Visiting Us

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Update to Family Presence Information

Updated February 23, 2021

We understand that patients greatly benefit from the support of their families/partners-in-care while in hospital.  Since the Region of Durham has recently moved into the “Red-Control” zone, the organization is increasing opportunities for Family Presence in the following way:

Effective immediately, visitation will be permitted for:

Patients who have been in hospital for longer than seven (7) days may have one designated family member/partner-in-care, visit once a week for a maximum of two hours.  These visits must be scheduled in advance, by speaking with the care team on the unit.  Please note that this change does not apply to our Critical Care units or Outpatient settings at this time. 

In addition, Essential Care partners will be permitted in exceptional circumstances.  Because each situation is unique please speak with your loved one’s care team to discuss whether a visit may be permitted under the current exceptions.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding throughout this challenging time.

Virtual Connections

Virtual Connections allows hospital inpatients to connect with their family members face-to-face through a video call.  While patients and families can stay connected through telephone calls, our team is happy to arrange a virtual connection whenever possible.

Before you begin, please review the Guide to Getting Started.

Once you are ready, please call your patient’s unit and speak to a health care team member to arrange the virtual connection.

You will need:

  • An active working telephone number
  • Working Internet via WiFi or hardwired
  • An active working email account
  • Audio and video capable device

 You may use any of the following devices with audio and video capabilities:

  • Cell phone (Smart Phone)
  • Computer (PC)/Laptop
  • Tablet

If you are experiencing issues after you have reviewed the Guide To Getting Started, please click here.

NOTE: Virtual Connections is for social connection and is not intended for family discussions with the health care team. If you have questions for the health care team, please contact the patient’s unit by phone.

If your patient has their own device, they can connect with the hospitals FREE Guest WiFi and use video apps.

Email a Patient

We value the vital role that families and partners-in-care contribute to the healing and wellbeing of our patients and appreciate how difficult this is for everyone.

To assist any family and friends looking to further connect with their loved one, Lakeridge Health is supporting and encouraging virtual and telephone calls as staying connected is an important part of healing. We offer a free messaging service called Email a Patient where you can send a personalized electronic message that will be printed and read to your loved one.

 Frequently Asked Questions regarding Family Presence at Lakeridge Health

I am an essential visitor - what is important for me to know in order to safely visit the hospital?

We need your commitment to adhere to our safe visiting guidelines.  This includes the following:

1)   Masks must always be worn while in the hospital or on hospital property (i.e., while in parking garage, walking to the entrance).

2)   No food or drink is to be brought into the hospital.

3)   Absolutely no eating or drinking while in the hospital.

4)   No flowers are to be brought into the hospital.

5) Personal items (i.e., mobility aids, personal hygiene items, clothing as appropriate) can be brought to patients

6) Food items (individually wrapped and commercially prepared) can be brought to patients. No shared food is allowed

We are screening everyone that comes to Lakeridge Health to ensure those entering are feeling well and free of illness.  This includes all of the Lakeridge Health team.  Please follow the signage to the screening entrance.

Once the screening questions are successfully passed, the family member/partner-in-care will be asked to perform hand hygiene and will be given a mask which is to be worn for the entire duration of the visit.  You may wear your own mask so long as it covers your mouth and nose.

The family member/partner-in-care must remain in the designated visiting area until the end of the visit when they are ready to exit the hospital.


How can I schedule an appointment to visit my loved one on an inpatient unit?

All essential visits must be scheduled in advance by speaking to a member of the healthcare team on the unit.  Before booking your first visit, staff will outline key information with you over the phone to help you prepare for your scheduled essential visit.  Please do not schedule a visit if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.


Where can I find more information on Compassionate entry for travellers and limited release from quarantine?

For more information, please visit:


Will there be an opportunity to receive updates regarding an inpatient’s condition from a Physician or member of the healthcare team when visiting?

Please note that the physician and healthcare team may not be available during the family member/partner-in-care’s scheduled visit to the hospital.  We are committed to working in partnership with families and partners-in-care and would be happy to follow up in a phone call if we are unavailable to speak in person.


Are there any time restrictions for the essential visit?

In order to physically distance, there is a need to limit the volumes of essential visitors in each care area.  As a result, we will be scheduling 45-60-minute visits. There may be exceptions when inpatients will be granted an essential visitor for a longer duration.  Please speak with a member of the healthcare team to inquire about the exceptions for longer visit durations.


Are those who are allowed to visit able to use the washrooms in the hospital?

Yes, they may use designated washrooms in public areas (i.e. food court); however, families/partners-in-care are not permitted to use the washroom in a patient room or staff washrooms.  Whenever possible, all family members/partners-in-care are encouraged to use the washroom before or after coming to the hospital.


Can families/partners-in-care bring in belongings for a patient?

Personal items may be dropped off to the screening centres at any of the hospitals.  Please note that a family/partner-in-care will not be permitted to enter past the screening entrance unless they have booked a scheduled visit.


I am supposed to attend a family meeting; can I come in for that?

We want to make sure family meetings will continue. Meetings will be organized via telephone or virtually. A member of the healthcare team will contact you to make arrangements.


For any other questions, please speak with a member of the health care team.  Thank you for your patience and support in keeping everyone safe.

 What you can do to keep yourself and others safe

 Family Presence During COVID-19

Everyone that enters the hospital will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, asked to perform hand hygiene, and will be provided with a mask. Please ensure to practice physical distancing during your visit.

In addition, to assist any family and friends looking to further connect with their loved one, Lakeridge Health is supporting and encouraging virtual and telephone calls as staying connected is an important part of healing. We offer a free messaging service called Email a Patient where you can send a personalized electronic message that will be printed and read to your loved one.

 Screening when Entering

For those able to visit within the visitor protocols, we are screening at all entrances of Lakeridge Health hospitals to ensure everyone entering is well and free of illness. This includes all of the Lakeridge Health team. Anyone who is unwell will not be allowed to enter the hospital as ultimately this protects everyone.

 Other Visitor-Related Information

Where to Stay

The Region of Durham maintains a list of local accommodations for you to choose from.

What to do in an Emergency

If there is an emergency at one of our hospital sites, we will make an overhead announcement. Please stay calm and follow the instructions of our staff.

Fire Safety

If there is a fire at one of our hospital sites, you will hear an overhead announcement for "code red". Please stay calm and follow the instructions of our staff. Do not use the elevators or try to leave on your own, as fire doors will be closed.

All of our staff receive mandatory fire-safety training and participate in fire drills regularly.

We're a Smoke-Free Environment

In compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Electronic Cigarettes Act and Regulations, Lakeridge Health prohibits the use of any form of smoking or the use/vaping of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) on any of its properties.