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Updated Visitor Guidelines at Southlake

Friday July 30, 2021

  • COVID-19

Southlake currently has moderate on-site access for visitors, aligned with the provincial Roadmap to Reopen.

Please note:

  • Not all patients will be able to have a visitor. Visits must be arranged ahead of time and with approval by the unit Manager or designate.
  • Visits must be scheduled for 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

  • Stay home if you are sick or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild.
  • You will be screened each time you enter the hospital.
  • If you do not meet the criteria you will not be allowed to enter the hospital.
  • All visitors regardless of vaccination status must continue to wear full PPE.
  • No eating or drinking in the building. Your mask must stay on at all times.
  • Clean your hands frequently with hand sanitizer or soap and water.
  • You must wear a mask at all times while visiting. Bandanas, scarves and one way valve masks are not permitted.
  • The mask must cover both your mouth and nose at all times.
  • You will be given a visitor sticker to wear which must be visible at all times.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room and avoid walking in hallways or entering unit pantries.
  • Visitors are not permitted in any common areas of the hospital with the exception of designated public washrooms. For example, the cafeteria and seating outside Tim Hortons on the main level.
  • A maximum of five people are permitted in an elevator at a time.
  • Visitors are not permitted to leave the premises and return within the hour, such as leave to smoke a cigarette.

Emergency Department (ED) visitors

Southlake’s Emergency Department (ED) is seeing very high levels of patients. To keep everyone safe, avoid overcrowding and allow for physical distancing, one visitor per patient in the ED will be permitted on a case-by-case basis, strictly at the discretion of staff. The team is here to keep you safe so we ask that you respect their decision. Visitors must have a visitor badge on at all times. There are no in and out privileges and no food and drink is allowed. Visitors who do not adhere to the policy will lose the ability to visit.

  • One visitor will be allowed per patient. However, in the interest of all patient privacy and safety, some areas of the ED do not have space for visiting.
  • As the emergency department is a very busy and unpredictable environment, visitors may be asked to leave a particular area if space is needed.
  • Please note, due to environmental constraints, and physical distancing, seating for visitors cannot be guaranteed.
  • COVID-19 suspect/positive patients will not have visitors. Visiting will only be permitted through proactive consultation with hospital Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) specialists and clinical teams.
  • All visitors regardless of vaccination status must wear full PPE.
  • Visitors in the ED may not have in and out privileges.
  • Visitors may not eat or drink while in the hospital, as they must keep their mask on at all times.
  • The ED can make arrangements for a virtual visit with the ambassador or the patient’s nurse, or communicate with the nursing staff.
  • Admitted patients transferring to the inpatient units must say goodbye to their family member in the ED. Family is not permitted to travel with the family to the unit.
  • Once transferred out of the ED, visitors will need to comply with Southlake’s inpatient visiting policy.
  • Visitor privileges may be revoked if all guidelines, including staying beyond the allotted visiting time, and infection control practices are not followed.
  • Southlake has a zero tolerance policy for violence. It is an expectation this is adhered to at all times in the ED.

If visiting restrictions are necessary, patients with the following conditions will be permitted one visitor:

  • Life altering event or having a mental health crisis
  • Requiring assistance with communication and ambulation
  • Experiencing cognitive impairment, development disability
  • Under 18 years

Inpatient visitors

  • Please check in and out at the nursing station with every visit.
  • You are only permitted to stay for your scheduled time.
  • 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.
  • No eating or drinking in the building by visitors. However, in-and-out privileges for eating and drinking may be permitted. Please check with the care team.
  • Visitors may go to the vendors to purchase food and drinks for patient consumption 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, including staying beyond the allotted visiting time and infection control practices are not followed.