Visiting Us

Woman and man having a conversation

Lakeridge Health is committed to the safety of our patients, staff and the community. While visitor restrictions remain in place, we continue to plan safe ways to welcome family presence back. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information and speak with the health care team if you have questions about visiting your loved one.

Family Presence During COVID-19

FAQS - Changes to Visitor Restrictions

What are the current exceptions to Visitor Restrictions?

The following exceptions are currently in effect:

  • Parent of a baby in the NICU
  • Birthing partner of a woman in labour
  • Visitor for an imminently palliative patient
  • Pediatric patient
  • Patients who have a cognitive impairment or mental health condition and escalating behaviours requiring an attendant or support person
  • Patients who have a physical or intellectual disability and require an attendant or support person
  • For patients where English is not their primary language and there is a significant language barrier preventing the ongoing provision of safe and effective care
  • Patients who experience a significant deterioration in their condition

For those that meet the exception criteria:

How many visitors may come to the hospital?

At this time, two designated family members/partners-in-care will be able to visit their loved one.  In order to practice physical distancing and to be conscious of conserving Personal Protective Equipment, we ask that only 1 family member attend the hospital per day. 

Please note that this does not apply to the Labour and Delivery unit or the Emergency department. Currently 1 designated family member/partner-in-care is permitted in the Emergency Department (only in circumstances when the visiting criteria are met) and Labour and Delivery unit.

What is important for me to know in order to safely visit the hospital?

For those able to visit, 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. 

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. 

The family member/partner-in-care is encouraged to remain in the patient room (for inpatient visits) until the end of the visit when they are ready to exit the hospital.

Are there any time restrictions when visiting my loved one in the hospital?

We want to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our families and partners-in-care.  As such, it is recommended that visit durations do not exceed 4 hours for the following reasons:

  • Personal Protective Equipment can become uncomfortable.  This may cause a visitor to touch/adjust the mask which can cause contamination.
  • Eating or drinking is not permitted at any time while at the hospital.
  • Whenever possible, the family member/partner-in-care is encouraged to use the washroom facilities prior to coming in, to prevent any unnecessary traffic throughout the hospital.

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.

Can I bring in some 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 meet one of the exceptions as outlined above.

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. Someone from the healthcare team will contact you to make arrangements.

I have been translating for my loved one. What will happen now?

We have a plan to support patients with professional interpretation services in a variety of languages, provided by phone. This will be organized as required in the care of your loved one.

Can I go to the unit on the day that my family member is being discharged?

For those who do not meet the criteria, on the day of discharge, we will bring your loved one to the front entrance; coordination of this will be discussed in a phone call prior to the patient’s discharge.

I was supposed to come in and sign papers for long term care. What happens now?

Arrangements will be made to get the documents to you through courier, email or by fax.

Will the hospital continue to modify these visitor restrictions to allow for more family presence?

Lakeridge Health is committed to returning to increased family presence as soon as it is safe to do so. Updates will be provided as things evolve.

For any other questions, please speak with a member of the healthcare team. 

Thank you for your understanding and support in keeping everyone safe.

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.