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Southlake Visitor Guidelines

As we navigate the rapidly changing pandemic, 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. Effective June 2, fully-vaccinated visitors will be able to visit patients at one visit per day (out of 2 designated visitors) between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Our policy for Designated Care Partners has not changed. Southlake also continues to offer virtual patient visits and telephones in patient rooms are free.

  • 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 their loved ones in person. Please speak with your care team about arranging a virtual visit with your family member. A reminder that patient phones are free.  

Southlake requires all visitors and Designated Care Partners to be fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination and identification will be validated during screening. Ontario’s enhanced vaccine certificate with official QR code is required, which can be downloaded from the provincial vaccine portal. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for FAQs. 

Please note:

  • Please advise your care team with the names of two designated visitors
  • Visits must be scheduled for a maximum of one hour between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Visitors must wear a medical mask at all times, including in the patient’s room.
  • 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.

General guidelines for all visitors

  • Visitors must pass a COVID-19 screening assessment each visit.
  • ALL VISITORS must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (two doses plus a minimum of fourteen days) and identification for every visit. Ontario’s enhanced vaccine certificate with official QR code is required, which can be downloaded from the provincial vaccine portal.
  • A negative COVID-19 test is not an exception for proof of vaccination.
  • Age for visiting is restricted to 18 years of age and over.
  • Stay home if you are sick or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild.
  • Mask provided by the hospital MUST stay on at all times. The mask must cover both your mouth and nose.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room and avoid walking in hallways or entering unit pantries.
  • Clean your hands frequently with hand sanitizer, or soap and water.
  • You will be given a visitor sticker to wear which must be visible at all times.
  • A maximum of five people are permitted in an elevator at a time.
  • Please limit ins and outs. Visitors will be screened each time they enter the hospital.
  • COVID-19 suspect/positive patients will not be permitted visitors. Visiting will only be permitted through proactive consultation with hospital Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) specialists and clinical teams.

Emergency Department (ED) visitors

  • There are NO in and out privileges for designated visitors in the ED.
  • 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.
  • If your loved one is admitted to hospital as an inpatient, you will NOT be permitted to accompany them to the unit directly from the ED.

Families and Babies 

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

Inpatient visitors

  • Please check in and out at the nursing station with every visit.
  • Please restrict your presence to the patient’s bedside and maintain physical distancing from the patient.
  • Access to the unit pantry is strictly limited to staff only.

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

  • To keep everyone safe, avoid overcrowding and allow for physical distancing, one visitor per patient may be permitted depending on the environmental constraints and current volumes in the ED. 
  • Outpatient clinic visitors must be pre-approved prior to arriving at the clinic. 

Southlake’s Emergency Department (ED) remains open 24/7. If you feel you need emergency care, it is safe to visit Southlake’s ED. 

Southlake’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is separate from the ED, with the intention of keeping the ED focused on patients who need emergency care. 

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

Yes.

Effective November 15, 2021, all visitors must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (two doses plus a minimum of fourteen days) and government issued photo identification for every visit. A negative COVID-19 test is not an exception for visitor and Designated Care Provider’s (DCPs) proof of vaccination.

Please place the package in a plastic bag and clearly label with the patient’s name and room number. The packages can be dropped off with the screeners at the East Main Entrance.  We have staff who are pleased to take your care package and deliver to your loved one.

To schedule a visit, call 905-895-4521 ext. 2728 from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.Visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance.

TV rentals are provided by Health Hub. For information on renting a TV during your stay, click here or turn on the TV once in your patient room and follow the directions.

If you require information on rental fees, please call 1-866-223-3686.

If you are expecting to give birth at Southlake during the pandemic, or have a child in the hospital, please click here to visit our Families & Babies page for more specific information regarding Designated Care Partners.

We are continuing to post vacancies at www.southlake.ca and recruitment will continue for essential positions. Interviews during this time will be scheduled via Skype. Thank you for your patience and ongoing interest in becoming part of the Southlake team.

If you are expecting to give birth at Southlake during the pandemic, or have a child in the hospital, please click here to visit our Families & Babies page for more specific information regarding Designated Care Partners.

We have launched a PPE drive. Please visit  www.southlake.ca/foundation/southlake-ppe-drive for more information.

Yes. Southlake remains a safe place to receive and provide care. 

Age for visiting is restricted to 16 years of age and over; however, the ability of the visitor to follow infection control practices may be assessed to ensure that appropriate supervision is available to adhere to any requirements.

Patients will have received notification if their scheduled appointment was cancelled. If you are scheduled for an appointment please be prepared to answer the screening questions at the east main entrance.   

If you answer yes to any of these questions we will ask you not to enter the building. 

Please be kind to our screeners at the entrances. They are doing everything they can to keep our vulnerable patients and staff safe during this time.

Visiting is restricted to scheduled times. You must schedule your visit in advance with the care team. The scheduled visit times limit the number of people in the building at any one time in order to facilitate physical distancing of 2 metres.

All patients will be screened before entering the hospital.

To ensure the most efficient screening process, Southlake has currently restricted access to the main campus.

Main Hospital
Enter through the East main entrance (#1 on the map below) or the Level 2 Bridge in the West Parking Garage (#2 on the map below)

Medical Arts Building (MAB)
Enter through the North entrance – parking lot side (#3 on the map below) or through the Bridge (#4 on the map below)

Cancer Centre
Enter through the ground level lobby entrance (#5 on the map below)

This does not apply to patients going to the Emergency Department (ED). Patients who are going to the ED should continue to use the main ED entrance (#6 on the map above).

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 fully vaccinated and be at least 18 years of age.     
  • DCPs and hours of visitation must be approved by the Manager or designate of the unitDCPs do not have to call the inpatient booking line in order to book their visit 
  • DCPs must follow Southlake visitor guidelines.  
  • DCP access will be determined based on compassionate circumstances surrounding the individual patient. 

Please clean your hands often, avoid touching your face, practice physical distancing by minimizing contact with others outside of your home, and self-monitor for any symptoms, particularly fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath and/or sore throat. If you have symptoms please get tested.

You can reach York Region Public Health at 1-800-361-5653. 

If you’re having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911. 

If you would like to arrange a virtual visit with your loved one please email the patient’s name and your contact information to VirtualVisit@southlake.ca.

  • Proof of full vaccination
  • Government issued photo identification (e.g. driver’s license, passport)

Effective November 15, ALL VISITORS must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (two doses plus a minimum of fourteen days) and identification for every visit. The only exemptions are government issued medical exemptions or specific patient populations such as labour and deliver, imminent end-of-life patients, NICU or paediatric patients and some Emergency Department patients. To schedule a visit, call 905-895-4521 ext. 2728 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance.

Approved visitors attending Southlake with an extenuating circumstance will be screened at the entrance door and provided a VISITOR name tag with the date. Visitor nametags must be visible at all times. 

Who cannot visit?

  • Anyone exhibiting the following signs or symptoms:
    • Fever, cough, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Anyone who is known or suspected COVID-19 positive and has not been cleared by Public Heath.
  • Anyone who is a contact of a known COVID-19 positive individual.
  • Those who are feeling unwell.

Limited exceptions will apply for those with approved medical exemptions and visitors of specific patient populations including; end of life, children under 18 and child birth.