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Southlake Visitor Guidelines

We are always looking to ensure a safe environment for everyone at Southlake. We understand how important visitors are to patients and the role they play in their recovery. Generally, visiting hours are between 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. with exceptions for Mental Health and Emergency (see details below). Please speak to the care team if you are planning to visit outside these hours. 

  • One visitor per patient will be permitted in the ED at the discretion of staff

Southlake offers virtual visits for those who are unable to visit in person. Please speak with your care team about arranging a virtual visit with your family member. A reminder that patient phones are free.  

Please note:

  • Visitors who feel unwell (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat): please do not visit at this time. 
  • Visitors are restricted in the Emergency Department based on volume. See below for details.

Masks are optional for all staff, nurses, physicians, volunteers, patients, visitors and Designated Care Providers (DCPs) in the following areas:

  • All public areas of the hospital (hallways, corridors, stairwells, elevators, cafeteria, etc.)

Masking remains mandatory in the following areas for all staff, nurses, physicians, volunteers, patients, visitors and DCPs:

  • All inpatient clinical units* ( including hallways, nursing stations, communication stations, charting rooms, break rooms, meeting rooms, etc.)
  • Cancer Centre
  • Emergency Department
  • Labour & Delivery triage
  • Ambulatory waiting areas
    • Includes outpatient clinics, medical imaging and laboratory
  • During direct patient contact to patients in both inpatient and outpatient areas.

General guidelines for all visitors

  • All visitors will be required to self-screen at all entrances for symptoms, including fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, decrease or loss of sense of taste or smell, unexplained fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The requirement remains that those who are symptomatic or confirmed close contacts of individuals with COVID-19 are not permitted on site.
  • Stay home if you are sick or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild.
  • Clean your hands frequently with hand sanitizer, or soap and water.
  • Should there be an outbreak within the hospital, visitors may be restricted.
  • Please check in and out at the nursing station with every visit.

Mental Health (adult inpatient) visitors

For the safety and security of our patients and due to the limited space in our units, please be advised the following guidelines for visitors within the Adult Mental Health inpatient units:

  • Visiting hours are from 2 to 9 p.m., unless otherwise stated by staff.
  • Visitors must be over the age of 16.
  • All visits will occur in the common areas of the unit, unless otherwise stated by staff.
  • Please leave all belongings, including cell phones, in visitor lockers located outside of MHU 4 (West 4).
  • Any belongings brought in for patients must be searched by MHU staff before being brought onto the unit or given to the patient.
  • Please use the intercoms located outside of the unit to talk with staff before entering. Please sign the visitor log upon entry and exit.
  • Visits should not exceed 90 minutes.

Emergency Department (ED) visitors

  • Southlake may have restricted visiting in the Emergency Department to keep our staff and patients safe, avoid overcrowding and allow for physical distancing.
  • One visitor per patient will be permitted based on current volumes in the department.
  • Due to environmental constraints, and physical distancing, seating for visitors cannot be guaranteed. Visitors may be asked to wait in their cars or leave a particular area due to clinic/department volumes and space.

Families and Babies 

  • Click here for visiting information specific to families and babies.

Thank you for working together to ensure all our safety during these unprecedented times. In order to keep everyone safe, visitor privileges may be revoked if all guidelines, and infection control practices are not followed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Southlake is seeing high levels of patients. To keep everyone safe and avoid overcrowding, one visitor per patient will be permitted, depending on the current volumes in the department and with the discretion of staff.

Designated Care Providers (DCPs) provide support to specific patients and are designated by the patient/substitute decision maker/POA. DCPs provide support to patients with significant developmental, intellectual or functional disabilities such as cognitive impairment or communication barriers. They may provide direct care to the patients such as feeding, mobility, hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication and meaningful connection or may assist with decision making. 

  • DCPs must be at least 18 years of age.     
  • DCPs must follow Southlake visitor guidelines.  
  • DCP access will be determined based on compassionate circumstances surrounding the individual patient.