an upcoming surgery?

If you have any questions about an upcoming surgery please call your surgeon's office to speak with a member of the care team.

What can I expect when I come to the hospital?

Universal Masking

Everyone entering UHN must wear a medical mask. Masks are available at hospital entrances. You must wear your mask at all times while inside UHN.

Hand Hygiene

You must sanitize your hands when you enter the hospital, and before and after putting on a mask. If you are wearing gloves, you will be asked to remove them and disc1ard them or put them away to wash your hands properly. We recommend that you wash your hands often throughout your visit.

COVID-19 Screening

All patients will be screened when they arrive at their clinic, test or treatment area or inpatient unit. Visitors must self-scren before entering the hospital using the posters at the doors.

Please answer questions honestly. Patients who have symptoms will still be permitted to access the hospital. Essential Care Partners who have symptoms will not be allowed to enter.

Physical distancing Please practice physical distancing inside the hospital. Follow directions from staff, wall signage and floor markers.

Can I still go to my appointment if I have symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19?

UHN provides care for all patients in the safest way possible. We have policies in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep you, other patients, and staff safe.

If you have symptoms or were exposed to COVID-19, call your clinic before coming to the hospital to ask if you can reschedule your appointment. In some situations your clinic may recommend keeping your appointment. Patients with appointments are allowed in the hospital if they have symptoms or risks of COVID-19. Find a list of all our clinics, tests, and procedures »

  • It is very important that we know about these symptoms or risks so we can take precautions to keep you, other patients and staff safe. Please follow all the safety precautions your healthcare team asks you to.
  • We will follow these precautions for 10 days from the time your symptoms start or 14 days from the day you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Expect to follow these precautions at each appointment if you have more than 1 appointment during that time.

Can I bring my service animal?

Yes. At this time, there is no change to our Service Animal policy. Please bring any documentation you have about your animal with you in case you are asked to show it at the hospital. Emotional Support Animals will also be permitted at this time, in areas where it is safe to do so. Please note that other personal pets will not be permitted.

For more details, including where Service Animals are and are not permitted, please read the AODA Customer Service Policy .


I worry that I might have COVID-19. Can I come to the Emergency Department to be tested?

If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and any travel history.

If you have mild symptoms, do not come to the Emergency Department. Self-isolate and call your primary care provider, Telehealth Ontario, or use an online assessment tool to see if you need to be tested or how to access further care, if needed.


Can I pick up my prescriptions?

Yes, our outpatient pharmacies are open.

Will I be able to access food at UHN?

Our food court vendors are open and seating is available for patients with appointments, essential care partners and hospital staff.

Will there be changes to the UHN shuttle bus?

The shuttle bus between Toronto General and Toronto Western is currently for staff use only to allow for safe physical distancing.

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.

Learn more about Virtual Care at UHN


Health Information


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

Visit our dedicated health information section