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ABOUT

SAFE CARE ON is a group of dedicated volunteers from Ontario, Canada advocating for universal masking protections in healthcare and other mitigation tools. Airborne pathogens like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, pose a risk to EVERYONE's health and safety. Stand with us and demand that our leaders follow the science to ensure that we can all access healthcare safely.

KEEP HEALTHCARE COVERED

BRING BACK MASKS

TAKE ACTION

Please join us by sending an email to hospitals and leaders, selected regions are available below, and by sharing our graphic on social media to make our collective voice loud and clear! Follow the steps below.

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STEPS

  • Within the LETTER TEMPLATE, review and personalize with your own messaging and experience
  • When ready, click on the Copy Template button to copy to your clipboard
  • Then click on the Create Email button to open a new email message, paste the copied Letter Template and click Send!
  • Option to share these tweets:
I just sent my @safecareON email! SARS-CoV-2 protections are absolutely essential in all healthcare settings.
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I just sent my @safecareON email! Layers of protection are absolutely essential for SARS-CoV-2.
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Ontario Wastewater Surveillance

The Ontario government is shutting down the wastewater surveillance program on July 31 that has provided early warning for incoming waves of COVID-19 and a growing list of other infectious diseases since it was developed. The province says it is shutting down the initiative in order to avoid duplication with what it says is an expanding federal wastewater surveillance program. Federal testing in Ontario is currently significantly more limited than the program the province is shutting down.

Ottawa Citizen News Post: 'I was shocked': Ontario to cancel widely praised wastewater surveillance program (published June 4, 2024)

LETTER TEMPLATE FOR WASTEWATER SURVEILLANCE

Subject Line: Ontario wastewater surveillance
To/CC: includes MPPs, Public Health Officials

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Toronto Board of Health

Posted on behalf of community member: Louise Foong Hidinger

Toronto Board of Health's committee, tasked with development of Toronto Public Health's 2024-2028 Strategic Plan, presented an amended draft of the Plan on June 4th. Deputations were given, including Louise's, at this meeting, and a promoted letter writing campaign. The committee will continue taking letters through to July 8, when the final draft of the Strategic Plan is presented to the Toronto Board of Health. We're hopeful that the deputations made by members of our group at the June 4th meeting made a positive impact by potentially influencing policy development that's developed going forward and to get IAQ and effective communication on IAQ, airborne disease transmission, and the risks of COVID-19 infection on their radar. During the meeting, the committee members noted that every letter received is reviewed, categorized according to issue, and counted - so it's super important that we keep sending in letters in order to ensure our voices are heard. We will keep this letter template up until end of July.

Current draft of TPH's Strategic Plan 2024-2028, as presented on June 4.

LETTER TEMPLATE FOR TORONTO BOARD OF HEALTH

Subject Line: Toronto Public Health's Strategic Plan for 2024-2028
To/CC: includes Toronto Board of Health

Safe Care ON is approaching its one-year milestone. We invite you to join us in reaching out to hospitals and Ontario leaders via our dropdown regions (some are combined) listed below. Additionally, explore our "HAVE MORE TIME?" section to delve into our previous campaign archives. Every email sent strengthens our collective advocacy for safe access to healthcare. Thank you for your unwavering support!

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity (last checked on June 4)
May 19 - May 25, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Low

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked on June 4)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: May 25 - June 7 | Canada = MODERATE / Ontario = MODERATE

LETTER TEMPLATE FOR UNIVERSAL MASKING

Subject Line: To the Administration
To/CC: includes MPPs, Public Health Officials, etc.

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Below is a list of several Ontario region dropdowns from previous campaigns. Choose a region (some are combined) and send your email this week. Thank you for participating!

All Ontario Regions - for universal masking in all areas of healthcare facilities

HAVE MORE TIME?

Check out our previously listed campaigns. You can send the Letter Template in this section as well:

LETTER TEMPLATE FOR UNIVERSAL MASKING

Subject Line: To the Administration
To/CC: includes MPPS, Public Health Official(s), etc. per region

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Posted March 31, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity (last checked on Mar 31)
March 10 - 16, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Low 6.3%

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked on Mar 30)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: March 30 - April 12 | Canada = MODERATE / Ontario = MODERATE

Middlesex-London Health Unit: Outbreak Status Reports (March 27, 2024): 3 ACTIVE OUTBREAKS
Health unit warns public of measles exposure after 1 adult case confirmed in London (posted March 10, 2024): 'Measles is airborne and incredibly infectious,' she said. 'There's not a lot of protection you can take ahead of time other than to get vaccinated.


London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre: University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, Children's Hospital
Patient and Visitor Masking: We recommend wearing a mask during high-risk seasons to help our patient's and visitor's respiratory health during visits to our hospitals. For patients/visitors/caregivers: Masks are voluntary in the majority of clinical areas. Patients with a fever or respiratory symptoms are required to mask in all clinical and non-clinical settings (except if in an inpatient room or bed space* and not receiving direct care with a healthcare worker). Please note that some clinical areas who provide care to an immunocompromised population may require masking of all patients, visitors and essential care partners, especially when there is increased infection in the community. This is in an effort to keep that high-risk patient population as safe as possible... Infection prevention and control requires masking of visitors/care partners, or limiting the presence of visitors to essential care partners... We recognize that some patients may not be able to tolerate wearing a mask due to their health condition. These patients will be exempt. Paediatric patients under five years of age, who cannot tolerate a mask, are also exempt from wearing a mask. Health-care workers are protected from those unable to mask by wearing their own required PPE. *A patient’s bed space refers to a private patient room or the space enclosed by a curtain in a multi-bed room.

University Hospital

Current Active Outbreaks:
March 25, 2024: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U10 - SAMU and Palliative Care
March 20, 2024: COVID-19 - B72 and SCU Acute Care Respiratory

Resolved Outbreaks:
March 19, 2024: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U7 Clinical Neurosciences
February 28, 2024: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U4 Acute Medicine
January 18, 2024: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U9 Medicine/SAMU
December 25, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U9 - Orthopaedic Inpatient
December 24, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U7 - Clinical Neurosciences
December 19, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - A8, General Surgery
December 15, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U9 Medicine/SAMU
November 19, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U4 Medicine Inpatient
November 6, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak – COVID-19 – U6 Acute Medicine
November 5, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak – COVID-19 – U10 Sub-Acute Medicine/Palliative Care
November 3, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak – COVID-19 – U6 CVT
November 3, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak – COVID-19 – U9 Orthopaedic Inpatient
October 27, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - A8 General Surgery
October 5, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - U9 Medicine

Victoria Hospital

Current Active Outbreak:
March 25, 2024: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - B7-PICU Mental Health

Resolved Outbreaks:
March 28, 2024: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - B7-200 Mental Health
December 26, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - D4 - Adult Mental Health
December 22, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - B7-100 Adult Mental Health
December 17, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - C54/D51 Vascular
December 1, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - C6-300 SAMU
October 26, 2023: Alert Level Two Outbreak - COVID-19 - C64

News: Middlesex-London Health Unit Announces New Structure to Address Budget Challenges (posted Dec 14, 2023): Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is facing a significant budget shortfall of 2.6 to 2.8 million dollars in 2024. To balance the budget, the MLHU conducted a strategic review and prioritization of public health programs and services, which has resulted in organizational restructuring, reductions in programs and services, and layoffs of both staff and management positions.
News: LHSC spending nearly $500K to send senior staff on three overseas trips (posted Nov 13, 2023): Critics are slamming London Health Sciences Centre for sending senior executives 'gallivanting' on global trips costing nearly $500,000 while the hospital faces a staffing crisis and has had to cancel surgeries because it did not have enough beds for patients.
News: Top doctor reflects as region records 500th COVID-linked death (posted Jan 17, 2023): Calling it a milestone to be 'mourned and celebrated,' public-health officials have quietly marked the 500th London-area death linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak nearly three years ago... The area recorded 246 COVID-19 deaths in 2022, up from 153 in 2021 and 105 in 2020.
News: Long-term care homes in London bracing for rise in COVID-19 infections (posted Dec 5, 2023): 8 long-term care and retirement homes in the city have active outbreaks of the virus... It represents the fact that there is a large degree of COVID-19 transmission in the community.

Posted March 17, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity (last checked on Mar 17)
March 3 - 9, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Low 5.2%
Public Health Ontario: Central East Wastewater Graphic: Rising graph data (published March 14, 2024)

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked on Mar 17)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: March 16 - 19 | Canada = HIGH / Ontario = HIGH

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (last checked on Mar 17)
Confirmed Case of Measles in our community
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit: Measles is one of the world's most contagious human respiratory virus as it is spread through the air indoors without needing to be close to someone who is infectious. It can quickly spread among people who are unvaccinated... Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has received confirmation that a resident of Simcoe Muskoka has tested positive for measles. The public may have been exposed to measles. A list of identified exposure sites and dates.


Soldiers Memorial Hospital

Soldiers Memorial Hospital:
Visitor Policy: Hospital provided face masks must be worn by visitors at all times, including at the beside and in all patient care areas... All Visitors must... Adhere to all necessary infection control practices – frequent hand washing, wearing a hospital provided surgical mask while visiting with a patient in their room or in all patient care units, Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinics, Diagnostic Imaging, Surgical Services, Dialysis, Cancer Care Clinic and whenever receiving direct patient care.
Infection Prevention & Control - Overview: For all patients, visitors and staff, frequent and careful hand-washing is the single most effective means of stopping the spread of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.
Cover Your Cough - Respiratory Fact Sheet: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. You may be asked to put on a facemask to protect others. Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
News: Influenza A and COVID-19 outbreaks declared over on Soldiers' One Inpatient unit at OSMH (posted March 1, 2024): The Influenza A outbreak was declared on February 16, 2024 and resulted in 17 patients testing positive for Influenza A. The COVID-19 outbreak, declared on February 23, 2024, resulted in 3 patients testing positive.
News: COVID-19 outbreak declared over on Mental Health Inpatient unit at OSMH (posted January 9, 2024): The COVID-19 outbreak on the C6 Mental Health Inpatient unit at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) has been declared over... It was originally declared on December 31, 2023 and resulted in 13 patients testing positive for COVID-19.
News: COVID-19 outbreak declared over on Soldiers' 1 unit at OSMH (posted November 9, 2023): The COVID-19 outbreak on the Soldiers’ 1 medical unit at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) has been declared over. The 33-bed unit was brought out of outbreak status this morning. It was originally declared on November 22, 2023 and resulted in 12 patients testing positive for COVID-19.
News: COVID-19 outbreak declared over on Soldiers' 1 unit at OSMH (posted September 28, 2023): The COVID-19 outbreak on the Soldiers’ 1 medical unit at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) has been declared over. The 33-bed unit was brought out of outbreak status this morning. It was originally declared on September 15, 2023 and resulted in 16 patients testing positive for COVID-19.


Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare:
COVID-19 Information: Seasonal Respiratory Illness - It is that time of year where we begin to see rising numbers of common colds, with COVID-19, seasonal influenza cases and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in our community... Masking is mandatory - Please put on a mask from the supply provided and wear it properly covering your nose and mouth for the entirety of your hospital visit.
HDMH South Wing COVID Outbreak Lifted (posted Dec 18, 2023): Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, has confirmed the COVID-19 outbreak on South Wing at Huntsville District Memorial Hospital (HDMH) Site over. The outbreak lasted seven days, and through outbreak management protocols including testing, nine patient cases and two staff cases were attributed to the outbreak in total. Outbreak status is lifted when transmission is under control and no further cases are unexpectedly detected.
COVID-19 Outbreak Lifted at SMMH (posted Nov 22, 2023): Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), in collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, has confirmed the COVID outbreak at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (SMMH) Site is over. The outbreak lasted eight days, and in total 17 patient cases and nine staff cases were attributed to the outbreak. Outbreak status is lifted when transmission is under control and no further cases are unexpectedly detected.
HDMH South Wing COVID Outbreak Lifted (posted Oct 19, 2023): Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), in collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, has confirmed the COVID-19 outbreak on North Wing at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (SMMH) Site is over. The outbreak lasted 12 days, and in total 13 patient cases and seven staff cases were attributed to the outbreak.
Masking Requirement Changes at MAHC (posted July 11, 2023): Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) has updated mandatory masking requirements at both hospital sites that have been in place for much of the COVID-19 pandemic as the risk of COVID-19 transmission declines locally. Effective Monday, July 10, healthcare workers continue to wear masks when interacting directly with patients, however masks are now optional in public areas like front lobbies, hallways and other communal areas of our two sites. Masking remains mandatory for healthcare workers, volunteers, patients, visitors, vendors and contractors in all inpatient rooms, patient treatment spaces, such as clinics and ambulatory care areas, and waiting areas where patients are present, such as the Emergency Department and Diagnostic Imaging... Surgical masks continue to be available at entrances and in various clinical areas.


Collingwood General & Marine Hospital

Collingwood General & Marine Hospital:
Visitor Policy: Visitors must sign in on the unit and put on a hospital issued mask which must be worn for the duration of the visit, while in the patient's room.
News: COVID-19 Outbreak Declared Over On CGMH's Medical Unit (posted Nov 13, 2023): In collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) the COVID-19 outbreak that was declared on Collingwood General & Marine Hospital’s (CGMH) Surgical unit on November 3, 2023, has now been declared over.
News: COVID-19 Outbreak Declared Over On CGMH’s Surgical Unit (posted Oct 30, 2023): In collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) the COVID-19 outbreak that was declared on Collingwood General & Marine Hospital’s (CGMH) Surgical unit on October 20, 2023, has now been declared over.


Stevenson Memorial Hospital

Stevenson Memorial Hospital:
Visiting Hours: Masks are required to be worn by visitors at all times in a patient’s room and throughout the hospital... Visitors continue to be required to wear medical-grade masks (no cloth masks) upon entry to the hospital, which will be provided... No visiting will be permitted for any COVID-19 positive/suspected patients.
Masking Requirements Increase at SMH (November 24, 2023): Effective Monday, November 27, 2023 Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) is increasing masking requirements at the hospital. Wearing a hospital-provided medical mask will be required in all areas of the hospital, including hallways and common spaces... Visitors continue to be required to wear medical-grade masks (no cloth masks) upon entry to the hospital, which will be provided.
News: Mask Policy Update (posted June 27, 2023): Effective today, SMH is lowering masking requirements for staff, patients and visitors. These changes are being implemented based on recent guidance from provincial experts, and from the COVID-19 Community Risk Assessment posted by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, which remains at a low level. Masks are now optional for staff, physicians, patients, visitors and contractors in the following areas: Public/common spaces in the hospital including the cafeteria, nursing stations, staff lounges and hallways. Any waiting areas where patients are not present. Masks remain mandatory for staff, physicians, patients, visitors and contractors in the following areas: While providing direct care or in direct/prolonged patient contact (inpatient and outpatient areas). In waiting areas where patients are present (i.e. Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging, Outpatient Clinics, Labour & Delivery triage etc.) SMH is a mask-friendly, inclusive environment and anyone should be treated the same regardless of their choice to wear a mask.


Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care

Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care:
Responding to COVID-19: Masks - Effective Oct. 4, 2023, all staff are required to wear a surgical mask when on any clinical program and for staff working in outpatient programs during any patient interaction regardless of duration or proximity. Masks are to be worn at all times when on the unit and when transporting a patient to another area. Masks are also required to be worn by any visitor while visiting on a clinical program.
Infection Prevention and Control in COVID-19: Homemade or external masks are not permitted to be worn in the hospital as we cannot ensure the quality, cleanliness or use of proper hygiene practices for these products, which if not done correctly can pose added risk to patients and staff.
22/23 Annual Report ENGLISH PDF: SUPPORTING YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH AND BUILDING RESILIENCY - We are developing the program with reference to survey data and consultations from experts and a diverse range of youth, including youth of colour, LGBTQ youth and disadvantaged youth in order to make the program as inclusive and equitable as possible. It’s targeted to youth ages 12 to 25 to preventatively support mental, physical, and social wellbeing – three areas that were negatively impacted in young people during the pandemic.


Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre:
Patients and Visitors: Mask requirements return to RVH ahead of fall virus season. RVH is updating its masking guidelines ahead of the fall respiratory season, in anticipation of increased spread of influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and COVID-19. Masking is be required in ALL clinical treatment areas including: Patient rooms, Waiting rooms in the Cancer Centre, Dialysis Clinic and Emergency Department, When care is being provided in ambulatory or inpatient setting, Masks will remain optional, but recommended, in areas such as hallways, administrative spaces, meeting rooms and public areas like the cafeteria.
COVID-19 Information: RVH has implemented a number of protocols. In addition to continuous surveillance we have: Enhanced screening measures: All patients and visitors are required to self-screen at entrances. Patients with symptoms will be masked and cared for by staff wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including contact and droplet precautions. We have implemented more frequent and enhanced cleaning in our busy areas. RVH is in frequent contact with public health and is participating in a regional committee to ensure preparedness. Created critical care capacity and designated COVID units... Keeping You and Your Family Safe. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. Avoid close contact with others, Avoid shaking hands, If you are concerned about your symptoms or have travelled outside of the country, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
News: RVH Returns to Universal Masking (posted Dec 20, 2023): Effective immediately, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is returning to universal masking. In addition to self-screening, visitors are now required to don a hospital-issued mask upon entry. Due to increasing rates of respiratory illnesses in the community RVH’s Infection Prevention and Control and Occupational Health and Wellness teams have determined that masking is once again necessary to protect patients, visitors and members of TEAM RVH. Masks may be removed only while eating or drinking outside of Café Royale and in the Food Court.


Georgian Bay General Hospital

Georgian Bay General Hospital:
COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions: Masking Requirements - Effective October 5, 2023: Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is reinstating mandatory masking in most areas of the hospital in response to elevated rates of respiratory illness in the community, including COVID-19. This change in masking protocol applies to anyone attending the hospital, including patients, visitors, hospital staff, professional staff, and volunteers. Masks are once again required in all common areas of the hospital such as corridors and waiting rooms, as well as any patient care/clinical areas. These areas include the Emergency department, diagnostic imaging, inpatient units, the intensive care unit, surgical services and obstetrics. Visitors and patients are required to wear a hospital-provided mask upon entry to the building with the expectation the mask will be worn for the duration of their visit. Visitors and patients must wash their hands upon entering/exiting the building, and are expected to self-screen for symptoms of illness. The reinstatement of masking does not impact GBGH's current visitation policy which allows 24/7 family presence. Visitors will now be expected to wear a mask throughout their entire visit, including while in a patient room.
News: COVID-19 Outbreak on GBGH'S 1 North Unit Declared Over (posted Nov 27, 2023): Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, has officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak over on its 1 North inpatient unit. The outbreak, originally declared November 15, included nine patients who contracted COVID-19 while receiving care at the hospital.
News: COVID-19 Outbreak on GBGH'S 2 EAST Unit Declared Over (posted Nov 21, 2023): Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, has officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak over on its 2 East inpatient unit. The outbreak, originally declared November 15, included six patients who contracted COVID-19 while receiving care at the hospital.
News: COVID-19 Outbreak on GBGH'S 2 North Unit Declared Over (posted Nov 20, 2023): Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, has officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak over on its 2 North inpatient unit. The outbreak, originally declared October 31, included 10 patients who contracted COVID-19 while receiving care at the hospital.
News: GBGH Reinstates Masking Requirements in Response to Rising Rates of Respiratory Illness (posted Oct 4, 2023): Effective Thursday, October 5, Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is reinstating mandatory masking in most areas of the hospital in response to elevated rates of respiratory illness in the community, including COVID-19. This change in masking protocol applies to anyone attending the hospital, including patients, visitors, hospital staff, professional staff, and volunteers... Masks will once again be required in all common areas of the hospital such as corridors and waiting rooms, as well as any patient care/clinical areas. These areas include the Emergency department, diagnostic imaging, inpatient units, the intensive care unit, surgical services and obstetrics. Visitors and patients are required to wear a hospital-provided mask upon entry to the building with the expectation the mask will be worn for the duration of their visit.

Posted March 3, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity
February 18 - 24, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Low 7%

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked on Mar 3)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: Feb 17 - March 2 | Canada = VERY HIGH / Ontario = VERY HIGH


Brant Community Healthcare System

Brantford General Hospital:
Email Patient Experience: Patient Experience Form - no email address to include in the email section above
Masking is Encouraged at the Brant Community Healthcare System (updated Jan 24, 2024): BCHS follows a masking-encouraged policy. This means it is not mandatory that you wear a mask when visiting BUT it is strongly encouraged during the respiratory season. Please note that in the following circumstance, masking is mandatory: You are a patient with acute respiratory infection symptoms (i.e. Cough, congestion, fever), You are visiting on a unit that is in outbreak, You are visiting a patient in specific isolation precautions... Safety Guidelines to Follow While Inside the Hospital - All visitors must follow the visitor rules: BCHS follows a mask-friendly policy. This means that you will no longer be required to wear a mask within hospital sites with the exception of a unit in outbreak. Masks are available at main entrances for anyone who wishes to wear one. We ask that everyone support and respect every individual in their personal choice regarding masking. Visitors are strongly encouraged to mask during peak respiratory season... When the patient is confirmed or at risk to be COVID-19 positive, visitors have the choice of wearing a medical mask or an N95 in addition to the other required PPE.
News: More than 200 people exposed to child with measles; no new cases reported (posted Mar 1, 2024): More than 200 people have had exposure to a local child who contracted measles while on a trip to Europe. The estimate is based on exposures at Brantford General Hospital, McMaster Children's Hospital and a Lufthansa flight from London's Heathrow airport...
News: Brant County Health Unit Confirms Measles Case in Brantford-Brant Resident (posted Feb 28, 2024): The Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) has received confirmation of a case of measles in a child resident of Brantford-Brant. The illness was acquired during recent travel to Europe. The individual is currently hospitalized. BCHU is currently investigating and following up with known contacts who may have been exposed to the measles virus through this individual. Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus. The virus is spread easily from person to person – more than 90 per cent of persons exposed at home to a child with measles will catch it. It is an airborne disease that is spread simply by breathing in air that contains the measles virus. The measles virus can live in the air for up to two hours when a person has coughed or sneezed. It may also be spread by direct contact with the nose or throat droplets of an infected person... There is no treatment for measles.
News: Brantford The Expositor News: Stay home when sick, urges Brant medical officer of health (last updated Sep 22, 2023): There have now been 13,393 COVID cases in Brantford and Brant, and 128 deaths. [Population of Brantford, Ontario in 2021: 104,000 and Brant in 2021: 39,474. That estimates that ~10% of people currently with Long COVID and 1% death.]... 'We've learned COVID-19 can be spread through droplets as well as aerosols. This means it can be spread by close contact as well as in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings.
News: Brant County Health Unit COVID-19 update for Tuesday, August 15, 2023 (posted Aug 15, 2023): Currently, there are five active cases with four new cases being reported in the last seven days. Currently, there are two people hospitalized due to COVID-19. [Outbreak Aug 15, 2023, 7 new cases in 7 days. First one at hospital since May (when they dropped masks)].


Hamilton Health Sciences

Hamilton Health Sciences: Hamilton General Hospital, Juravinski Cancer Centre, Juravinski Hospital, McMaster Children’s Hospital, McMaster University Medical Centre, Regional Rehabilitation Centre, Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, Satellite Health Facility, St. Peter's Hospital, West End Clinic/Urgent Care Centre, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital:
Visitor guidelines (last checked Mar 3): As of Wednesday, September 27, masking for patients and visitors is strongly recommended when in the following areas: inpatient units, outpatient clinics, emergency departments, and procedural and diagnostic areas. Masks are available at hospital entrances.
Hamilton Public Health and Brant County Health Unit investigating exposures to confirmed case of measles (posted Feb 28, 2024): Hamilton Public Health Services and Brant County Health Unit are investigating exposures in Hamilton and Brantford related to a confirmed case of measles... We have screening measures to identify and care for patients who may have been exposed to measles when they come to our emergency departments and in other clinical areas. Anyone with a fever or cold symptoms or rash should wear a mask when entering the hospital. Individuals at risk or those suspected of having measles may be asked to wear a mask and separated from other patients.
What is measles? (posted Mar 1, 2024): Why are people concerned about measles? The measles virus is extremely contagious. It spreads more easily than the regular cough and cold virus. Measles is spread through the virus being in the air when an infected person breathes it out, and it can linger in the air for hours even after the sick person has left the room.


Kingston Health Sciences Centre

Kingston Health Sciences Centre: Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital
Visitor/Family Presence and Masking policies (last checked Mar 3): In response to a decrease in respiratory illness at KHSC and in the community, and movement from high to moderate risk on the indicators we routinely monitor, an easing of restrictions began on February 21, 2024... What will change? Masking is no longer required in transient public spaces (e.g., main hallways, elevators, cafeteria, etc.). Patients are no longer required to wear a mask in outpatient areas (e.g. clinics), if asymptomatic. However, masking is still strongly recommended and encouraged... Inpatients will continue to be encouraged to wear a mask when leaving their bedspace/patient room.
KFL&A Public Health: Respiratory illness surveillance in KFL&A (last checked Sep 29, 2023): Is the KFL&A region in a high-risk period for transmission of respiratory viruses? Feb 18, 2024 to Feb 24, 2024 YES KFL&A is in a period of high risk. 'Please note that regardless of indicator levels, Dec through Feb is considered to be a period of higher risk for transmission of respiratory illness'. Wastewater levels for Covid, influenza, RSV above risk threshold? YES. Percent positivity for Covid, influenza, RSV above risk threshold? YES. Active respiratory hospitalizations above risk threshold? YES. Active respiratory outbreaks above risk threshold? YES. From page 2 of Respiratory Virus Surveillance page Respiratory outbreaks in hospitals, retirement homes, LTC: 1 Covid, 3 influenza, 4 other respiratory (note: only 6 listed on page 4 of respiratory virus surveillance on Feb 29/2024)
News: Kingston General Hospital 'bursting at the seams' with COVID-19 and respiratory illness patients (posted Dec 13, 2023): The Kingston General Hospital says a surge of emergency department inpatients, including a day that had a near record 580 admissions, has the hospital struggling to keep up as the respiratory virus season peaks across the province. A thread(opens in a new tab) of social media posts by the Kingston Health Sciences Centre(opens in a new tab) (KHSC), which operates the general hospital, said they are 'bursting at the seams' with the increase in ER admissions and are beginning to open 'non-traditional spaces' to deal with the influx.
News: Mandatory masking coming back to Kingston's hospitals (posted Sep 29, 2023): Mandatory masking is returning to Kingston's hospitals. Providence Care Hospital will also move to mandatory face coverings starting Monday, pointing to the rising rate of the virus and other respiratory illnesses in the area... 'The challenge is we're dealing with people who have different perceptions of where we are with COVID-19,' said Dr. Gerald Evans, director of infection prevention and control at KHSC. The move is meant to remove some of the guesswork around masking, he said. 'We're trying to make it uniform,' Evans explained. The hospitals have reintroduced masking in order to do everything they can to protect patients, staff, volunteers and visitors, he added.

Posted February 18, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity
February 4 - 10, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Low 9.2%

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked on February 18)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: Feb 17 - March 2 | Canada = VERY HIGH / Ontario = VERY HIGH

Ottawa Public Health: COVID-19 Outbreaks in Ottawa Healthcare (last checked on February 18)

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Ottawa Healthcare (last checked on February 18)
Outbreaks over past 2 months Dec 18 - Feb 18 reflected below)


The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital (General Campus, Civic Campus, Riverside Campus, Cancer Centre, Irving Greenbergh Family Cancer Centre):
COVID-19 Outbreaks: Civic Campus Ward A & F7 - General Campus 5E & 4E & 5WST & 8WST & 5NW/AMA (last updated Feb 14)
General Campus - Unit 5Nw - Start: 2/7/2024 End: Active (3 cases)
General Campus - Unit 5Ne - Start: 1/31/2024 End: 2/11/2024 (5 cases)
General Campus - Unit 5Nw/Ama - Start: 1/14/2024 End: 1/25/2024 (6 cases)
General Campus - Unit 6E - Start: 1/14/2024 End: 1/30/2024 (5 cases)
Civic Campus - Unit B2 - Start: 1/8/2024 End: 1/15/2024 (3 cases)
Civic Campus - Unit B6/D6 - Start: 1/6/2024 End: 1/18/2024 (13 cases)
General Campus - Unit 7E - Start: 1/3/2024 End: 1/12/2024 (5 cases)
General Campus - Unit 5W - Start: 12/28/2023 End: 1/4/2024 (2 cases)
Bearbrook - Tcu 3 - Start: 12/20/2023 End: 12/28/2023 (2 cases)
General Campus - Unit 8W - Start: 12/14/2023 End: 12/26/2023 (10 cases)
General Campus - Unit 6Nw/6Th Floor Observation - Start: 12/11/2023 End: 12/20/2023 (11 cases)
Civic Campus - Unit F7 - Start: 12/10/2023 End: 12/19/2023 (16 cases)
Civic Campus - Unit A3 - Start: 12/7/2023 End: 12/19/2023 (6 cases)
Civic Campus - Unit D7 - Start: 12/7/2023 End: 12/21/2023 (6 cases)
General Campus - Unit 4N - Start: 11/30/2023 End: 12/18/2023 (8 cases)

Information for patients and visitors to The Ottawa Hospital (last checked Feb 18): Beginning September 11, 2023, masking will be required in all clinical areas and waiting rooms. Clinical areas include inpatient units, nursing stations and ambulatory care areas. Masking will continue to be encouraged, but optional, in all other non-clinical areas, such as hallways, cafeterias, elevators, administrative spaces and meeting rooms. These requirements will be in place for the duration of the respiratory virus season.


Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO):
Face masks at CHEO (last checked Feb 18): Masking is mandatory at CHEO - Masks work. They help prevent the spread of illness. And that matters at CHEO because we care for children who are extremely vulnerable to viral illnesses like flu, RSV and COVID-19... As of October 5, masking is required in all clinical and waiting areas, and in all shared spaces where 1m of physical distance cannot be maintained. This is an important part of our peak season protective measures to keep kids, families and our community safe. Please use face masks at CHEO and in the community, in addition to good hand hygiene.
When do I wear my mask? Masks are currently mandatory in all clinical and waiting areas, and in all shared spaces where 1 metre of physical distance cannot be maintained. The only exception is when you are in your child's or youth's patient environment and no one else is there.
What is considered a clinical or waiting area? Clinical and waiting areas include: Emergency Department, Outpatient clinics and their waiting areas (including medical imaging)
What is considered a shared space/common area? Shared spaces and common areas include: CHEO's cafeteria and café, elevators and hallways, washrooms, anywhere else you may be at CHEO, where 1 metre of physical distance cannot be maintained
What is considered your patient environment? private exam or clinic rooms (excluding the Emergency Department), inpatient rooms, bed space in shared rooms when the curtain are drawn
What if I am in a double room? If your child is in a shared room with another child, you are required to wear your mask when the curtain surrounding your child's hospital bed is not drawn or when you need to cross into the designated space of the area shared by your child's roommate. For example, when you need to use the washroom that is shared with your child's roommate and when you are leaving your child's room.
Stay healthy (and out of emergency) for the holiday season: CHEO tips to kids and families (posted December 4): With the viral season in full swing, CHEO is seeing increased volumes with more than 200 children and youth coming through the Emergency department daily. The season is expected to peak in the next few weeks and the risk of transmission of COVID-19, influenza and RSV in the community is high. While wait times may be longer than usual, scheduled surgeries or appointments continue to take place normally at this time... We also know what works to help keep kids out of hospital. Reducing the risk of transmission: With increased gatherings in the coming weeks, everyone should consider the following precautions to prevent infections: Staying home when sick, Wearing a mask indoors, Washing your hands regularly, Coughing into elbows, Getting vaccinated for all eligible vaccines, including COVID-19 and influenza.


University of Ottawa Heart Institute

University of Ottawa Heart Institute:
Unit H5 – Start: 2/8/2024 End: Active (10 cases)
Unit H5 - Start: 1/8/2024 End: 1/22/2024 (9 cases)

Attention visitors: Masks are required in clinical areas [top page banner] (last checked Feb 18): Links to page - Anyone coming to the Heart Institute for an appointment or while visiting a patient is required to wear a medical-grade mask when in the clinical areas.
Attention visitors: Heart Institute updates masking requirements (posted September 8): The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is updating masking requirements for patients and visitors effective September 11, 2023. Masks are required in all units (including patient rooms), clinics and waiting rooms. Wearing a mask remains optional in public spaces such as hallways, cafeterias, and elevators, and in other non-clinical areas such as in meeting rooms. Patients who are feeling unwell should always wear a mask... Masks will remain widely available throughout the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. In non-clinical areas, patients and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask if they choose. The change in masking requirements is a direct result of the transmission rates of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.


The Royal - Mental Health Care & Research

The Royal - Mental Health Care & Research (Ottawa, Brockville):
Unit Schizophrenia South - Start: 1/28/2024 End: 2/6/2024 (3 cases)
Unit Schizophrenia South - Start: 12/20/2023 End: 12/30/2023 (5 cases)

Information for clients and families (last checked Feb 18): We recommend that everyone wear a mask at all times inside our facilities. Masks are also required for staff and visitors on inpatient units. Please consult and follow the signs in our facilities. BY WEARING A MASK, we are better able to protect each other. When wearing a mask, please ensure that it covers your nose, mouth and chin.
Mask Wearing at The Royal: There are signs posted at all of our facilities to help you know when masks are required and when they are recommended (but not required). We also have masks for you to use... Please practice physical distancing on your way to your appointment and while in any waiting areas.
Stop the spread of germs (last checked Feb 18): COVID-19 serves as a reminder of the importance of infection prevention and reducing the spread of germs. These practices will help to reduce the risk of spreading germs that are associated with the novel coronavirus and other viruses at any time of year: Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer when handwashing is not an option, Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm (and practicing hand hygiene after coughing and/or sneezing), Staying home if you are sick or experiencing respiratory symptoms, Getting the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccines
Pandemic Plan PDF (Revised 2023): Page 13 - Respiratory Protection (CORP IV 290 Respiratory Protection Program) - Masks includes procedure mask, surgical mask, N95 respirator, or surgical procedure mask. Masks, respirators and face shields should be changed between patients/exposure situations and should be removed if they are moist, torn or dirty. Health care providers should be at least two (2) metres/six (6) feet away from all individuals before removing their mask. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and PHO recommendations universal masking was implemented across all programs at The Royal. Universal masking means wearing a mask at all times. Medical masks (surgical or procedure) are worn as source control (to protect others) or as PPE (to protect the wearer). Universal masking is one of many control measures that work together to prevent the spread of infection.


Queensway-Carleton Hospital

Queensway-Carleton Hospital:
Park Place - Level 4 - Start: 2/12/2024 - Active (2 cases)
Unit D3 - Start: 1/7/2024 End: 1/15/2024 (3 cases)

QCH and COVID-19 (last checked Feb 18): Masking at QCH: Staff, volunteers, patients, and families are required to wear a mask at all times in clinical areas, such as patient rooms, the Emergency Department, clinics, and waiting rooms. Masks are recommended but not required in public areas outside of clinical areas, such as hallways, elevators, cafeterias, and coffee shops. Masks will continue to be available throughout the hospital for all who need or want them. If you would like your care provider to wear a mask in other areas of the hospital, please let them know. We will support those who choose to wear a mask because they feel vulnerable or to keep their loved ones safe. Liberal use of masks is part of our new normal.
News: Queensway Carleton Hospital surge update (posted Jan 12): Queensway Carleton Hospital continues to navigate through the sixth day of our current surge protocol. Today, the Hospital is running at 107% occupancy, with high volumes and acuity across the board. There are 68 individuals waiting to be seen by a physician in our Emergency Department (ED) and another 14 patients admitted but waiting for a bed. The longest wait time for an inpatient bed once admitted is over 48 hours. While this is a slight improvement from earlier this week, we expect pressure will build over the weekend. We have temporarily opened 8 surge beds in the Day Surgery Unit to help get admitted patients out of the busy ED. This is in addition to the 82 temporary beds we opened during the pandemic and continue to operate at full capacity – 56 at our Park Place offisite inpatient unit, and 26 squeezed in onsite for which we have since received permanent funding.
News: QCH's ED seeing a significant increase in number of patients (posted Jan 8): Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is seeing a significant surge of patients. There are 70 individuals waiting to be seen by a physician in our ED and another 35 patients admitted but waiting for a bed. The current wait time for an inpatient bed once admitted is over 48 hours. All our in-patient care areas, including surge spaces, are filled – we are at 115% occupancy. Later today we will be taking the next step in our Surge Plan — temporarily opening 6-8 beds in the Day Surgery Unit to help ease the pressure on our Emergency Department.


Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital & Saint-Vincent Hospital

Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital & Saint-Vincent Hospital:
Saint-Vincent Hospital - Unit 2 South - Date Declared: 13 Feb - Date End: Active
Bruyere Continuing Care - Greystone Tcu - Floor 4 - Start: 1/16/2024 End: 1/24/2024 (3 cases)
Elizabeth Bruyère Hospital - Rehab 6 - Start: 12/14/2023 End: 12/26/2023 (3 cases)

Bruyère Hospital Visitor Infomation: In collaboration with Ottawa Public Health, we have declared a COVID-19 outbreak on Level 2 South at Saint-Vincent Hospital. Two visitors per patient per day are welcome on outbreak units. Essential care partners and compassionate visitors can continue to visit during the outbreak. Regular visitation continues on all other units.
On December 4, 2023, Bruyère will be updating our masking practices. (posted Dec 4): We are introducing a Zone Masking Model. This model will give more flexibility for those on our sites, while also recognizing that we are in peak respiratory illness season and need masking to continue for the protection of everyone who comes to Bruyère. While masks will continue to be mandatory, this model introduces teal masking zones, and red masking zones. In non-clinical areas, our teal zones, masks may be removed in cases where 1 metre of physical distancing can be maintained. In clinical, long-term care resident, and waiting areas, our red zones, masks always need to be worn by everyone working, learning, visiting, and volunteering on our campuses. Those we care for, who can wear masks, are asked to do so when outside of their room in red masking zones, and in teal masking zones when it is not possible to maintain 1 metre of physical distancing. Outpatients will be asked to wear masks when coming in for their appointment.
Changes to masking starting August 30 (posted Aug 29): Over the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in the community and on our campuses. Following an extensive review with our teams we have made the decision to change our masking practices. Starting Wednesday, August 30, 2023, masks will need to be worn indoors by everyone working, learning, visiting and volunteering on our campuses. This includes our hospitals, long-term care homes and at the Bruyère Village.


Montfort Hospital

Montfort Hospital:
Unit 4Cm - Start: 1/22/2024 End: 2/4/2024 (13 cases)
Unit 3C - Start: 12/26/2023 End: 1/4/2024 (5 cases)

Emergency Wait Time: Saturday, February 17, 2024 - 19hours 45mintes
Montfort tightens masking guidelines (posted Sept 13, 2023): Ottawa, September 13, 2023 - With the arrival of the respiratory virus season, Montfort reviewed its masking guidelines. As of Thursday, September 14, masks must be worn at all times by staff and visitors, in all clinical areas. This applies, namely, to care units including corridors and patient rooms, the Emergency Department, ambulatory clinics and waiting rooms. These guidelines are in effect at the hospital and at our satellite sites in Prescott & Russell and Beacon Heights, as well as at the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub. Wearing a mask is still recommended in public and non-clinical areas, such as main corridors, elevators, and the cafeteria.
Information About My Visit (last checked Feb 18): Note that it is still mandatory to wear a mask in clinical spaces.

Posted February 4, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity
January 21 - 27, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Moderate 12.2%

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked Feb 4, 2024)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: Feb 3 - 16 | Canada = SEVERE / Ontario = SEVERE (All Provinces = SEVERE)

Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit

Simcoe Muskoka Public Health Unit: Outbreaks (last updated on Friday, February 2, 2024):
Date Declared: 1/25/2024 - Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, Beausoleil A - Hospital - Penetanguishene - COVID-19 - Date Declared Over: ACTIVE
Date Declared: 1/25/2024 - Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, TCU - Hospital - Barrie - COVID-19 - Date Declared Over: 2/2/2024
Date Declared: 1/16/2024 - Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, Awenda B - Hospital - Penetanguishene - COVID-19 - Date Declared Over: 2/1/2024

Barrie

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Patients & Visitors: Mask requirements return to RVH ahead of fall virus season: RVH is updating its masking guidelines ahead of the fall respiratory season, in anticipation of increased spread of influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and COVID-19. Masking is be required in ALL clinical treatment areas including: Patient rooms, Waiting rooms in the Cancer Centre, Dialysis Clinic and Emergency Department, When care is being provided in ambulatory or inpatient setting, Masks will remain optional, but recommended, in areas such as hallways, administrative spaces, meeting rooms and public areas like the cafeteria.
COVID-19 Information: Keeping You and Your Family Safe - Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. Avoid close contact with others. Avoid shaking hands. If you are concerned about your symptoms or have travelled outside of the country, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
News: RVH Returns to Universal Masking (Dec 20, 2023): Effective immediately, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is returning to universal masking. In addition to self-screening, visitors are now required to don a hospital-issued mask upon entry. Due to increasing rates of respiratory illnesses in the community RVH’s Infection Prevention and Control and Occupational Health and Wellness teams have determined that masking is once again necessary to protect patients, visitors and members of TEAM RVH. Masks may be removed only while eating or drinking outside of Café Royale and in the Food Court.
News: RVH redirects obstetrical and midwifery patients due to physician shortage (Dec 3, 2023): Due to a physician shortage, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie, will be on redirect for obstetrical and midwifery services effective Sunday, December 3 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 4, at 8 a.m. RVH will not have emergency gynecological services for the same period. During this time, patients who call in for assessment will be redirected to the closest hospital for their obstetrical services, either Southlake Regional Health Centre, in Newmarket, or Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital.

Collingwood

Collingwood General & Marine Hospital
News - CGMH Implements Changes to in-hospital Masking protocols (June 29, 2023): Reverts back to pre-pandemic Visitor Policy. CGMH has implemented changes to its in-hospital masking protocols based on local and provincial health recommendations, and in alignment with changes made by regional health care partners. CGMH remains a mask friendly facility for all those wishing to wear a mask, but masks are no longer mandatory in the hospital's front lobby, hallways and communal areas. However, masking remains mandatory for health care workers, volunteers, patients, visitors, essential care partners, vendors and contractors in: patient waiting rooms, designated waiting areas, patient treatment/exam rooms, where patient care is provided, all inpatient rooms...
Visitor Policy: We are committed to providing a safe, secure, and comfortable environment for our patients and staff. Visitors must sign in on the unit and put on a hospital issued mask which must be worn for the duration of the visit, while in the patient's room. Please review all masking protocols here. (LINK DOES NOT WORK)
COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) - COVID-19 News:
COVID-19 Outbreak Declared on CGMH'S Medical Unit (Nov 3, 2023): In collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on CGMH's Medical Unit. (Declared Over Nov 13, 2023)
COVID-19 Outbreak Declared on CGMH'S Surgical Unit (Oct 20, 2023): In collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on CGMH's Surgical Unit. (Declared Over Oct 30, 2023)

Penetanguishene

Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care
Visiting a Patient - Masks: Effective Oct. 4, 2023, all staff are required to wear a surgical mask when on any clinical program and for staff working in outpatient programs during any patient interaction regardless of duration or proximity. Masks are to be worn at all times when on the unit and when transporting a patient to another area. Masks are also required to be worn by any visitor while visiting on a clinical program.
Visitor Policy: Outbreak Update: In consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, outbreaks were declared on Jan. 16, 2024: * Awenda B program (COVID-19)
Infection Prevention and Control in COVID-19: Homemade or external masks are not permitted to be worn in the hospital as we cannot ensure the quality, cleanliness or use of proper hygiene practices for these products, which if not done correctly can pose added risk to patients and staff.


Haliburton, Kawartha & Pine Ridge District Health Unit

Haliburton, Kawartha & Pine Ridge District Health Unit: Outbreaks (last modified on Friday, January 26, 2024):
Type of Outbreak: COVID-19 - Season: 2023/2024 - Months: Sep 5, Oct 12, Nov 13, Dec 14
Type of outbreak: COVID-19 - Season: 2023/2024 - Hospital/Institution: 7

Cobourg

Northumberland Hills Hospital
COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus): For local updates on Covid-19 activity in the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) area, please see the Health Unit website: hkpr.on.ca (LINK DOES NOT WORK)
COVID-19 News - Outbreaks:
COVID-19 Outbreak Declared on NHH's Restorative Care Unit — Regular Visiting Temporarily Paused in this Area of the Hospital (Dec 13, 2023): A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH)'s Restorative Care Unit (1B) after six patients have tested positive... Masking remains a shared responsibility to mitigate spread: Masking continues to remain in place throughout clinical and patient care areas in hospital and NHH’s Community Mental Health offices. Visitors have access to free masks on entry and are expected to keep their medical-grade mask on at all times (or over top of their personal cloth mask) while inside, unless eating or drinking in designated areas. Visitors who have recently developed COVID-19 are not permitted to visit patients for 10 full days from the date of symptom onset or from testing positive (whichever date is earliest). (Declared Over Dec 20, 2023)
COVID-19 outbreak extended to NHH's 2A/2B Medical/Surgical Units – Temporary pause on visiting and volunteers extended to all affected units (Oct 19, 2023): With the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections increasing at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH), an outbreak has now been declared on the hospital's Medical/Surgical Units (2A/2B) in addition to the ongoing outbreak in the Inpatient Rehabilitation and Restorative Care Units (1A/2B) first identified on Monday, October 16. In total, NHH has currently confirmed 18 cases of COVID-19 among inpatients. No cases of staff or physician infections have been identified in the outbreak areas at this time. (Declared Over Oct 31, 2023)
Masking Still Required in Clinical and Patient Care Areas: Effective May 17, masking remains in place throughout NHH’s clinical and patient care areas, including Community Mental Health offices. Masking is now optional in common areas and non-patient care areas.
Masking Still Required in All Clinical and Patient Care Areas, Now Optional in Common Areas and Non-Patient Care Areas (May 16, 2023): While mandatory masking is still required in all clinical and patient care areas at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH), effective Wednesday, May 17 masking is now a personal choice in common areas and non-patient care areas, such as: the Main Street Bistro, administration offices, and hallways outside of clinical spaces.


Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough Public Health: Outbreaks (last updated/revised: January 31, 2024):
PLEASE NOTE: Outbreak alerts will be removed from this webpage after 7 days once declared over.
Peterborough Regional Health Centre – PRHC – Unit B6 - Covid-19 - Onset: 2024/01/01 - Declared: 2024/01/11 - Declared Over: 2024/01/17

Peterborough

Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Peterborough Public Health Pandemic Influenza Plan: Febrile respiratory illness surveillance: As an early detection system for the Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and other respiratory illnesses, health care settings are required to screen all clients who present for care.
Visiting PRHC During Respiratory Illness Season - Masking at PRHC: PRHC requires a medical-grade mask in all clinical areas where patients are gathered, to protect vulnerable patients from infection. As of July 12, 2023, masking is optional in spaces where patients do not gather or receive care, such as Central Registration, Health Information, administrative offices, the cafeteria, stairwells and elevators. If in doubt, please wear a mask, or ask a member of the healthcare team whether a mask is required.
COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) - COVID-19 News and Information: Outdated News (ends March 2023)

Posted February 4, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity
January 14 - 20, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Moderate 13.9%

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked Jan 14, 2024)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: Jan 20 - Feb 2 | Canada = SEVERE / Ontario = SEVERE (All Provinces = SEVERE)

Sudbury

Public Health Sudbury & Districts: COVID-19 and Outbreaks (last modified on Friday, January 26, 2024):
Health Sciences North - Medical Inpatient Overflow: South - Active - Greater Sudbury - Date Declared: 2024/01/24
Health Sciences North – Acute and Reactivation Care Centre - Active - Greater Sudbury - Date Declared: 2024/01/17
Health Sciences North - Floor 8 North - Active - Greater Sudbury - Date Declared: 2024/01/16
Health Sciences North, Kirkwood Site - 5th Floor - Active - Greater Sudbury- Date Declared: 2024/01/12 - Date declared over: 2024/01/20
Health Sciences North - Floor 8 North - Active - Greater Sudbury- Date Declared: 2024/01/11 - Date declared over: 2024/01/23

Health Sciences North
Health Sciences North: COVID-19 and Outbreaks (last checked Jan 28):
COVID-19 outbreak on ARCC unit, RLHC (declared January 17)
COVID-19 outbreak on Medical In-Patient Overflow South (MIPOFS), RLHC (declared Janaury 24)
COVID Admitted Patients - last updated January 25 at 09:00 am : Confirmed cases - admitted patients: 27 (2 in ICU, 25 in other units) / Patients currently under investigation - admitted patients who have been tested and are awaiting results: 3

Visitor Restrictions on 8N at RLHC (last checked Jan 28): Effective May 15th, HSN has introduced new masking policies that align with guidelines released by Public Health Ontario. For patients/visitors/designated care partners: You are no longer required to wear a mask in public spaces including the cafeteria, lobbies and elevators, with the exception of high risk areas where masking remains a requirement. Patients: Inpatient Units: not required unless patient has symptoms of COVID-19. Outpatient Areas: not required unless patient has symptoms of COVID-19 as identified on signage upon entering the building. Patients who pass COVID-19 screening as identified on signage upon entering the building are not required to mask in HSN public spaces. Visitors: Not required in HSN public spaces. Not required in Outpatients areas, including waiting rooms and treatment rooms unless area has been identified as a high risk area (i.e. Emergency Department, Cancer Centre etc..).

What's new at HSN: Celebrating COVID-19 Assessment Centre Staff (posted November 9, 2023): Today we are celebrating all the HSN staff who worked at the recently closed COVID-19 Assessment Centre since it opened in the spring of 2020. Always on the frontline of pandemic response for our community, this incredible team were a dedicated, innovative and inspiring example of HSN spirit in action. The HSN Assessment Centre was one of the first to open in Ontario and provided a model for other hospitals across the province to set up their centres.

What's new at HSN: COVID-19 Outbreak Update (posted October 12, 2023): As of October 12, HSN is temporarily restricting visitors and designated care partners on 8 North due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

What's new at HSN: Masking Requirements at HSN (posted October 11, 2023): We are seeing a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 patients at HSN in recent weeks, and we are currently monitoring 3 active COVID-19 outbreaks. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs and to help keep people safe, visitors are reminded that masks continue to be required at all times in all inpatient areas and patient rooms. Food or drinks are not permitted in patient areas. Masks must also be worn at all times in high-risk areas including: Emergency Department, Shirley & Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre, Oncology Unit, Nephrology Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, Cardiovascular Thoracic, Cardiac Medical Unit

North Bay & West Nipissing

Nipissing Parry Sound Respiratory Disease Status Report
Masking is Back at the Health Unit (popup)
With respiratory illness activity typically peaking at the end of December or early January, we are once again asking clients, visitors and staff to wear a face covering in our clinical areas and waiting rooms, effective Friday, Dec. 22. If you forget your face covering, don't worry, we'll have one waiting for you.
Nipissing Parry Sound Respiratory Disease Status Report (1/24/2024):
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, January 14 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 1
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, December 24 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 4
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, December 10 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 2
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, December 3 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 1
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, November 26 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 1
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, November 19 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 1
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, November 12 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 2
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, November 5 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 4
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, October 29 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 4
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, October 22 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 7
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, October 15 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 2
COVID-19 Outbreaks - Disease: COVID-19 - Week of Sunday, October 8 - Confirmed Outbreaks: 2

North Bay Regional Health Centre
Masking Requirements: Effective Monday November 27, 2023 the Health Centre will require masks in all patient designated areas. This applies to all patients, care partners, visitors, employees, volunteers, physicians and contractors. Masks are required in all areas that are designated for patient care. This includes all outpatient clinics and waiting areas (medical imaging, lab, clinics) and the Emergency Department. In all inpatient units including common spaces. Masks are optional in public and staff areas like hallways, team nursing stations, break and meeting rooms, cafeteria, Tim Hortons, and Town Square. Masks are still welcome in all areas where they are not required. Please respect each person’s decision to wear or not wear a mask.

Time spent in the Emergency Department: Wait time to see a physician (Last updated: January 28, 2024 19:45) Average wait time Longest: 3h 28m / wait time: 7h 28m - If the longest wait time is greater than nine hours, please consider alternative options for non-urgent care.

Annual Report 2023: Message from NBRHC CEO and Board of Directors: As we mark the end of COVID-19 as a crisis and enter a new era, we are looking forward to shifting our focus back to the core business of our Hospital. After three years of dedicating nearly all our efforts to pandemic response, it is refreshing to once again allocate resources to things like growing and supporting our programs, restarting the work on our Quality System, and investing once again in our people.

NorthBayNipissing.com News: Latest update on COVID-19 cases in North Bay Parry Sound health unit area (October 5, 2023): 39 new COVID-19 cases reported by the North Bay Parry Sound health unit, Oct, 4. UPDATE (10:30 a.m. Oct. 5, 2023): Thirty-nine new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, Oct. 4 by the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit since the Sept. 20 update. The number of COVID-19 cases reported underestimates the true number of people with the virus in the community... As of Wednesday, Oct. 4 there was one active outbreak reported within the health unit's region.

West Nipissing General Hospital
Important information on COVID-19: Effective May 1, 2023 the West Nipissing General Hospital has instated optional masking in all public non-patient facing areas including public hallways. The decision to move to optional masking was made using community data on communicable diseases as well as the most recent provincial recommendations for acute care... Patients visiting our patient-facing areas, including the waiting room for our Emergency Department and patient and resident units, will continue to be asked to wear a mask... Our hospital is mask friendly, please respect and honour each person's decision to wear masks in optional masking areas.

About COVID-19: How does COVID-19 spread? Droplets means respiratory droplets produced by an infected person’s sneeze or cough. These can travel up to 6 feet (1.8 metres). A person becomes infected when droplets from a cough or sneeze directly enter the body through the eyes, mouth or nose. Contact means touching a person or object directly, such as door handles, that have droplets on them from an infected person's cough or sneeze. Unwashed hands contaminated with COVID-19 can introduce the virus to your body when you touch your eyes, mouth or nose. Washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face are two very important ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mandatory Masking – November 6, 2023: Due to an expected rise in COVID in the next few weeks, West Nipissing General Hospital will be reinstituting masking in all our in-patient and out-patient areas as of Monday November 6th... If a patient or resident in a shared room is uncomfortable with others removing their mask, we will strive to provide a space where unmasking can safely occur.

WestNipissing.com News: Hospital outbreaks under control (January 20, 2023): The West Nipissing General Hospital is seeing its share of outbreaks this season... The long-term care unit at the hospital was hit with a respiratory virus on Dec. 23, which was declared over on January 12. Then a COVID outbreak was declared in the nursing care unit Jan. 6, which lasted until Jan. 17.

News Release: Health Unit Region Not Immune to Increase in Flu-like and Respiratory Illness Hospital Visits: The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit’s (Health Unit) region is experiencing double the number of emergency department visits for flu-like and respiratory illnesses, compared to the previous three-year average. This is similar to what is being seen across the province, and emphasizes the need for everyone to use layers of protection to help prevent the spread of these viruses.

Posted January 21, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity
January 7 - 13, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity Moderate 15.3%

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked Jan 14, 2024)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: Jan 20 - Feb 2 | Canada = SEVERE / Ontario = SEVERE (All Provinces = SEVERE)

Grey Bruce Region

Hanover & District Hospital (Hanover)
Masking: Masking is not mandatory in all areas; but it recommended. (see guide below) Masking is still required while visiting the patient's bedside when the patient has been placed in additional precautions for infection control purposes. Masking Requiremnts: Masks are Required: Emergency Department & Waiting Room, Inpatient Unit (when patient is in isolation), Dialysis. Masks are Optional, but recommended: Inpatient Unit, Outpatients, Waiting Areas; excluding the ER Waiting Room, Hallways & Elevators, Cafeteria & Break rooms, Meeting rooms & Education rooms, Administrative offices, Gift Shop.
Respiratory Outbreak Now Declared Over (posted December 04, 2023): The Respiratory Outbreak is Now Declared Over. The Acute Care Unit at HDH is currently experiencing a RESPIRATORY outbreak, as a result the hospital is limiting 1 VISITOR per patient on the Acute Care Unit. Masking will be required on the Acute Care Unit.
Twelve COVID-19 outbreaks ongoing in region, hospitalizations remain low (November 30, 2023): There are a dozen COVID-19 outbreaks at health-care institutions in Grey-Bruce and an uptick in respiratory illness across the province.

Bright Shores Health Services, formerly Grey Bruce Health Services (Meaford General Hospital, Owen Sound Regional Hospital, Lion's Head Hospital, Markdale Hospital, Southampton Hospital, Wiarton Hospital)
Grey Bruce Region: Active Outbreaks: Brightshores Health System - Southampton Site (H) - Southampton Respiratory - COVID-19 - Date declared: 1/15/2024
Outbreak (popup): COVID- 19 Outbreak on 2 East in Southampton. Please note that the Brightshores Southampton 2 East is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, visitors are restricted to this unit at this time.
Patients & Visitors Masking Requirements: In order to protect our patients and staff we have implemented clinical masking for all direct patient contact as of Monday October 2, 2023. This applies to all inpatient and outpatient settings. We strongly recommend that visitors wear masks throughout the building. Preventive measures such as getting vaccinated, wearing masks and staying home when you are not feelings well are our best defence against influenza and COVID-19. Please note that masking is mandatory for those: who are symptomatic, who are in the Emergency Department, who are visiting a patient in their room, who are in inpatient or outpatient settings. Masks will remain available for those who prefer to wear one.
COVID-19: Visiting Brightshores: Masks are required for all those visiting a Brightshores facility.

South Bruce Grey Health Centre (Chesley, Durham, Kincardine & Walkerton Sites)
Insufficient Staffing (in carousel): DUe to insufficient staffing, the Durham Hospital Emergency Department (ED) will be closed: Saturday, January 20th, at 5:00 PM and will reopen on Sunday, January 21st at 7:00 AM... We appreciate your patience. Nursing staff resources are extremely limited, and short notice Emergency Department (ED) closures are unavoidable at this time. If your visit to the ED is not urgent or emergent, please call ahead or check SBGHC's website before coming to the hospital to confirm that the ED is open...
Updated Masking Guidelines (October 3, 2023): As we enter the fall respiratory virus season, South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) is joining hospitals across the region in adjusting masking guidelines to better reflect the current health and safety risks. Effective Wednesday, October 4, SBGHC will introduce new masking requirements. What This Means for You: For patients/visitors: We recommend that you wear a mask in all clinical areas and care settings when meeting with or speaking directly to a health care worker, especially in our Emergency Departments. Patients with a fever or respiratory symptoms are required to mask in all clinical and non-clinical settings (except if in an inpatient room or bed space and not receiving direct care with a healthcare worker). Masks will continue to be available at all hospital entrances. For staff/physicians: Masking will be required for all direct patient contact in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. Masks are recommended but will not be required in common spaces including team stations, hallways and break spaces. Masks will continue to be available at all entrances and in care settings.

CLOSURES: Minden, Chesley, Clinton combined 1152 hours with closure/hour reduction
CKNX News Today: Durham emergency department closing overnight (January 20, 2024): The South Bruce Grey Health Centre is temporarily closing the Durham Hospital emergency department overnight on Saturday. The ED will close at 5 p.m. on January 20 and reopen at 7 a.m. on January 21. SBGHC says the closure is due to insufficient staffing.
London CTV News: Two emergency departments temporarily close as a result of insufficient staffing (December 29, 2024): South Bruce Grey Health Centre is advising the public of the temporary closure(opens in a new tab) of two emergency departments. The Chesley Emergency Department will be closed Friday December 29 at 5pm, reopening on Wednesday at 7am. The Durham Emergency Department will be closed Monday January 1 at 5pm reopening Tuesday at 7am and again on Tuesday following the same hours.
Another local emergency department closure hits Midwestern Ontario (December 4, 2024): Due to insufficient staffing, the South Bruce Grey Health Centre says the Durham Hospital Emergency Department will close on December 4 at 5 p.m. and will reopen on December 5 at 7 a.m.
London CTV News: Increasing ER closures worry Grey-Bruce residents (September 15, 2023): Chesley’s emergency room closed on Sept. 7 and won’t reopen until Sept. 25 due to a shortage of staff, according to the South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC), who operate hospitals in Chesley, Kincardine, Walkerton, and Durham. Hospitals in Walkerton and Durham are facing rolling overnight ER closures this weekend and into next week, on top of Chesley’s nearly month long ER closure.
Temporary Emergency Department (ED) Closures: Chesley, Durham & Walkerton
Temporary Emergency Department (ED) Closures: Chesley, Durham & Walkerton
Temporary Emergency Department (ED) Closures: Chesley, Durham & Walkerton
Temporary Emergency Department (ED) Closures: Chesley, Durham & Walkerton

Huron Perth Region

Alexandra Marine & General Hospital (Huron Health System)
Masking News (30/10/2023): *Link does not show image* View image here. Image text: Please Mask: Inpatient and outpatient masking is required. Once again we find ourselves in the cold and flu season, and we kindly ask that you protect yourselves and our patients by masking while visiting any patient care areas within Alexandra Marine and General Hospital & South Huron Hospital. If you are ill, please reschedule your appointment, and/or do not visit patients in the hospital. Thank you.
Covid-19 Information Hub: Please do not let fears of COVID-19 in our community keep you from seeking medical care... The Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (AMGH) remains a safe place to seek care and attend outpatient appointments. Masks: If you have a mask or face covering, please wear it to your appointment to cover your mouth, nose, and chin. If you don't have one, AMGH will provide one. You will be expected to wear a mask for the duration of your time in the hospital. Our staff will also be wearing masks. If at any time your mask becomes soiled, damp, or damaged, please let a member of our team know, and a clean mask will be provided for you.

South Huron Hospital (Huron Health System)
Masking News (30/10/2023): Please Mask *Link does not work*
Masking Requirements Update (June 06, 2023): As of Monday June 5th, 2023, masks are welcome, but not required in most of our clinical areas throughout the hospital. Masks are required in the Emergency Department, if you have respiratory symptoms, or if visiting a patient in isolation precautions.
COVID-19 Information: Please do not let fears of COVID-19 in our community keep you from seeking medical care... Masks: If you have a mask or face covering, please wear it to your appointment to cover your mouth, nose, and chin. If you don’t have one, SHH will provide one. You will be expected to wear a mask for the duration of your time in the hospital. Our staff will also be wearing masks. If at any time your mask becomes soiled, damp, or damaged, please let a member of our team know, and a clean mask will be provided for you.

Huron Perth Health Alliance (Stratford General Hospital, Clinton Public Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital, St Mary's Memorial Hospital)
Combined COVID-19 / Influenza A Outbreak Declared at Stratford General Hospital (January 15, 2024): The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has declared a combined COVID-19 / Influenza A outbreak on the Medicine Unit at its Stratford General Hospital site... The unit is now closed to admissions until further notice... HPHA has declared seven outbreaks since September 2023. Outbreaks have huge impacts not just on patients, but on the hospitals' ability to function efficiently. 'Outbreaks have a domino effect. Hospital stays become longer for patients and they may need more care, leading to delays in care for other patients. For example, surgeries can be delayed or cancelled, and patients wait longer in the Emergency Department for a bed,' adds Jensen. 'In addition, a patient who catches a respiratory illness while in hospital may experience complications and delays in their own recovery. For the health and safety of our patients we can't stress enough the importance of staying home when you are sick.'
Stratford hospital limits visits due to COVID/influenza outbreak (January 15, 2024): Stratford General Hospital’s medicine unit has been closed to new admissions until further notice due to a combined COVID-19/Influenza A outbreak, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance says... Currently, six patients in the medicine unit have tested positive for COVID-19. One of those COVID-positive patients also has influenza... Seven outbreaks have been declared in Huron-Perth hospitals since September 2023. The healthcare alliance said outbreaks have a huge impact, not just on patients, but hospital operations...
Combined COVID-19 / Influenza A Outbreak (popup): Stratford General Hospital - Medicine Unit. Patients are limited to one family member/caregiver visit per day. Full personal protective equipment is required.
COVID-19 Outbreak Over at Stratford General Hospital (January 08, 2024): An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – Stratford General Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health. The outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Unit – Level 3 on December 29, 2023.
Influenza A / COVID-19 Outbreak Over at Seaforth Community Hospital (December 29, 2023): An outbreak of Influenza A and COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – Seaforth Community Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health. The outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Unit on December 18, 2023.
COVID-19 Outbreak Over at Stratford General Hospital (December 21, 2023): An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – Stratford General Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health. The outbreak had been declared on the Integrated Stroke – Telemetry Unit on December 15, 2023.
COVID-19 Outbreak Over at Stratford General Hospital (November 24, 2023): An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – St. Marys Memorial Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health. The outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Unit on November 16, 2023.
COVID-19 Outbreak Over at Seaforth Community Hospital (October 08, 2023): An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – Seaforth Community Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health. The outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Unit on September 27, 2023.
Family & Caregiver Visiting Guidelines: Effective September 20, 2023 and subject to change. As a healthcare organization that cares for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and in response to an increase in respiratory illness, the hospital has returned to masking in clinical areas of the hospital for the remainder of the respiratory virus season. A hospital-issued mask will be required in ALL clinical areas where patient care is provided in the hospital: Inpatient units, including communication stations, Inpatient therapy services, Outpatient clinics, Medical imaging, Outpatient laboratory services, Emergency Departments, Waiting rooms. Caregivers or family members who decline to wear a mask in the above noted situations are not permitted to accompany or visit patient. Your mask should be covering your nose and mouth.
COVID-19 Information: Masking (Updated June 5, 2023) - Effective Monday, June 5, 2023 masking will be welcomed, but no longer required in many clinical areas of the hospital. The exception to this is any of HPHA's Emergency Departments where masking will be required. Masking will also be required throughout the hospital sites for individuals who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory infection such as cough, fever and sore throat, and for those who are accompanying or visiting a patient with these symptoms. Hospital-provided medical grade masks will continue to be provided with masking stations set up throughout HPHA hospital sites, not just at entrances. Anyone entering the hospital is welcome to wear a mask. What This Means for Our Patients, Families/Caregivers and Visitors: Masking is Required - If you are a patient or caregiver in the Emergency Department, You have symptoms of a respiratory infection (such as cough, fever, sore throat), You are caring for someone with a respiratory infection. You may want to wear a mask if: You have an underlying medical condition, are immunocompromised or are an older adult, Your close contacts are more likely to get very sick if they contract COVID-19, You are in a crowded space, You had a high-risk exposure and may become sick. What This Means for Our Staff and Physicians - Masking is required for staff and physicians: When providing care in our Emergency Departments, When providing care to patients in isolation precautions or with symptoms of respiratory illness, If they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. It is also important to note that Universal Masking may be reintroduced based on disease activity, during respiratory season and for outbreak management.

CLOSURES:
St. Marys Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Closing at 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 11 (January 11, 2024)
CKNX News Today: St. Marys Emergency Department to close (December 16, 2023)

Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance (Listowell Memorial Hospital, Wingham & District Hospital)
CKNX News Today: COVID outbreaks declared at two local hospitals (December 15, 2023): A COVID outbreak has been declared at both the Listowel Memorial Hospital and the Stratford General Hospital. The Huron Perth Public Healthcare Alliance says the outbreak is in Integrated Stroke & Telemetry Unit at the Stratford General Hospital. According to the Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance, their outbreak is on the first floor of the building.
Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance X (December 22, 2023): The COVID-19 outbreak at the Listowel Memorial Hospital has officially been declared over by Public Health.
Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance X (October 31, 2023): The COVID-19 outbreak at the Listowel Memorial Hospital is officially declared over by Public Health.
Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance X (October 20, 2023): A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on the 1st floor of the Listowel Memorial Hospital. Please take precautions when visiting this department.
News: Masking Protection Mandatory in Clinical Areas at LWHA: Effective Wednesday September 13, 2023 masking will be required when in any clinical area of our hospitals and recommended, but not required, in non-clinical areas... Visitors and Families/Caregivers are required to wear masking protection at all times while visiting our facilities... What This Means for Our Patients, Staff, and Physicians. Masking is Required in Clinical Areas. Masking is required in all clinical areas where patient care is provided. This includes: Inpatient Units, Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinics, Imaging, Outpatient Lab, Waiting Rooms. Masking is recommended, but not required, in Non-Clinical Areas. Masking is recommended, but not required, in public spaces and non-clinical areas for staff and physicians. This includes: Hallways, Elevators, Cafeterias, Meeting Rooms, Administrative Offices. Universal Masking may be reintroduced based on disease activity, during respiratory season and for outbreak management.
CKNX News Today: LWHA requiring masks for certain areas once again (September 13, 2023): Starting Wednesday, strict masking requirements will be enforced in all clinical areas across all hospitals within the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance. Clinical areas include emergency departments, inpatient units, outpatient clinics, and waiting rooms. For non-clinical areas, masks are strongly recommended but not compulsory. That includes hallways, elevators, cafeterias, and administrative offices.
News: Important COVID-19 Information: Handwashing is your best defense against a range of illnesses, including COVID-19...

Posted January 14, 2024

Public Health Ontario: Respiratory Virus Activity
Dec 31, 2023 - Jan 6, 2024: COVID-19 % positivity High 17.7%

COVID-19 Resources Canada (last checked Jan 14, 2024)
Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: December 16-29 | Canada = SEVERE / Ontario = SEVERE (All Provinces = SEVERE)

Niagara Region: Health Care Facility COVID-19 Outbreaks
Niagara Health - Welland County General Site / ECU-ILTC / ECU / Declared: January 12, 2024
Hotel Dieu-Shaver Health & Rehabilitation Centre / 2 East / Declared: January 10, 2024
Niagara Health - St. Catharines General Site / K4A / Declared: January 7, 2024
Niagara Health - Welland County General Site / 6th Floor / Declared: January 4, 2024

Niagara Health System (Port Colborne Urgent Care Centre, Niagara Falls Site, Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre, St Catharines General Site, Welland Site)
COVID-19 Updates: Starting, Wednesday, July 26, we will no longer report COVID-19 statistics on our website. The change in reporting allows Niagara Health to shift resources to other healthcare programs and services.
Niagara Health updating masking requirements (posted Apr 17th, 2023): Effective Wednesday, April 19, Niagara Health is updating masking requirements in most settings across our sites following guidance from Public Health Ontario. "The decision to update our masking requirements was made in consideration of no longer being in the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic," says Dr. Karim Ali, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control and Director, Division of Infectious Diseases. "In addition, based on serological data, approximately 95 per cent of Ontario's population have either had a COVID-19 exposure or infection, which supports herd immunity, in addition to high rates of vaccination against COVID-19, as well as a steady decline in COVID-19-related and other respiratory viruses within the hospital and community." Patients and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask where possible and especially in settings when in contact with patients or in direct contact with healthcare workers, outpatient settings and in waiting rooms. This includes Emergency Departments, Urgent Care Centres, Ambulatory Clinics, Dialysis Units, the Walker Family Cancer Centre and outpatient mental health and group therapy settings. Patients with fever or respiratory symptoms are required to mask in all clinical and non-clinical settings (except if in an inpatient room or bedspace). Staff and physicians are still required to wear a mask when providing direct patient care in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Masks are not required in auditoriums, break rooms, charting rooms, laboratories, meeting rooms, nursing stations, offices and in common non-clinical areas such as cafeterias, elevators and hallways. Niagara Health will continue to provide masks to anyone entering the hospital who wishes to wear one. In the next four to six weeks, we will work towards ending universal masking in clinical settings...

Hotel Dieu Shaver Health & Rehabilitation Centre (St. Catharines)
Infection Prevention & Control: Infection Prevention | Help prevent infections by washing your hands.

Hamilton Health Sciences: West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (Grimsby)
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is sharing regular updates about hospital capacity, and links to stories/health tips to support our community this fall/winter season.
Update on hospital capacity – December 28, 2023: Funded Occupancy Rates: West Lincoln Memorial Hospital 110%... Masking is strongly recommended for all visitors in all HHS buildings.
Update on hospital capacity – January 11, 2024: Funded Occupancy Rates: West Lincoln Memorial Hospital 124%... HHS is experiencing an increase in the number of patients needing hospital-based care. Adult acute occupancy across all HHS sites is consistently > 100%. Unprecedented capacity pressures (reaching 134% this week) at the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital site. Where necessary, non-urgent scheduled surgeries and procedures are being deferred in order to prioritize the use of available beds based on need. This week, nine surgical cases were deferred... Masking is strongly recommended for all visitors in all HHS buildings. Individuals should not visit patients if they feel unwell or have symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, or a new rash.
Visitor guidelines (last checked Jan 14, 2024): As of Wednesday, September 27, masking for patients and visitors is strongly recommended when in the following areas: inpatient units, outpatient clinics, emergency departments, and procedural and diagnostic areas. Masks are available at hospital entrances.
Hamilton Health Sciences to reinstate mandatory masking for staff (posted Sept 26, 2023): Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) says they will reinstate masking in patient-care areas for staff, physicians, learners and volunteers starting Wednesday. HHS says this change in line with Public Health Ontario's guidance, aims to protect patients and maintain the health of the workforce. The clinical masking requirement may last through the peak of the respiratory season, but HHS says it is meant to be temporary. Masking will not be required in public spaces, administrative areas and areas not accessed by patients. These include break rooms, meeting rooms, cafeterias and clinical conference rooms. HHS says masks will continue to be available at main entrances and on clinical units.

Posted January 7, 2024

West Haldimand General Hospital (Hagersville)
Outbreak info not available
COVID Restrictions: Effective Wednesday, December 22, 2021, there will be NO VISITORS ALLOWED in our hospital. Exceptions are in place for Essential Care Providers (ECPs) of eligible patients.
Updates Masks: On May 17, 2023, West Haldimand General Hospital will no longer require patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks at the hospital. However, masking will still be required in the following scenarios: Masking required for/when: Patients who are symptomatic or isolated for respiratory illness, and their visitors will be required to wear a mask within patient care areas and hallways. Outpatients with symptoms of COVID-19 or a respiratory illness and/or who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last seven (7) days must continue to wear a medical grade face mask. Visitors may be required to wear a mask in outbreak units. Before visiting a patient, visitors must sanitize their hands and pass the following COVID-19 self-screening questions prior to entering the hospital. Medical masks are available from mask dispensers at designated hospital entrances... Complete the self-screening questions posted at our entrances. Follow strict hand hygiene guidelines... Practice physical distancing (2 metres/6 feet apart)

Haldimand War Memorial Hospital (Dunnville)
Outbreak info not available
Hospital Letter to the Community: To our Community, With a surge in COVID-19 cases in Ontario, many hospitals across the province are experiencing staffing shortages and a growing demand for care. Like other hospitals in the region, Haldimand War Memorial Hospital is facing these same pressures.
COVID-19 Masking: All visitors are asked to report to the nursing station upon arrival to the unit. If you are feeling unwell or experiencing any respiratory symptoms, please do NOT visit. HWMH recommends all visitors to wear a mask. Visitors are restricted to 2 at a time. Do not consume food or drink while visiting. Please adhere to the isolation guidelines as posted
Patients and Visitors: January 4, 2024 - Haldimand War Memorial Hospital is experiencing an increase in respiratory illnesses in our community. All individuals with any NEW symptoms of ANY infectious illness are asked to stay home when they are feeling sick... The flu, COVID-19 and RSV are all very contagious. You can spread these respiratory illnesses for up to 10 days after starting to feel sick. To prevent spread, stay at home until you have no fever and symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you are vomiting and/or experiencing diarrhea). You should also take extra precautions for 10 days, including wearing a mask in public spaces and avoiding visiting friends and family who are at higher risk of serious illness. Follow this advice for any respiratory illness, whether you have tested for COVID-19 or not.

Norfolk General Hospital (Simcoe)
News: COVID-19 Outbreak declared at Norfolk General Hospital's 3E Medical Unit: Thursday, November 23, 2023
News: COVID-19 Outbreak declared over at Norfolk General Hospital's 3E Medical Unit: Monday, December 4, 2023
Homepage Info: Looking to visit Norfolk General Hospital? In order to protect staff, patients and visitors from the COVID-19 virus, we have had to make dramatic changes to our visitation policies and practices.
Screening/Masking: On May 17, 2023, Norfolk General Hospital will no longer require patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks at the hospital. However, masking will still be required in the following scenarios: Masking required for/when: Patients who are symptomatic or isolated for respiratory illness, and their visitors will be required to wear a mask within patient care areas and hallways. Outpatients with symptoms of COVID-19 or a respiratory illness and/or who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last seven (7) days must continue to wear a medical grade face mask. Visitors may be required to wear a mask in outbreak units. Before visiting a patient, visitors must sanitize their hands and pass the following COVID-19 self-screening questions prior to entering the hospital. Medical masks are available from mask dispensers at designated hospital entrances.

Posted December 17, 2023

This week, our focus is on a province-wide campaign as we have a growing number of hospital units with active SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.

Ontario has 59 hospital outbreaks.
16/28* Public Health Units have reported hospital outbreaks (as of Dec 15)

*6 PHUs do not report specific information ie. hospital vs LTC

Please join us this week by sending an email to provincial leaders and by sharing our graphic on social media to make our collective voice loud and clear!

Public Health Ontario: Ontario Respiratory Virus Tool

Public Health Ontario: Select COVID-19 > Outbreaks > Public health unit

COVID-19 Resources Canada (updated Dec 18)

Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: December 16 - 29, 2023 | Canada = SEVERE / Ontario = SEVERE - 1 in every 13 people infected (All Provinces = SEVERE)

Posted December 10, 2023

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Whitby)
Durham Region Institutional Outbreaks (as of Dec 8):
Unit affected: DDS (Dual Diagnosis Service) - Date of onset: Nov. 23/23 - Date outbreak declared: Nov. 25/23
Unit affected: GPU (Geriatric Psychiatry Unit) - Date of onset: Nov. 27/23 - Date outbreak declared: Nov. 29/23
Unit affected: CGP-A (Complex General Psychiatry - A) - Date of onset: Dec. 2/23 - Date outbreak declared: Dec. 6/23
Updates related to COVID-19: Masks and hand sanitizer will be available as you enter the building at Building 1 (Main Entrance) and Building 2 (Admissions/Outpatients). Everyone is required to wear a procedure mask while inside the hospital... Wear a procedure mask provided by Ontario Shores at all times when inside the building. Patients will be required to wear a mask throughout the visit.

Lakeridge Health (Ajax-Pickering, Bowmanville, Oshawa, Whitby, and Port Perry)
Durham Region Institutional Outbreaks (as of Dec 8):
Ajax Pickering - Unit affected: 2E - Date of onset: Nov. 28/23 - Date outbreak declared: Dec. 4/23
Lakeridge Health Masking: To ensure the safest environment for visitors and Lakeridge Health team members, medical grade masks must be worn in all patient-and public-facing areas. Masks are available at hospital entrances. A physical distance of three feet/one metre must be maintained when eating or drinking.

Oak Valley Health (Uxbridge)
Oak Valley Health Patient and visitor information Masking: Masking will continue to be required in all clinical areas where patients are present including: inpatient units, the Emergency Department, the patient facing area of the outpatient laboratory, diagnostic imaging, outpatient clinics, and waiting rooms within clinical areas. Mask dispensers and signage will be placed at the entrance of each unit/clinic and all patients over the age of two, visitors, and staff are required to wear a medical mask in those areas. Masking will no longer be required upon entry to our hospitals and in common areas that are shared with patients, visitors, and staff (i.e., elevators, lobby, hallways). Personal cloth masks are not permitted at our hospitals. Individuals with personal cloth masks will be asked to change their mask to a medical grade mask provided by the hospital.

Posted December 3, 2023

Southlake Regional Health Centre (Newmarket)
York Region COVID-19 Outbreaks:
Southlake Regional Health Centre - Outbreak #34 - Active - Declared 2023-11-24 - Client Cases 2
Southlake Regional Health Centre - Outbreak #35 - Active - Declared 2023-11-25 - Client Cases 6
Southlake Regional Health Centre - Outbreak #36 - Active - Declared 2023-11-25 - Client Cases 5
Southlake Regional Health Centre - Outbreak #37 - Active - Declared 2023-11-27 - Client Cases 7
Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Outbreaks: RCC - Southlake Regional Health Centre - Active - Declared 2023-11-26 - Client Cases 1
Southlake Regional Health Centre Updates Masks: Masks remain 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.)

Oak Valley Health (Markham Stouffville Hospital, Uxbridge Hospital)
Oak Valley Health: Masking at our hospitals: Masking will no longer be required upon entry to our hospitals and in common areas that are shared with patients, visitors, and staff (i.e., elevators, lobby, hallways)... Visitors should not remove their masks when they are in clinical areas including within private or shared patient rooms, except when eating or drinking. This will help protect our vulnerable patients from transmission.

Mackenzie Health (Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital & Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital)
York Region COVID-19 Data:
Mackenzie Health Hospital - Outbreak #28 - Active - Declared 2023-11-20 - Client Cases 17
Mackenzie Health Hospital - Outbreak #15 - Active - Declared 2023-11-07 - Staff Cases 7 - Client Cases 23
Mackenzie Health Visitor Information: While masks may no longer be required in other indoor public settings, patients and their families trust us to care for them when they are at their most vulnerable and we must ensure that patients receive care in a safe environment. That’s why masks will continue to be required in all inpatient and outpatient areas when visiting or providing direct care to patients and for everyone in the Emergency Department, our Hemodialysis Units and Chemotherapy Clinic waiting areas. Mackenzie Health remains a mask-friendly environment and we encourage everyone to wear a mask if they feel more comfortable doing so... While masks may no longer be required in other indoor public settings, patients and their families trust us to care for them when they are at their most vulnerable and we must ensure that patients receive care in a safe environment... If you are wearing an N95 or KN95 mask, you can continue to wear it under your hospital provided mask in addition to practicing proper hand hygiene and physical distancing etiquette while in the hospital...

Trillium Health Partners (Mississauga Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital, Queensway Health Centre & McCall Continuing Care)
Trillium Health Partners Temporary Visitor Policy: Update to THP’s Masking Policy – October 5, 2023 - Effective Thursday, October 5, 2023, Trillium Health Partners (THP) reinstated masking for everyone in all patient care areas, including waiting rooms. This is due to the rising transmission and outbreak activity of respiratory viruses at THP and is intended to protect patients and staff and to maintain the health of our workforce. It also aligns with the practice of other Ontario hospitals. Masking in non-patient care areas, such as public spaces and administrative areas, is optional and these spaces continue to be mask-friendly...
Trillium Health Partners Outbreak:
Mississauga Hospital - 3A Medicine Unit - Outbreak - Active - Declared 2023-11-14 - Client Cases 5 (as of Nov 23)
Mississauga Hospital - 4D Medicine Unit - Outbreak - Active - Declared 2023-11-17 - Client Cases 5 (as of Nov 23)
Mississauga Hospital - 4C Medicine Unit - Outbreak - Active - Declared 2023-11-27 - Client Cases 4 (as of Nov 27)
Queensway Health Centre - McCall Centre – 3rd Floor - Outbreak - Active - Declared 2023-11-20 - Client Cases 10 (as of Nov 23)
Mississauga Hospital - 2B-1 Surgery Unit - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-12-02
Credit Valley Hospital - 1A Surgery Unit - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-12-01
Mississauga Hospital - 5C Rehabilitation - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-29
Mississauga Hospital - 3C Geriatric Senior Care - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-29
Mississauga Hospital - 2B2 Surgery Unit - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-27
Mississauga Hospital - 2J Cardiovascular - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-23
Credit Valley Hospital - 2C Medicine - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-22
Mississauga Hospital - 4B Medicine - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-22
Mississauga Hospital - GJ Auditorium Surge - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-22
Credit Valley Hospital - 1D Rehabilitation - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-21
Queensway Health Centre & McCall Continuing Care - McCall Centre – LTC Interim Unit, 2nd Floor - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-12
Mississauga Hospital - 2C Cardiology (2C CARU) Unit - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-12
Credit Valley Hospital - 2B Nephrology/Medicine - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-08
Credit Valley Hospital - 1B Medicine Unit - Outbreak - Done - Declared 2023-11-06
Peel Region Outbreaks:
Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital - 2B1 Surgery Unit - Acute Care - Outbreak - Active - Declared 2023-11-27
Trillium Health Partners - Credit Valley Hospital - 1A Surgery Unit - Outbreak - Active - Declared 2023-11-23

William Osler Heatlh System (Brampton Civic Hospital)
William Osler Heatlh System Visiting Hours: Masking is required in all patient-facing areas at Osler, in line with many other hospitals’ recent changes. Masking continues to be encouraged in all other non-clinical and public areas (hallways, elevators, etc.) across our sites. We appreciate your understanding as we do everything we can to keep our vulnerable patients, and everyone who comes through our doors, healthy and safe...
CityNews - William Osler Health System makes masking mandatory in all patient-facing areas starting Tuesday: October 5, 2023 - William Osler Health System says starting next Tuesday everyone in its facilities will be required to wear masks in all patient-facing areas, such as emergency departments and urgent care centres... Masking will also be encouraged in all other non-clinical and public areas, such as hallways, cafeterias and break rooms, elevators, as well as nursing stations...

Posted November 26, 2023

Windsor Regional Hospital (Windsor)
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit: Local COVID-19 Data: Recent Outbreaks
Metropolitan 4N - Date Reported 2023-11-23 - Ongoing
Ouellette 4M - Date Reported 2023-11-15 - Date Rescinded 2023-11-21
Ouellette 5E - Date Reported 2023-11-15 - Date Rescinded 2023-11-23
Metropolitan 7N - Date Reported 2023-10-17 - Date Rescinded 2023-10-24
Metropolitan 4N - Date Reported 2023-10-10 - Date Rescinded 2023-10-17
Windsor Regional Hospital COVID-19 Information: Last Update Nov 22 - COVID-19 Outbreaks have been declared in the following unit - Met Campus - Unit 4N - # of Patients Impacted 5 - Date of Onset (or positive test) in the last case 11/23/2023
iHeart Radio: COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at Met Campus: Nov 23 - Officials at Windsor Regional Hospital say a COVID-19 outbreak on 5East at Ouellette Campus is over. The outbreak was declared on Nov. 15, 2023, affecting a total of four patients. A new COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on 4North at Met Campus, with five patients affected. The hospital says this outbreak will be lifted in seven days if no further cases of COVID-19 are identified.
Windsor Regional Hospital Masking: Oct 5 - Update on Hospital Masking Policies - Effective Tuesday October 10, 2023 at 12:01 a.m., employees, professional staff, and volunteers are required to wear masks when within two metres of any patient unless there is a physical barrier present. Additional personal protective equipment, such as gowns and eye protection, may be required for patients in additional precautions or when a unit is experiencing an outbreak. Signage will be posted on these rooms or units to inform all those who enter about PPE requirements. We also recommend that visitors mask when within two metres of patients. With the exception of symptomatic patients, masking is not required in non-clinical areas, such as main lobbies, waiting areas, cafeterias, and elevators. Masking is highly recommended for visitors and patients in waiting rooms and lounges in high-risk areas such as Dialysis, the Emergency Department and the Cancer Centre. We continue to support those individuals who still choose to wear a mask at any time. All individuals who put on a mask should use a hospital-issued mask.

Hôtel Dieu-Grace Hospital (Windsor)
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit: Local COVID-19 Data: Recent Outbreaks
3N - Date Reported 2023-11-14 - Date Rescinded 2023-11-21
PS1 - Date Reported 2023-11-14 - Date Rescinded 2023-11-21
PS3 - Date Reported 2023-11-14 - Date Rescinded 2023-11-21
PS3 - Date Reported 2023-09-26 - Date Rescinded 2023-10-07
CC5 - Date Reported 2023-09-18 - Date Rescinded 2023-10-02
CBC News: Windsor hospital loosens visitor, masking policies: June 8 - The hospital says new guidance is closer to pre-pandemic policies - Effective Monday, the hospital will no longer require visitors to mask while within two metres of patients, and instead visitors will move to masking in areas based on risk factors (like patients coughing), the type of procedure being performed, and any additional precautions posted on the door of patient rooms. The changes are in keeping with Public Health Ontario guidance, and are closer to the hospital's pre-pandemic guidance, hospital officials said in a statement. Masking is still strongly recommended for patients and visitors to the emergency department because of high patient volumes and the possible presence of infectious diseases.

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (Chatham/Wallaceburg)
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Implements Changes to Masking Policy: Effective today, CKHA will no longer require patients, families and visitors to wear masks at its hospital sites and/or facilities. Masking in waiting rooms and lounges in high-risk areas such as Oncology, Dialysis and the Emergency Department continues to be encouraged for visitors and patients but is no longer a requirement... Staff, physicians, volunteers, students and contractors at CKHA will no longer be required to wear a mask in all areas of CKHA’s hospitals sites and/or facilities; this is inclusive of both clinical and non-clinical areas. Masking in high-risk areas such as Oncology, Dialysis and the Emergency Department continues to be encouraged but is no longer required. Staff and physicians working in clinical areas will use an assessment to determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) they need when interacting with patients. The assessment considers various factors such as the patient’s condition, environment and circumstances.
The Chatham Voice: No change (yet) for masking at CKHA: October 16 - Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the CKHA, said hospital personnel are monitoring matters locally and in nearby cities. 'At this stage, we're reviewing the situation on a daily basis. London has made some changes. Both Windsor and Erie Shores have made some changes,' she said. 'We are monitoring what is going on in our hospitals and our community. If and when we start to see more cases and start to see staff that are off ill, we'd look at ramping up our masking.'
Chatham-Kent Public Health Seasonal Respiratory Surveillance Bulletin: SARS-CoV2 test positivity reported by PHU - 46%

Erie Shores Health Care (Leamington)
CTV News Windsor: Erie Shores Healthcare reinstates masking policy for staff: October 6 - Erie Shores Healthcare (ESHC) officials say due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the community the hospital will be reinstating its masking policy for staff. A news release issued by ESHC Friday morning says there have been rising instances of hospital outbreaks across the province. In order to address this and the recent surge, the hospital is implementing a mandatory masking requirement within two metres of a patient effective Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit: Local COVID-19 Data: Test postitivity at PHU - 51%

Posted November 19, 2023

Lake of the Woods District Hospital
Outbreaks: 2E Med Surg Unit (active)
CBC Lite: Thunder Bay regional hospital tightening masking requirements as cold and flu season looms: Many hospitals, including the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, had loosened masking rules in the spring. As many hospitals backtrack on the loosening of masking rules, the Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) said last week it's taking a wait-and-see approach. "We're going to pivot quickly depending on what's happening in the community. And we already know how to kick our plans into place if we need to. I mean, we had lots of practice during three years of COVID... we know what to do if we need to do it," said Ray Racette, president and CEO of Lake of the Woods District Hospital.
Lake of the Woods District Hospital Facebook: Effective November 17, 2023 - Lake of the Woods District Hospital is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak on the 2E Med Surg Unit - Visitors restricted on 2E until further notice.
Lake of the Woods District Hospital Linkedin: #LakeoftheWoodsDistrictHospital is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak on the 2E Med Surg Unit. One hospital unit experiencing COVID-19 outbreak - Kenora, ON, November 17, 2023 - Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak on one unit (2E - Med Surg)... Considering the outbreak, visitor restrictions have been implemented to the affected unit...

Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital
Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital Covid-19 Information Centre: We request that all visitors and out-patients bring their own mask. We will provide a medical-grade mask if your condition requires it... At this time, the Hospital and Ear Falls and Red Lake Family Health Teams ask that all visitors, outpatients and inpatients wear a medical-grade when at the Hospital or their Clinics.
Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital Masking: COVID-19 Information Centre - CURRENT COVID PRACTICES AT RLMCH - Masking: PLEASE READ ALL SIGNAGE POSTED AT ENTRANCES TO GUIDE YOU REGARDING WHERE TO WEAR A MASK OR NOT IN THE FACILITY. This will be subject to change based on the current level of covid in our community, in the hospital and other factors. We will keep you updated via signage at the entrances. VISITORS ARE NOT TO COME WITH ANY RESPIRATORY/COLD SYMPTOMS TO VISIT INPATIENTS IN THE HOSPITAL. This has always been the practice even before covid. ANYONE WITH RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS, cough/cold symptoms must wear a mask provided at the entrances to the hospital before proceeding as these masks are a higher level of protection than a store-bought mask.

Geraldton District Hospital
Geraldton District Hospital Masking: Latest Updates - Cessation of Daily Reporting
Geraldton District Hospital COVID-19: What you need to know to help you and your family stay healthy - Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often. Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands. Keep surfaces clean and disinfected. Stay home when you are sick.

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Outbreak: 2A Unit - Nov 15, 2023 | 2B Unit Oct 31 - Nov 16, 2023
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre News: Nov 1, 2023 - Masking Requirements for Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre - As of November 1, masking will be required for all areas that provide clinical care services, including waiting areas. Masking will be required by all staff, professional staff, learners, volunteers and Essential Care Partners/Care Partners (ECPs/CPs) when entering an area that provides clinical care. Masking is now required within the following areas at all times: All Inpatient Units. All Departments and Outpatient Units where clinical services are provided, including waiting areas. Emergency Department – all areas including the waiting areas. Cancer Centre – all areas including waiting areas. Transitional Care Unit (TCU). Additionally, all staff, professional staff, learners, volunteers and ECPs/CPs are encouraged to maintain six feet of physical distancing, and if not able, then wear a level 3 mask.
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre News: May 23, 2023 - Masking, Essential Care Partner / Care Partner, and Hospital Entrance Update - As we continue to see lower rates of COVID-19 in our community, we are happy to move forward with Phase 3 of our transition out of pandemic response activities. When entering our Hospital, you will still need to sanitize your hands and self-screen for the symptoms posted at entrances. As of May 25, 2023: Patients, Essential Care Partners (ECPs) and Care Partners (CPs) are no longer required to wear a mask when entering our Hospital... Staff, Professional Staff, Learners and Volunteers are required to wear a mask if providing direct patient care and as required per IPAC protocols. Masking will no longer be required in public areas like the Cafeteria or Robin’s Donuts.

St. Joseph's Care Group (St. Joseph's Hospital)
Outbreak: 3 South - Rehabilitative Care Services - Nov 17, 2023 | 2 North – Medically Complex Services Nov 18 - Nov 13, 2023 | 7 North Hogarth Riverview Manor - Nov 7 - 13, 2023
St. Joseph's Care Group (St. Joseph's Hospital) News: Respiratory Outbreak Declared: St. Joseph’s Hospital – 5 South - Geriatric Assessment & Rehabilitative Care - September 1, 2023 - The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) and St. Joseph’s Care Group, located at 35 Algoma St. N, confirm that a respiratory outbreak (COVID-19) has been declared at St. Joseph’s Hospital – 5 South - Geriatric Assessment & Rehabilitative Care.
St. Joseph's Care Group (St. Joseph's Hospital) Visitor Precautions: Updated Nov 7 2023 - Masking is required by Visitors and Caregivers: When visiting inpatient clients at St. Joseph's Hospital in their rooms.
St. Joseph's Care Group (St. Joseph's Hospital) Client Appointments: Effective May 25, 2023, masking will no longer be required in public areas. Masks must still be worn during appointments and while visiting inpatient areas.

Atikokan General Hospital
Atikokan General Hospital Notice: June 10, 2022 - Face mask required. Mask Mandate Update - It is our priority to ensure that patients and residents in our care have a safe environment and that staff, physicians and learners are protected at work, so they remain well, and we can avoid any disruption to patient care. As masking continues to play an important...

Dryden Regional Health Centre
Dryden Regional Health Centre COVID-19: Masking: Face masks are required in all waiting areas to protect patients who may be in close proximity with one another where they may have unknown symptoms or respiratory illnesses. Masks are also required in the Emergency Department as an extra precaution for patients and staff. Masks will be available at all entrances for patients who feel more comfortable wearing one during their appointment. Visitor Restrictions: All visitors, including Designated Essential Visitors must: Be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days past the final dose of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccination series). Pass the entrance screen each day they visit the Hospital. Don a hospital-provided face mask, which must be worn to cover the nose and mouth at all times while inside the Hospital. Report directly to the patient room of the person they are registered to see; visitors are not permitted in common areas (such as hallways, the cafeteria) or to visit other patient rooms.
Dryden Regional Health Centre News: DRYDEN, ONTARIO - After consultation with infection control experts and while carefully considering infection risk DRHC has made the following changes: Effective May 25, face masks are no longer required in all areas of the Dryden Regional Health Centre. Patients accessing most services at the Dryden Regional Health Centre and Dryden Area Family Health Team will not be required to wear a face mask unless directed by a staff member or physician, except: In the Emergency Department, where all patients are expected to don a hospital provided face mask, AND; In all waiting rooms/ areas, as patients may be in close contact with one another. Staff and physicians are not required to wear face masks when providing patient care, although they may choose to. They will conduct point of care risks assessments and use their professional judgement to determine what level of Personal Protective Equipment, including masks is required on a case by case basis. DRHC respects that staff and community members may have different comfort levels with the changes to our masking policy. Masks will continue to be available at all entrances for anyone who feels more comfortable wearing one inside the Health Centre. Patients may request that their care provider wear a face mask at any time.

North of Superior Healthcare Group (Wilson Memorial General Hospital, The McCausland Hospital)
North of Superior Healthcare Group Masking: Mandatory Masking in Hospital and Long-Term Care Settings to Enhance Patient and Staff Safety.
North of Superior Healthcare Group Pandemic Plan 2021

Manitouwadge General Hospital (Sante Manitouwadge Health)
Manitouwadge General Hospital (Sante Manitouwadge Health) Masking: Nov 7 - SMH is requiring all staff/students/support workers/volunteers/ and visitors who go onto the nursing unit/Long Term Care to wear a mask. We also would like to take a moment to remind everyone that doing their self symptom screening prior to coming in is still essential.

Nipigon District Memorial Hospital
Nipigon District Memorial Hospital Masking: Masking Requirement Implemented at Nipigon Hospital - Oct 18, 2023 - Respiratory Flu season is upon us and Nipigon Hospital is seeing an increase in patients presenting to the Hospital for health care related to respiratory symptoms. As a proactive preventative measure to best support the safety and well being of our staff, patients, residents and community; we have implemented a masking requirement. All patients, and accompanying caregivers, seeking care in the ER and/or Urgent Care Clinic will be required to wear a mask. Masks will be provided by the Hospital upon registration. Rest assured, there is no intention to keep the masking requirements for longer than is needed! The Infection Control Committee is closely monitoring the day to day conditions based on current local respiratory illness... There are no visiting restrictions at this time.

La Verendrye General Hospital (Riverside Health Care Facilities)
La Verendrye General Hospital (Riverside Health Care Facilities) News Outbreaks: Media Releases page showing outbreaks
La Verendrye General Hospital (Riverside Health Care Facilities) Masking: June 27 - Masking Changes for Riverside - Masks are recommended but no longer required in all areas of our long-term care homes (Rainycrest, Emo and Rainy River Health Centres). All people presenting to a Riverside Emergency Department for care are still required to wear a medical mask. We remind all visitors to self-screen prior to entering Riverside facilities. People with fever, cough, sore throat, or other flu-like symptoms are asked to not visit unless they are seeking care. Riverside continues to remind the public to practice good-hand hygiene and to be mindful of exposure risks. Across our facilities staff may consider wearing a mask based a point-of-care risk assessment consistent with current practices or during prolonged direct care (defined as one-on-one care within two metres of an individual for 15 minutes or longer) and masks are no longer required in administrative and staff-only areas... Masks will continue to be available at all hospital and long-term care facilities for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be respected in their decision to do so.

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre
Outbreaks: Declared October 23 - Over Nov 6
Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre COVID-19 Information: At the Hospital site - Updated October 23, 2023 – At this time, patients are limited to a maximum of two (2) visitors. Exceptions can be made for palliative care patients. All visitors will be required to wear a surgical mask while on the nursing floor. SLMHC is urging visitors to refrain from visiting patients if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Please do not visit until you have fully recovered. The cafeteria will continue to be open to patients, visitors and essential care partners.
Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre News Outbreaks: News & Updates outbreaks page

Posted November 12, 2023

Outbreaks in Toronto Healthcare Institutions

Click on Download Data > ob_report_2023 > Download to view current active outbreaks

University Health Network (Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Michener Institute)
Outbreaks: Bickle Centre (N3 TCU) - 2023-11-06 (active) | Toronto Western (4B) - 2023-10-23 (active)
University Health Network Masking: Are required during all direct patient care and contact, in waiting rooms & all areas of high-risk inpatient units. Masks are optional in public areas like lobbies, elevators, and lounges, masks are also now optional in common spaces on most inpatient units. This includes hallways, at nursing/team stations or communication stations, and in charting, break and meeting rooms.

Unity Health (St. Joseph's, St. Michael's, Providence Healthcare)
Outbreaks: St. Joseph's (3M) 2023-11-07 (active) | Providence (B5) - 2023-11-07 (active) | Providence (A5) - 2023-11-09
Unity Health Masking: Masking is mandatory for patients and visitors when they are in close contact with other patients and in waiting areas. Masks are available at all entrances and in clinical areas. Masking is optional in the following spaces: All public areas (lobbies, public hallways outside clinical areas, elevators, cafeterias etc.), All hallways in clinical areas where you are not close to patients. A mask must be worn inside Unity Health sites where patients spend prolonged periods of time or receive care including: the Emergency Department and open concept units, Waiting rooms/areas, any hallways that also function as patient waiting rooms or hallways where patients spend prolonged periods of time or receive care, Procedure or exam rooms, imaging suites and other rooms where care is provided, Staff, physicians, volunteers and visitors must continue to wear masks in inpatient rooms.

Toronto East Health Network (Michael Garron Hospital)
Outbreak: Michael Garron Hospital (A2) - 2023-11-05 (active)
Toronto East Health Network Masking: Patients and visitors must continue to wear a mask in the following areas: Shared patient care spaces, The Stavro Emergency Department. MGH staff will continue to mask when providing direct patient care. Masking is optional for patients, visitors and staff at all other times. Masks will continue to be available at hospital entrances and in patient care areas.

North York General
Outbreak: General Site (3N) - 2023-11-07 (active)
North York General Masking: Everyone must continue to wear masks provided by NYGH in all patient-care areas at our sites. This includes all waiting rooms, registration areas. Masks are highly recommended but optional in meeting rooms, the cafeteria, administrative offices, staff break rooms and lounges.

Scarborough Health Network (Birchmount Hospital, Centenary Hospital, Scarborough General Hospital)
Outbreak: Scarborough General (CP4) - 2023-11-07 (active)
Scarborough Health Network Masking: Masks are required in all patient care areas including: Emergency department, Waiting rooms, Registration areas. Masks are optional in non-patient care areas: lobby and other common areas, Cafeterias, Retail spaces, Meeting rooms

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Outbreaks: Bayview Campus (D6) - 2023-11-04 (active) | RCC Church (A3S) - 2023-11-01 (active)
Sunnybrook Hospital Masking: All visitors, including children aged two and older, must wear a mask when in contact with patients and residents, including in patient rooms, treatment spaces, patient waiting areas, and in the emergency department.

Trillium Health Partners (Queensway Health Centre)
Outbreak: McCall Centre (LTC Interim Unit, 2nd Floor) - 2023-11-01 (5 confirmed as of Nov 10)
Queensway Health Centre Masking: Update to THP's Masking Policy – October 5, 2023: Effective Thursday, October 5, 2023, Trillium Health Partners (THP) reinstated masking for everyone in all patient care areas, including waiting rooms. This is due to the rising transmission and outbreak activity of respiratory viruses at THP and is intended to protect patients and staff and to maintain the health of our workforce. It also aligns with the practice of other Ontario hospitals. Masking in non-patient care areas, such as public spaces and administrative areas, is optional and these spaces continue to be mask-friendly. Masks are available at main entrances of each hospital site and in patient care areas.

Baycrest Health Sciences
Baycrest Health Sciences Masking: Staff will continue to mask when providing direct care to any client, or when requested by a client or a family member.

Etobicoke General
Etobicoke General Masking: Masking is required in all patient-facing areas at Osler, in line with many other hospitals’ recent changes. Masking continues to be encouraged in all other non-clinical and public areas (hallways, elevators, etc.) across our sites. We appreciate your understanding as we do everything we can to keep our vulnerable patients, and everyone who comes through our doors, healthy and safe.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
University Health Network Masking: Effective Nov. 1, 2023, clients and families, visitors, vendors and staff are required to wear a mask while moving throughout the hospital, including while in elevators, in spaces where clients receive care or participate in research... We continue to be a mask-friendly organization and masks can be worn in areas where it is optional. Please continue to respect the choices of others and be respectful of each other's personal space.

Hospital for Sick Children
Hospital for Sick Children Masking: Masking is optional in most public areas of the hospital, but remains mandatory in patient areas: Masking is mandatory when receiving care in patient rooms when staff are present for a prolonged period of time. Masking is mandatory in waiting rooms where patients are present and play areas. Masking is optional in most public areas of the hospital, including common spaces in clinical areas and waiting areas where patients are not present.

Humber River Hospital
Humber River Hospital Masking: Masking remains mandatory in the following areas: Patient rooms, Clinical exam rooms, Emergency Department, Cancer Care Clinic, Out-patient Nephrology Clinics Waiting Areas (Church Campus only). Masking is optional in all other areas, however, we recommend wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible, such as our waiting areas.

Sinai Health (Mount Sinai Hospital, Bridgepoint Healthcare)
Mount Sinai Hospital Masking: Masks are required in patient care areas, patient rooms and waiting rooms. Sinai Health is a mask-friendly environment.
Bridgepoint Healthcare Masking: Masks required in patient areas

Women's College Hospital
Women's College Hospital Masking: Continuing to require masking is an effective way for us to ensure a safe environment for our patients, physicians and staff. Anyone entering our buildings will still be required to wear a medical grade procedure mask.

Posted October 29 & November 5, 2023

This week, we are continuing our focus on a province-wide campaign as we have a growing number of hospital units with active SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.

54 hospital units with active SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks (as of Nov 4)

Please join us again this week by sending an email to provincial leaders and by sharing our graphic on social media to make our collective voice loud and clear!

Public Health Ontario: Ontario Respiratory Virus Tool

Public Health Ontario: Select COVID-19 > Outbreaks > Public health unit

COVID-19 Resources Canada (as of Nov 4)

Canadian COVID-19 Hazard Index: Select Page 5
Canadian COVID-19 Forecast: November 4 - November 17, 2023 | Canada = SEVERE / Ontario = SEVERE (All Provinces = SEVERE)

Posted October 22, 2023

Health Sciences North

Public Health Sudbury & Districts: COVID-19 and Outbreaks (last modified on October 20, 2023) :
Hospital - Health Sciences North – Medical Inpatient Overflow: South - Active - Greater Sudbury - Date Declared: 2023/10/19
Hospital - Health Sciences North - Floor 6 South - Active - Greater Sudbury - Date Declared: 2023/10/17
Hospital - Health Sciences North - Floor 4 North - Active - Greater Sudbury - Date Declared: 2023/10/10
Hospital - Health Sciences North - Floor 8 North - Active - Greater Sudbury- Date Declared: 2023/09/25

Health Sciences North: COVID-19 and Outbreaks (last checked Oct 22) :
COVID-19 outbreak on level 1 of the South Tower, Medical Overvlow Unit, RLHC (declared October 19)
COVID-19 outbreak on level 6 of the South Tower, RLHC (declared October 17)
COVID-19 outbreak on level 4 of the North Tower, RLHC (declared October 10)
COVID-19 outbreak on level 8 of the North Tower, RLHC (declared September 25)

Visitor Restrictions on 8N at RLHC (last checked Oct 22) : Visitor Restrictions on 8N at RLHC: As of October 12, 2023, HSN is temporarily restricting visitors and designated care partners on 8 North due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Patient and Visitor Masking (last checked Oct 22) : Patient and Visitor Masking: Effective May 15th, HSN has introduced new masking policies that align with guidelines released by Public Health Ontario. For patients/visitors/designated care partners: You are no longer required to wear a mask in public spaces including the cafeteria, lobbies and elevators, with the exception of high risk areas where masking remains a requirement.

What's new at HSN: Masking Requirements at HSN (posted October 11, 2023) : We are seeing a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 patients at HSN in recent weeks, and we are currently monitoring 3 active COVID-19 outbreaks. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs and to help keep people safe, visitors are reminded that masks continue to be required at all times in all inpatient areas and patient rooms. Food or drinks are not permitted in patient areas. Masks must also be worn at all times in high-risk areas including: Emergency Department, Shirley & Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre, Oncology Unit, Nephrology Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, Cardiovascular Thoracic, Cardiac Medical Unit

Posted October 15, 2023

St. Joseph's Health Care

Middlesex-London Health Unit: Outbreak Status Reports (12 October 2023 (PDF)) :
SJHC - Parkwood Institute Mental Health (H5) - Date declared: 2023-10-12, Date resolved: ACTIVE, Type of outbreak: COVID
SJHC - Parkwood Institute Main (5AN) - Date declared: 2023-09-28, Date resolved: 2023-10-11, Type of outbreak: COVID
SJHC - Parkwood Institute Main (5BS) - Date declared: 2023-09-24, Date resolved: 2023-10-10, Type of outbreak: COVID

COVID-19 pandemic information for patients, families and visitors (last checked Oct 15) : Masking: St. Joseph's masking policies are in alignment with guidelines released by Public Health Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For patients and visitors to St. Joseph's, this means the following: As of Oct. 4, 2023, all staff, physicians and volunteers will be required to wear a mask during patient interactions in inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. For patients, residents and visitors, masking is voluntary in the majority of our facilities, with some exceptions outlined below: Masking continues to be required among higher-risk patient populations, as well as in specified clinical areas or when certain direct care procedures are being provided, based on routine practices and precautions. Signs in the hospital will let you know where masks are required... Masks are available for anyone that prefers to wear one in all settings. Masking continues to be recommended in our clinical areas and waiting rooms. St. Joseph's masking policies reflect our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of everyone in our buildings while recognizing changes in the nature of the pandemic and the direction from public health efforts as we move towards living with COVID-19.

Protecting our community during respiratory season (posted Oct 2, 2023) : As we enter the fall respiratory virus season, St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are joining hospitals across the region in adjusting masking guidelines to better reflect the current health and safety risks. Effective Wednesday, October 4, LHSC and St. Joseph's will introduce revised masking requirements... For patients/visitors: At St. Joseph's, we recommend all patients and visitors wear a mask in our waiting rooms, Urgent Care Centre, inpatient and outpatient settings and when in direct contact with a health care worker. At LHSC, it is recommended that you wear a mask in all clinical areas and care settings when meeting with or speaking directly to a health care worker, especially in the Emergency Departments, the London Regional Cancer Program, clinical waiting rooms, and Ambulatory Clinics. Patients at LHSC and St. Joseph’s with a fever or respiratory symptoms are required to mask in all clinical and non-clinical settings (except if in an inpatient room or bed space and not receiving direct care with a healthcare worker)... For staff/physicians: Masking will be required for all direct patient contact in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, including waiting rooms and in LHSC’s Emergency Department and St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre. Masks are recommended but will not be required in common spaces including team stations, hallways, break spaces, cafeterias, office spaces, auditoriums, communication desks, and/or laboratories.

London Health Sciences Centre (Victoria Hospital, Children's Hospital, University Hospital)

Middlesex-London Health Unit: Outbreak Status Reports (12 October 2023 (PDF)) :
LHSC - University Hospital (U8 General Surgery) - Date declared: 2023-10-10, Date resolved: ACTIVE, Type of outbreak: COVID
LHSC - University Hospital (A4 Medicine) - Date declared: 2023-10-04, Date resolved: ACTIVE, Type of outbreak: COVID
LHSC - University Hospital (9th floor, Medicine) - Date declared: 2023-09-26, Date resolved: 2023-10-05, Type of outbreak: COVID
LHSC - University Hospital (7th floor, Clinical Neurosciences) - Date declared: 2023-09-19, Date resolved: 2023-10-12, Type of outbreak: COVID

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates (last checked Oct 15) : COVID-19 staff and inpatient numbers: London Health Science's Centre (LHSC) will no longer be updating inpatient and staff positive COVID-19 cases on an ongoing basis. This page is not updated on an ongoing basis. Please follow us on Facebook or Twitter to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

Facebook: London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) (last checked Oct 15) : London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) - October 4 at 7:49 AM: Those arriving at our adult Emergency Departments (EDs) may experience longer than normal wait times. Some patients may face significantly long waits as the most critically ill will be seen first. We ask the community to show patience and kindness as our teams provide patients with care. For our current wait times and non-emergency medical assistance options, please visit our ED wait times page.
London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) - October 2 at 9:55 AM: Effective October 4, LHSC's masking requirements will be changing. Read more.
London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) - September 23 at 2:30 PM: Those arriving at our adult Emergency Departments (EDs) may experience longer than normal wait times. Some patients may face significantly long waits as the most critically ill will be seen first. We ask the community to show patience and kindness as our teams provide patients with care. For our current wait times and non-emergency medical assistance options, please visit our ED wait times page.

Children's Hospital: Family Handbook for New Patients: This is a comprehensive how-to-guide for all patients and families at Children’s Hospital (last checked Oct 15) : Infection Control Precautions: Sometimes patients require extra infection control precautions and have a sign posted at the entry to their room or bed space. In these instances, your visitors should stop at the nurse's station to receive instruction before they visit. If you or your visitors need to wear gloves, gowns, mask or protective eye-wear, you can ask a staff member for assistance...
Influenza prevention information: Influenza is easily passed from person to person through droplets in the air, or by contact with unwashed hands or surfaces... As part of the hospital’s influenza immunization program, non-vaccinated visitors, patients, staff and physicians are required to wear a mask in patient care areas when influenza is circulating in the community (typically December – March). Masks will be available in all patient care areas. Other infection prevention and control practices, such as proper hand hygiene, in conjunction with vaccination or masking are critical aspects of preventing the spread of influenza.

Middlesex Hospital Alliance (Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital, Four Counties Health Services)

Middlesex-London Health Unit: Outbreak Status Reports (12 October 2023 (PDF)) :
MHA - Four Counties Hospital (AC) - Date declared: 2023-09-29, Date resolved: 2023-10-12, Type of outbreak: COVID

Middlesex Hospital Alliance (popup) (last checked Oct 15) : In the Emergency Department: Please be patient as wait times are consistently high across the region... Masking is required in the waiting area and while receiving care, including transfer to other departments for imaging etc. If you have a mask exemption, please bring proof of exemption and share at registration. You may be asked to wait in an alternate location prior to and after triage. When Visiting: Hand hygiene and masking are required in all patient care areas. Comply with staff direction regrading personal protective equipment and distancing. Thank you for helping us keep our hospital as safe as possible.

Respiratory Virus Season (last checked Oct 15) : Masking is recommended, especially when you will be in close contact with others for extended periods of time in indoor spaces, when you are recovering from a respiratory illness or if you have vulnerable family members at home. Visitor Policy: Everyone who enters the hospital must sanitize their hands. Masks are required in all areas where patient care is provided as well as waiting rooms. Masks are recommended in public areas of the hospital.
Universal Masking: Middlesex Hospital Alliance requires all outpatients, visitors, and caregivers to wear a mask in all areas where patient care is provided as well as in waiting rooms. This is required at both of our hospital sites. Why are patients and care partners being asked to wear masks at Middlesex Hospital Alliance? The hospital is a high risk setting with vulnerable persons. We want to do everything possible to keep our patients, visitors, volunteers, staff and physicians safe. We use multiple layers of protection to reduce the risk of infection transmission including hand hygiene, masking and distancing. We encourage people to stay up to date with their vaccinations- especially those against COVID-19 and Influenza. We ask people not to visit at the hospital if they are sick. What type of mask is allowed? Medical masks are available for all patients and visitors entering either of our hospital sites. Patients and visitors are asked to perform hand hygiene and don a clean medical mask provided by the hospital on arrival. When should I wear a mask? Please wear a mask the entire time you are in a patient care or waiting area unless instructed otherwise by our staff. Please wear a mask if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection (cough, fever, sore throat) and require care. In addition, patients and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask: When in a crowded waiting are in close proximity to others, When you have an underlying medical condition or are immunocompromised, When you have close contacts who could get very sick if exposed to an infection (ie you care for someone very young or very old), When you have had a recent exposure to someone who is ill, When you have symptoms of a respiratory infection (cough, fever, sore throat) and require care. Do inpatients have to wear masks? Inpatients are required to wear masks if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness and are leaving their bed space, and when instructed by hospital staff. What if I refuse to wear a mask? If you have a medical exemption, please bring proof and discuss with staff. You will not be denied care however adjustments will need to be made to help keep others safe. For example, we may ask you to wait outside if we are unable to isolate you right away.

Visiting a Patient (last checked Oct 15) : Current process and visitor restrictions: Everyone who enters patient care areas must wear a hospital-issued mask and sanitize their hands... Visitors must remain masked in all clinical areas and should not remove their mask for any reason while at the bedside... Guidelines for Visitors: Do not attend if you are ill, even with minor symptoms. Do not visit if you have been in contact with a person with a contagious illness (e.g. respiratory illness with fever, colds, chicken pox, flu) in the past 10 days. A medical mask is required in patient care areas...

Preparing for your Visit or Stay (last checked Oct 15) : Please note: Change to Preoperative Covid Testing for Elective Procedures and Surgery – Effective October 14, 2022 - Covid testing will not be required prior to an elective surgery. Please reduce social activities and avoid large crowds or ill people in the ten days prior to your surgery. If you have had an exposure or symptoms your surgery may have to be delayed.

Posted October 8, 2023

Grand River Hospital

Region of Waterloo: Positive Cases in Waterloo Region (last checked Oct 8) :
Grand River Hospital (Freeport Terrace 4 east) - Date declared: 2023/10/05 (Active), Total Cases: NR, Staff Cases: NR, Non-Staff Cases: NR, Total Deceased: NR, Type of outbreak: COVID

Grand River Hospital: COVID-19 information for patients and visitors (last checked Oct 8) : Wearing a mask makes us smile! Grand River Hospital has eased our masking requirements. Masks are recommended in all areas and will still be available for everyone (team members and guests). With this easing of restrictions, masks continue in certain areas, including: The chemo suite (all team members, visitors, and patients), 6AB Inpatient Oncology (all team members, visitors, and patients), Patients: If you have to come to the hospital and have any COVID symptoms (cough, fever, runny nose, etc), please wear a mask during your visit, Visitors: Please do not visit the hospital if you have any COVID symptoms or are feeling unwell. GRH team members will also continue wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, including masks, when a unit is in COVID outbreak, when caring for a patient who is COVID exposed, symptomatic, or as required based on other illnesses. Please feel free to ask any of our team members to wear a mask when caring for you. We are here to care for your well-being and comfort.

News: GRH declares COVID-19 outbreak on the neurobehavioural unit at Freeport Campus (posted Sept 26, 2023) : In consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health, Grand River Hospital has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Grand River Terrace 4 east (neurobehavioural unit) at the Freeport Campus. Currently, four patients on GR4E have tested positive. We have implemented additional precautions to ensure increased safety of all... Universal staff masking when on the clinical unit...

News: Masking changes at Grand River and St. Mary's General Hospitals (posted Sept 26, 2023) : There has been a detectable increase in COVID-19 activity to varying degrees across the province especially in recent weeks. Locally, GRH and SMGH have begun to see the rise in cases. GRH and SMGH, along with our regional hospital partners in Ontario Health West, have continued to monitor this data closely in order to inform measures to keep people safe within our hospitals. In response to increased COVID-19 activity, GRH and SMGH will implement the following changes, effective Wednesday, September 27, in alignment with our system partners until further notice. Team Members and Volunteers: Masking is required for team members and volunteers during all direct inpatient and outpatient encounters on entering a room AND when two metres of distancing cannot be maintained. Masks are not required in non-clinical spaces (e.g., nursing stations, hallways, offices, meeting rooms) but continue to be available for anyone who prefers to wear one, Patients and Visitors: To support our team and for the safety of our patients, we strongly encourage visitors to wear a mask in clinical areas, especially while at the bedside. While masks are not mandatory, we continue to make these readily available for anyone coming to SMGH or GRH. We continue to support our patients in asking their care team to mask up if they prefer. We can all do our part to stop the spread of illness, and masking is just one tool in our toolkit.

St. Mary's General Hospital

Region of Waterloo: Positive Cases in Waterloo Region (last checked Oct 8) :
St. Mary's General Hospital (Third Floor East (3 East)) - Date declared: 2023/09/26 (Active), Total Cases: NR, Staff Cases: NR, Non-Staff Cases: NR, Total Deceased: NR, Type of outbreak: COVID

Planning Your Stay (last checked Oct 8) : When you arrive at St. Mary's General Hospital, please sanitize your hands and if you choose to do so, wear a mask. As of April 17, 2023, St. Mary's has shifted from Universal Masking to a Mask-Friendly Policy. What this means: For visitors, Care Partners, patients, volunteers and team members, masks will no longer be required in hallways, meetings, breakrooms, shared offices and most clinical areas. Patients can request that anyone in their presence wear a mask. This choice will be honoured and respected without question. Care Partners and staff may be required to wear a mask while interacting with a patient in isolation or where additional precautions are in use. In each case, a sign will be posted on their door to communicate this change. Patients presenting at SMGH's Emergency Department with a respiratory illness will be asked to wear a mask while waiting for care. One Care Partner is permitted to accompany a patient due to space limitations. SMGH may reintroduce universal masking based on disease activity, during respiratory season and for outbreak management. Importantly, masks will remain available at SMGH for anyone that prefers to wear one, and your choice will be respected and supported.

St. Mary's News: Outbreak Declared on Third Floor West (posted Sept 21, 2023) : In consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health, St. Mary's is unfortunately declaring a COVID-19 outbreak on our Third Floor West (3West). At this point in time, three patient cases are associated with the outbreak.

St. Mary's News: Outbreak Declared Over on Third Floor West (3West) (posted Sept 28, 2023) : In consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health, St. Mary's is declaring an end to the COVID-19 outbreak on our Third Floor West (3West). In total, the outbreak impacted eight patients.

St. Mary's News: Masking Changes at Grand River and St. Mary's General Hospitals (posted Sept 26, 2023) : There has been a detectable increase in COVID-19 activity to varying degrees across the province especially in recent weeks. Locally, GRH and SMGH have begun to see a rise in cases. GRH and SMGH, along with our regional hospital partners in Ontario Health West, have continued to monitor this data closely in order to inform measures to keep people safe within our hospitals. In response to increased COVID-19 activity, GRH and SMGH will implement the following changes, effective Wednesday, September 27, in alignment with our system partners until further notice. Team Members and Volunteers: Masking is required for team members and volunteers during all direct inpatient and outpatient encounters on entering a room AND when two metres of distancing cannot be maintained. Masks are not required in non-clinical spaces (e.g., nursing stations, hallways, offices, meeting rooms) but continue to be available for anyone who prefers to wear one. Patients and Visitors: To support our team and for the safety of our patients, we strongly encourage visitors to wear a mask in clinical areas, especially while at the bedside. While masks are not mandatory, we continue to make these readily available for anyone coming to SMGH or GRH. We continue to support our patients in asking their care team to mask up if they prefer.

St. Mary's News: Outbreak Declared on Third Floor East (posted Sept 26, 2023) : In consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health, St. Mary's is unfortunately declaring a COVID-19 outbreak on our Third Floor East (3East). At this point in time, three patient cases are associated with the outbreak.

St. Mary's News: Outbreak Declared Over on Third Floor East (3East) (posted Oct 7, 2023) : In consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health, St. Mary's is declaring an end to the COVID-19 outbreak on 3East, previously declared on September 26, 2023. In total, the outbreak impacted seven patients.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Patients and Visitors: Coming to Hospital (last checked Oct 8) : Masking is optional for patients and visitors, except for the Medical Day Clinic (oncology care) and under certain circumstances. This may include patients presenting to the Emergency Department with signs of respiratory illness. If you choose to wear a mask, you can get a hospital-issued mask at any of the hospital's entrances. Kindly note that staff, physicians and midwives providing direct patient care must wear a mask.

News: COVID Outbreak declared in the Inpatient Surgery Unit (posted Aug 25, 2023) : In consultation with the Region of Waterloo Public Health, a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in the Inpatient Surgery Unit (Wing C, level 3)... Staff working in the outbreak unit are required to have a negative rapid antigen test daily before work. This includes staff that have worked on Inpatient Surgery since the outbreak has been declared and are scheduled in another unit. These precautions have been added to enhance safety: Masks to be used by staff at all times while in the unit; face shields to be worn within two meters of patients, All patients will be placed in airborne/droplet/contact precautions, Enhanced surveillance by swabbing and testing non-infected patients every three days until the outbreak is declared over, Enhanced cleaning, especially to high touch areas, Visitors are restricted to the unit except in end-of-life situations. Virtual visits and phone connections for patients and families can be arranged, Signage has been posted at entrances. The outbreak may be declared over on September 1 if no new cases arise... Continue to wear the appropriate PPE as a new, highly transmissible variant has proven that anyone can be infectious, even when a person is asymptomatic. Practice physical distancing, wear PPE and continue to practice hand hygiene for the safety of all.

Posted October 1, 2023

Hamilton Health Sciences

Includes:

Hamilton General Hospital, St. Peter's Hospital, Juravinski Hospital, Juravinski Cancer Centre, McMaster Children’s Hospital, McMaster University Medical Centre, Regional Rehabilitation Centre, Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, Satellite Health Facility, West End Clinic/Urgent Care Centre, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (Grimsby)

NOTE FOR THIS WEEK: This week Hamilton area hospitals reinstated masking for their staff. This is a move in the right direction, but does not go far enough toward protecting patients, visitors, healthcare workers or our communities from the spread of SARS-CoV-2. If you sent a message last week, please send a new one as the messaging has been updated and we need to keep the pressure on. Staff masking is important but we need universal masking in healthcare!

2022-2023 Community Report (last checked Oct 1, 2023) : A MESSAGE FROM OUR LEADERS: The year 2022-23 was a remarkable period for Hamilton Health Sciences, as we emerged from the challenging COVID-19 pandemic that lasted nearly three years. Our teams demonstrated incredible resilience and determination, achieving significant milestones throughout this time... All told, the year 2022-23 exemplified the determination and resilience of HHS teams as they triumphed over unprecedented challenges. We achieved what seemed unattainable at times, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hamilton: Respiratory and Enteric Outbreaks Page (last checked Oct 1) :
General Hospital: 8 West - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/20 - 2023-09-27, # of Patients: 11, # of Other: 1, Type of outbreak: COVID
General Hospital: SSMU - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/27 - Active, # of Patients: 4, Type of outbreak: COVID
General Hospital: B3 North - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/20 - Active, # of Patients: 5, Type of outbreak: COVID
St. Peter's Hopital: Lincoln Te - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/18, # of Patients: 12, # of other: 6, Type of outbreak: COVID [Now removed from page]
St. Peter's Hospital: 2W - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/12, # of Patients: 25, # of Other: 1, Type of outbreak: COVID
Juravinski Hospital: C4 - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/20 - Active, # of Patients: 5, # of Other: 3, Type of outbreak: COVID

Niagara Region: Health Care Facility Outbreaks Page (last checked Oct 1) :
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital: C Ward, B Ward - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/21 - Active, Type of outbreak: COVID-19

Visitor guidelines (last checked Oct 1, 2023) : As of Wednesday, September 27, masking for patients and visitors is strongly recommended when in the following areas: inpatient units, outpatient clinics, emergency departments, and procedural and diagnostic areas. Masks are available at hospital entrances.

Hamilton Health Sciences to reinstate mandatory masking for staff (posted Sept 26, 2023) : Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) says they will reinstate masking in patient-care areas for staff, physicians, learners and volunteers starting Wednesday. HHS says this change in line with Public Health Ontario's guidance, aims to protect patients and maintain the health of the workforce. The clinical masking requirement may last through the peak of the respiratory season, but HHS says it is meant to be temporary. Masking will not be required in public spaces, administrative areas and areas not accessed by patients. These include break rooms, meeting rooms, cafeterias and clinical conference rooms. HHS says masks will continue to be available at main entrances and on clinical units.

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

Hamilton: Respiratory and Enteric Outbreaks (last checked Oct 1) :
St. Joseph's Healthcare: Charlton Campus - 5 Mary Grace CTU - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/15 - 2023/09/22, # of Patients: 7, Type of outbreak: COVID

Updates on COVID-19 (formerly Coronavirus) (last checked Oct 1) : Visitors, families and patients are encouraged to mask whenever possible. Staff can assist patients and visitors with masking as needed, however, we do not expect any HCW to enforce this. Masks will continue to be available at hospital entrances and on units/clinics. Patients are strongly encouraged to mask in the emergency department, Urgent Care Centre, Labour and Delivery Triage, and outpatient settings (particularly in waiting rooms). Patients can remove their mask once inside the clinic/examination room. Visitors are strongly encouraged to mask in settings where they are in contact with patients, both in inpatient, outpatient and emergency settings (i.e. waiting rooms, patient rooms, dialysis units, urgent care centre and in the emergency department)... Visitors are asked to respect patient wishes and put on a mask if requested... Patients with fever or respiratory symptoms are required to mask in all clinical and non-clinical settings (except their inpatient room/bed space), as they would have pre-pandemic. Patients are encouraged to mask when leaving their dedicated room/bedspace for their own protection.

St. Joe’s, Hamilton Health Sciences to reinstate mandatory masking for staff (posted Sept 25, 2023) : Staff at both of Hamilton’s hospital networks will be required to wear masks when facing patients starting this week. The move is in line with recommendations from a Public Health Ontario experts committee noting increases in COVID-19 wastewater signals across the province. The policy goes into effect on Wednesday and includes mandatory face coverings for staff when in patient rooms, ambulatory clinics, patient activity rooms, hallways and community visits. N95 respirators are a minimum standard in some settings, particularly in aerosol-generating medical procedures (AGMP) for COVID-positive patients or patients with suspected COVID. The networks are encouraging staff masking in all clinical and non-clinical areas, however, it’s not required in break rooms, staff lounges, meeting rooms, auditoriums and some laboratories. Visitors are being encouraged to wear masks but it's not expected the policy will be enforced by staff.

Posted September 24, 2023

Hamilton Health Sciences

Includes:

Hamilton General Hospital, St. Peter's Hospital, Juravinski Hospital, Juravinski Cancer Centre, McMaster Children’s Hospital, McMaster University Medical Centre, Regional Rehabilitation Centre, Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, Satellite Health Facility, West End Clinic/Urgent Care Centre, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (Grimsby)

2022-2023 Community Report (last checked Sept 24, 2023) : A MESSAGE FROM OUR LEADERS: The year 2022-23 was a remarkable period for Hamilton Health Sciences, as we emerged from the challenging COVID-19 pandemic that lasted nearly three years. Our teams demonstrated incredible resilience and determination, achieving significant milestones throughout this time... All told, the year 2022-23 exemplified the determination and resilience of HHS teams as they triumphed over unprecedented challenges. We achieved what seemed unattainable at times, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hamilton: Respiratory and Enteric Outbreaks Page (last checked Sept 25) :
General Hospital: 8 West - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/20 - Active, # of Patients: 11, # of Other: 1, Type of outbreak: COVID
General Hospital: B3 North - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/20 - Active, # of Patients: 4, # of Other: 0, Type of outbreak: COVID
St. Peter's Hopital: Lincoln Te - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/18, # of Patients: 12, # of other: 6, Type of outbreak: COVID
St. Peter's Hospital: 2W - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/12, # of Patients: 21, # of Other: 1, Type of outbreak: COVID
Juravinski Hospital: C4 - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/20 - Active, # of Patients: 4, # of Other: 1, Type of outbreak: COVID

Niagara Region: Health Care Facility Outbreaks Page (last checked Sept 25) :
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/21 - Active, Type of outbreak: COVID-19

Masking changes at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (posted June 2, 2023) : Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton no longer require patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks at hospital sites. However, everyone is encouraged to wear a mask while in emergency departments and urgent care centres... Staff and physicians will consider each individual scenario, including the patient, environment and circumstances to assess what PPE is required for that situation... At Hamilton Health Sciences, mandatory universal masking remains in place in dedicated areas on the bone marrow transplant unit at our Juravinski Hospital... Masks will continue to be available at all hospital facilities for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be supported in their decision to do so. Like all COVID-19 policies and practices, the need for universal masking will be subject to ongoing evaluation in relation to the spread of COVID-19 and will be revisited if needed.

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

Hamilton: Respiratory and Enteric Outbreaks (last checked Sept 25) :
St. Joseph's Healthcare: Charlton Campus - 5 Mary Grace CTU - Outbreak declared: 2023/09/15 - Active, # of Patients: 7, # of Other: 0, Type of outbreak: COVID

Updates on COVID-19 (formerly Coronavirus) (last checked Sept 24) : St. Joe's is caring for vulnerable populations. Masks are encouraged for patients and visitors. Visitors who are feeling unwell should not visit patients. Clean your hands before entering the building and all patient areas.

Visitor Information During the COVID-19 Pandemic (formerly Coronavirus) (last checked Sept 24) : We thank our patients and visitors for adhering to St. Joe's Infection Prevention And Control policy throughout the pandemic. We appreciate your patience and collaborative partnership in keeping our patients and staff safe. Masks are encouraged for patients and visitors.

Posted September 17, 2023

The Royal - Mental Health Care & Research (Ottawa, Brockville)

COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions: Masking Requirements (last checked Sept 17) : Outbreaks: 8/22-9/8: (15 patients, 4 staff); 8/23-9/6: (9 patients, 7 staff)

Information for clients and families (last checked Sept 17) : We recommend that everyone wear a mask at all times inside our facilities. Masks are also required for staff and visitors on inpatient units... When wearing a mask, please ensure that it covers your nose, mouth and chin. [Only mask recommendation and no mention of type of mask ie. respirator]

University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Ottawa: Outbreaks Page (last checked Sept 17) : Recent Outbreak: 8/28-9/7 (7 patients) Unit H5

Attention visitors: Heart Institute updates masking requirements (posted September 8, 2023) : The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is updating masking requirements for patients and visitors effective September 11, 2023. Masks are required in all units (including patient rooms), clinics and waiting rooms. Wearing a mask remains optional in public spaces such as hallways, cafeterias, and elevators, and in other non-clinical areas such as in meeting rooms.

Montfort Hospital

Ottawa: Outbreaks (last checked Sept 17) : Outbreaks: 9/15 – Active: Unit 3B (Centre & North) / 9/13 – Active: Unit 4A

Montfort tightens masking guidelines (posted Sept 13, 2023) : Ottawa, September 13, 2023 - With the arrival of the respiratory virus season, Montfort reviewed its masking guidelines. As of Thursday, September 14, masks must be worn at all times by staff and visitors, in all clinical areas. This applies, namely, to care units including corridors and patient rooms, the Emergency Department, ambulatory clinics and waiting rooms. These guidelines are in effect at the hospital and at our satellite sites in Prescott & Russell and Beacon Heights, as well as at the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub. Wearing a mask is still recommended in public and non-clinical areas, such as main corridors, elevators, and the cafeteria.

Queensway Carleton Hospital (Ottawa)

QCH and COVID-19 (last checked Sept 17) : Masking at QCH: Staff, volunteers, patients, and families are required to wear a mask at all times in clinical areas, such as patient rooms, the Emergency Department, clinics, and waiting rooms. Masks are recommended but not required in public areas outside of clinical areas, such as hallways, elevators, cafeterias, and coffee shops. Masks will continue to be available throughout the hospital for all who need or want them. If you would like your care provider to wear a mask in other areas of the hospital, please let them know. We will support those who choose to wear a mask because they feel vulnerable or to keep their loved ones safe. Liberal use of masks is part of our new normal.

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) (Ottawa)

Face masks at CHEO (last checked Sept 17) : Masks are mandatory in all clinical and waiting areas. The signs above will let you know when you are entering a mandatory masking zone. The only exception is when you are in your child’s or youth's patient environment and no one else is there. What is considered a patient environment? exam or clinic rooms (excluding the Emergency Department), inpatient rooms, bed space in shared rooms when the curtain are drawn. What if I am in a double room? If your child is in a shared room with another child, you are required to wear your mask when the curtain surrounding your child’s hospital bed is not drawn or when you need to cross into the designated space of the area shared by your child’s roommate. For example, when you need to use the washroom that is shared with your child’s roommate and when you are leaving your child’s room.

The Ottawa Hospital (Ottawa)

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Ottawa Healthcare, Childcare and Educational Establishments (last checked Sept 17) : Outbreaks: Civic Campus – 8/14-8/25: (14 patients), Unit A1; 9/5- Active: (5 patients), Unit A1; 8/15-9/2: (16 patients), Unit A2; 8/19-9/3: (10 patients), Unit A4; 8/16-8/28: (12 patients), Unit A5; 8/21-8/29: (4 patients), Unit E5; 9/2-9/11: (7 patients), Unit E5; 8/20-9/5: (13 patients, 1 DEATH), West End Villa, Flr 4 | General Campus – 8/21-9/2: (12 patients), Unit 6W; 8/19-8/27: (3 patients), Unit 7E; 9/4- Active: (9 patients), Unit 7W

Information for patients and visitors to The Ottawa Hospital (last updated Sept 11, 2023) : Beginning September 11, 2023, masking will be required in all clinical areas and waiting rooms. Clinical areas include inpatient units, nursing stations and ambulatory care areas. Masking will continue to be encouraged, but optional, in all other non-clinical areas, such as hallways, cafeterias, elevators, administrative spaces and meeting rooms. These requirements will be in place for the duration of the respiratory virus season.

Posted September 10, 2023

Total COVID-19 Outbreaks (last checked Sept 10) : Mississauga Hospital: 3A Medicine Unit, September 4, 2023 - Two (2) patients on 3A Medicine (3A) Unit at Mississauga Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are suspected to have been hospital acquired and meet threshold for outbreak declaration. Current Outbreak Numbers as of Sep 8, 2023 5:00 p.m. Confirmed positive patients in this unit: 6 | 3A Comprehensive Stroke Unit: September 8, 2023 - Two (2) patients on 3A Comprehensive Stroke Unit at Mississauga Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are suspected to have been hospital acquired and meet threshold for outbreak declaration. Current Outbreak Numbers as of Sep 8, 2023 5:00 p.m. Confirmed positive patients in this unit: 2 | Outbreaks Declared Over: MH – 2C Cardiology (CARU2C) Unit, Sep 10, 2023 2C Cardiology (CARU2C) - This outbreak is no longer active. / MH – 2B-2 Surgery Unit: Sep 7, 2023 2B-2 Surgery Unit - This outbreak is no longer active. / MH – 6J Medicine Unit: Sep 6, 2023 6J Medicine - This outbreak is no longer active.

Trillium Health Partners Temporary Visitor Policy (last checked Sept 10) : Update to THP’s Masking Policy – July 5, 2023: Effective Wednesday, July 5, THP will be moving to a mask-friendly approach. For patients and visitors, masking will be encouraged and recommended, but no longer mandatory. THP supports a mask-friendly environment and masks will continue to be available at all hospital entrances. We understand masking is a personal choice, and we encourage you to continue masking if it makes you feel most comfortable.

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit: Current Outbreaks (last updated Sept 10) : Date Declared: 8/15/2023, Institution /Premises: Georgian Bay General Hospital- Midland Site, Unit 1 North, Setting Type: Hospital, Municipality: Midland, Type of Outbreak: respiratory, COVID-19, Date Declared Over: 9/6/2023

GBGH declares COVID-19 outbreak on 1 North inpatient unit (last checked Sept 10) : August 15, 2023 – An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared on the 1 North Complex Continuing Care and Rehabilitation unit at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), in collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. The outbreak includes three patients who contracted COVID-19 while receiving care at the hospital.

COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions: Masking Requirements (last checked Sept 10, 2023) : Effective June 27, 2023: GBGH has lifted universal masking requirements for patients, visitors and GBGH team members (staff, professional staff, volunteers) throughout the hospital. Masking at GBGH is now optional in most circumstances.

Woodstock: Outbreak Status Report PDF (last checked Sept 10) : Premises: Woodstock Hospital, Location of Facility: Woodstock, Type of Outbreak: Respiratory, Date Declared: August 25, 2023, Affected Area(s): M300 Rehabilitation, Unit, Date Resolved: September 5, 2023, Pathogen: COVID-19

Visiting Guidelines During COVID-19 (last checked Sept 10) : (Updated June 5, 2023) Woodstock Hospital has updated general visiting guidelines. Infection Control Measures: Visitors will be directed to wash their hands on entry. Woodstock Hospital is a mask friendly organization. Masks will continue to be available at all entrances for visitor use. Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask in waiting areas due to close proximity to others.

Peel Region: Health care institution outbreaks (last checked Sept 10) : William Osler Health System - Brampton Civic Hospital - Rehab B Unit, Outbreak setting: Acute Care, Type of outbreak: Respiratory, Confirmed etiological agent: COVID-19, Date declared: Sept 1, 2023, Date declared over: ACTIVE, Precautions: Droplet/Contact | William Osler Health System - Brampton Civic Hospital - Rehab A Unit, Outbreak setting: Acute Care, Type of outbreak: Respiratory, Confirmed etiological agent: COVID-19, Date declared: Aug 29, 2023, Date declared over: Sept 6, 2023, Precautions: Droplet/Contact

COVID-19 Information: Visiting Hours (last checked Sept 10) : As we continue to return to normal operations and pre-pandemic practices, Osler has transitioned its masking policy in order to align with other acute care facilities in Ontario. Patients and visitors are no longer required to wear a mask while onsite at Osler with the exception of specific clinical situations. Osler continues to support a mask-friendly environment and encourages masking. Masks will be available at all Osler site entrances as well as on clinical units.

Posted September 3, 2023

COVID-19 Outbreaks at Hospital (last checked Sept 3) : Institutional Outbreaks (tab) - COVID Outbreaks at Hospitals: Unit B8, Brantford General Hospital, Date Outbreak Declared: Aug 17, Cases in Patients: 11.

Mask-Friendly Policy in Effect (last updated July 20) : On May 1, 2023, Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) shifted from a Universal Masking Policy to a Mask-Friendly Policy. This means that patients and families, visitors, employees, professional staff and volunteers will no longer be required to wear a mask within hospital sites... Masks will continue to be available at both BCHS sites for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be respected and supported in their decision to do so.

Hamilton: Respiratory and Enteric Outbreaks (last checked Sept 3) : Outbreak Location: Hamilton Health Sciences - General Hospital – 5 West, Declared Date: 24 Aug 2023, COVID-19, 7 total cases including 6 residents.

Masking changes at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (posted June 2, 2023) : Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton no longer require patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks at hospital sites... Masks will continue to be available at all hospital facilities for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be supported in their decision to do so. Like all COVID-19 policies and practices, the need for universal masking will be subject to ongoing evaluation in relation to the spread of COVID-19 and will be revisited if needed.

Hamilton: Respiratory and Enteric Outbreaks (last checked Sept 3) : Outbreak Location: St. Joseph's Healthcare - 2 ALC, Declared Date: 27 Aug 2023, COVID-19, 10 resident cases.

Visitor Information During the COVID-19 Pandemic (last checked Sept 3) : We thank our patients and visitors for adhering to St. Joe's Infection Prevention And Control policy throughout the pandemic. We appreciate your patience and collaborative partnership in keeping our patients and staff safe. Masks are encouraged for patients and visitors.

Updates on COVID-19 (formerly Coronavirus) (last checked Sept 3) : St. Joe's is caring for vulnerable populations. EVERYONE entering the hospital must follow these guidelines: Masks are encouraged for patients and visitors. Visitors who are feeling unwell should not visit patients. Clean your hands before entering the building and all patient areas.

COVID Outbreak declared in the Inpatient Surgery Unit (posted Aug 25) : In consultation with the Region of Waterloo Public Health, a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in the Inpatient Surgery Unit (Wing C, level 3)... The outbreak may be declared over on September 1 if no new cases arise.

Masking is optional for patients and visitors (posted April 24) : On Monday April 24, CMH started a phased approach to transition from mandatory to optional masking. Similar to the beginning of the pandemic when masks were first mandated to higher risk areas, this phased approach is the reverse of that process. Masking is now optional in the public and most staff-only areas of the hospital, like hallways, offices and staff break rooms. If Patients and visitors decide to wear a mask, they can access a surgical-grade mask at any of the masks dispensers located at all entrances of the hospital.

Posted August 27, 2023

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Ottawa Healthcare, Childcare and Educational Establishments (last checked Aug 27) : 6 active Covid-19 outbreaks at Civic Campus of TOH, involving 45 patients so far: Unit A1, 14 patients (declared Aug 13); Unit A2, 10 patients (declared Aug 14; Civic Campus (no floor specified), 2 patients (declared Aug 18); Unit A5, 12 patients (declared Aug 15); West End Villa – Floor 4, 3 patients (declared Aug 19); Unit E5, 4 patients (declared Aug 20).

Information for patients and visitors to The Ottawa Hospital (last updated July 6, 2023) : Effective June 12, 2023, masking requirements will be eased at The Ottawa Hospital. Masks will now be optional in the following areas: Public spaces (hallways, cafeteria, elevators), Non-clinical areas (administrative spaces, meeting rooms), Clinical areas where direct patient care is not provided (nursing stations, unit hallways)... Masks will still be widely available throughout and we encourage visitors and patients to wear a mask in any area they choose.

Porcupine Health Unit: Outbreaks and IPAC Investigations (last checked Aug 27) : Hospital: Timmins and District Hospital, Agent Identified: COVID-19, Status: Active, Date Declared: August 18, 2023.

TimminsToday.com News: 2 units impacted by COVID-19 outbreak at Timmins hospital (posted Aug 21, 2023) : A COVID-19 outbreak is impacting two units at the Timmins and District Hospital. There is an outbreak of the virus on Medical B and C units, reported the hospital on Aug. 18 on social media.

TimminsToday.com News: Most mask mandates lifted at Timmins hospital (posted April 17, 2023) : Starting today (Monday, April 17), masking is no longer required in non-clinical areas such as the main lobbies, waiting areas, cafeteria and elevators. The Timmins and District Hospital continues to support individuals who choose to wear a mask for their entire visit...

COVID-19 NEWS (last checked Aug 27) : Aug 22: COVID-19 outbreak on NHH’s 1B Restorative Care Unit declared over— Regular visiting guidelines resume throughout the hospital / Aug 14: COVID-19 outbreak on NHH’s Restorative Care Unit (1B) - Regular visiting temporarily paused in this area of the hospital

NHH Visiting Guidelines (last checked Aug 27) : Effective May 17, masking remains in place throughout NHH’s clinical and patient care areas, including Community Mental Health offices. Masking is now optional in common areas and non-patient care areas.

News: Masking still required in all clinical and patient care areas, now optional in common areas and non-patient care areas (posted May 16, 2023) : While mandatory masking is still required in all clinical and patient care areas at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH), effective Wednesday, May 17 masking is now a personal choice in common areas and non-patient care areas, such as: the Main Street Bistro, administration offices, and hallways outside of clinical spaces.

Posted August 20, 2023

COVID-19 and Outbreaks (last checked Aug 20) : COVID-19 outbreak on 4th Floor North Tower (declared on 2023-08-11)

Patient and Visitor Masking (last checked Aug 20) : Effective May 15th, HSN has introduced new masking policies that align with guidelines released by Public Health Ontario. For patients/visitors/designated care partners: You are no longer required to wear a mask in public spaces including the cafeteria, lobbies and elevators, with the exception of high risk areas where masking remains a requirement.

OUTBREAK STATUS REPORT (PDF last updated Aug 18) : Resolved Outbreaks: Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital, Type of Outbreak: Respiratory, Date Declared: July 20, 2023, Affected Areas: 1S (Date Resolved: Aug 2), 2S (Date Resolved: July 28), Pathogen 1: COVID-19

Media Release: Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital Declares COVID-19 (PDF posted July 21) : An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH) on the In-patient Medical Surgical Units. The outbreak was declared Friday July 21st, after 10 patients tested positive for COVID-19.

Visiting Guidelines (PDF last updated Aug) : Infection Prevention and Control Measures: The Hospitals are mask friendly organizations. Masks will continue to be available at all entrances for visitor use.

The Hospital eases masking requirements (last checked Aug 20) : Effective July 31st, 2023, we have further eased mask requirements at The Hospital. We made this decision in alignment with regional hospitals and based on the current risk level in the community of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses... Masks will no longer be required in clinical or public areas outside of the Emergency Department... When you visit the Hospital, you'll find updated signs to help inform you where and when masks are required.

Posted August 13, 2023

Patients & Visitors - Visiting (last checked Aug 13) : Our staff, patients, families, caregivers, and volunteers are encouraged but not required to wear masks – except for when in Oncology.

Temporary Closure of Louise Marshall Hospital Emergency Department (PDF posted July 19) : As a result of a staffing shortage, Louise Marshall Hospital Emergency Department (ED) will be closed overnight on Thursday, July 20th at 7:00 pm and will reopen on Friday, July 21st at 7:00 am.

Temporary Closure of Louise Marshall Hospital Emergency Department (PDF posted July 5) : Mount Forest, ON…As a result of a staffing shortage, Louise Marshall Hospital Emergency Department, (ED) will be closed overnight on Thursday, July 6, th at 7:00 pm and will reopen on Friday, July 7, that 7:00, am.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) page (last checked Aug 13) : Effective Monday July 17, 2023 masks will be optional for employees, patients, families, physicians, contractors and volunteers in all areas of NBRHC. Masks will continue to be available at entrances to the building and clinical areas for anyone that prefers to wear one... Please respect and honour each person’s decision to wear or not wear a mask.

Emergency Wait Time Alert for NBRHC (posted July 6) : Today, the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) issued an emergency department (ED) wait time alert for July and August. The Health Centre continues to see higher than average patient volumes, combined with ongoing health human resource and capacity pressures, resulting in longer wait times for care in our ED. Hospitals across the province are facing similar challenges, as visits to the ED increase during the summer.

COVID-19 Information (last checked Aug 13) : Masks are optional in non-patient care areas: The lobby and other common areas, Cafeterias, Retail spaces such as Tim Hortons, Meeting rooms

Posted August 6, 2023

Outbreaks in Toronto Healthcare Institutions (last checked Aug 6) Download Outbreaks Report (CSV) : Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre - Bayview Campus - C6, Outbreak Setting: Hospital-Acute Care, Type of Outbreak: COVID-19, Date Outbreak Began: 2023-07-14, Date Declared Over: 2023-07-21

Visitor Information Section (last updated: June 28) : Effective June 28, 2023 - Wearing a mask is still required in some areas of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Under additional guidance from the province and the Toronto Region COVID-19 Hospital Operations Table, Sunnybrook is relaxing universal masking in most public areas.

Respiratory Outbreak Update: St. Joseph’s Hospital 5th Floor (posted July 24) : The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) and St. Joseph’s Care Group confirm that the respiratory outbreak (COVID-19) previously declared on July 13 2023 at St. Joseph’s Hospital – 5 North – Geriatric Assessment and Rehabilitative Care has been declared over. The respiratory outbreak (COVID-19), previously declared on July 21, 2023, on 5 South – Geriatric Assessment and Rehabilitative Care remains in effect.

Masking, Essential Care Partner / Care Partner, and Hospital Entrance Update (posted May 23) : As of May 25, 2023: Patients, Essential Care Partners (ECPs) and Care Partners (CPs) are no longer required to wear a mask when entering our Hospital... Masking will no longer be required in public areas like the Cafeteria or Robin’s Donuts. Masks will continue to be available at our entrances for those who wish to use them, or should their symptoms require it... This marks the end of our phased transition out of COVID-19 response and our core response activities have now been integrated into operations where ongoing monitoring will continue.

Masking Changes at Halton Healthcare (last checked Aug 6) : Masks: Patients and visitors have the choice to wear a face mask at Halton Healthcare facilities including the three hospitals – Georgetown Hospital, Milton District Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

Masking Changes at Halton Healthcare (posted June 14) : Halton Healthcare is entering the final phase of a mask-friendly approach and beginning Wednesday, June 14, 2023 you are likely to see even more smiling faces in our facilities. As of Wednesday, it is no longer mandatory for staff, physicians and volunteers to wear a mask during every direct patient encounter at Halton Healthcare facilities including the three hospitals – Georgetown Hospital, Milton District Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital... Halton Healthcare facilities are mask-friendly in all settings and anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so.

Posted July 30, 2023

Outbreaks in Toronto Healthcare Institutions (last checked July 30) Download Outbreaks Report (csv) : Sinai Health System - Hennick Bridgepoint - 9 North, Outbreak Setting: Hospital-Chronic Care, Type of Outbreak: COVID-19, Date Outbreak Began: 2023-07-25, Active: Yes

Support for Visitors (Last Updated: 2023-06-27) : Wearing a mask is required in patient care areas, patient rooms and waiting rooms. Sinai Health is a mask-friendly environment. We support your choice to wear a mask in other spaces... Can I bring my own mask? The hospital will provide you with a medical grade procedure mask when you arrive.

Updated Masking Policy (posted April 24, 2023) : Beginning Monday, April 24, universal masking will no longer be required at SBGHC's hospital sites (Chesley, Durham, Kincardine, Walkerton), however, still recommended for all patients and visitors.

Temporary Emergency Department (ED) Closures – Chesley, Durham, Walkerton (week of July 10, 2023) : Hospitals across Canada and Ontario are facing staffing challenges and South Bruce Grey Health Centre is no exception. We are experiencing an ongoing shortage of physicians, nurses and other health care workers over the summer months. To ensure we are providing safe and quality care to our patients, we will be temporarily reducing overnight services at the Durham hospital emergency department this summer.

News: Closures and/or Reduced Services (posted January 2023-Present) : Durham: 22 Emergency Department cloures, Chesley: 7 closures, Walkerton: 3 closures

COVID-19/RVH Status Update Page (last checked July 30) : RVH will no longer be updating our COVID-19 status.

Patients and Visitors Page (last checked July 30) : Masking is optional in most public areas within RVH.

Posted July 23, 2023

Outbreak status report Page (Updated July 21,2023 at 2:40 p.m.) : Lakeridge Health - Bowmanville, Units Affected: 2E (2 EAST), Type of Outbreak: Respiratory/Direct Contact, Causative Organism: COVID-19, Date of Onset: 10-Jul-23, Outbreak Declared Date: 12-Jul-23, Outbreak Classification: Confirmed

Visiting Us Page (last checked: June 23) : Masking: Medical grade masks must be worn in all areas where patient care is provided. Masking is optional in all other areas.

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

last checked July 23, 2023

[email protected]

416-242-1000 x82256

During Your Stay Page (last checked July 23) : Supporting patient transfers across regions within Ontario. Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of patients and front-line health care teams. As the rate of positivity for COVID-19 remains high across the province, hospitals are facing significant pressures. Currently, we are working as a system with our hospital partners to transfer patients to surrounding hospitals that are able to accommodate a similar level of care in a timely manner. Every effort is being made to keep patients as close to home as possible. By treating hospital capacity as a single system we can collectively ensure equal access for patients and support the stabilization of hospitals in Ontario.

Visitor Information (last checked July 23) : Masking is optional in all other areas, however, we recommend wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible, such as our waiting areas. Please remember: Self-monitor and do not visit if you have COVID-like symptoms. Respect a personal choice to wear a mask anytime and anywhere. Practice social distancing as much as possible.

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

last checked July 23, 2023

[email protected]

905-522-1155 x34952

Your Visit Or Stay Page (last checked July 23) : We thank our patients and visitors for adhering to St. Joe's Infection Prevention And Control policy throughout the pandemic. We appreciate your patience and collaborative partnership in keeping our patients and staff safe. Masks are encouraged for patients and visitors.

COVID-19 Page (last checked July 23) : St. Joe's is caring for vulnerable populations. EVERYONE entering the hospital must follow these guidelines: Masks are encouraged for patients and visitors. Visitors who are feeling unwell should not visit patients. Clean your hands before entering the building and all patient areas.

Posted July 16, 2023

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

last checked July 16, 2023

COVID-19 Page FAQs (last updated: June 16) : Will I be required to wear a face mask while at CHEO? We have two masking zones: mandatory and recommended... Look for signage that indicates when you are entering an area where masks are required.

News Page (Posted on June 1) : CHEO has 2 zones for masking. Following careful consideration and consultation, CHEO is implementing new masking guidelines. Effective Thursday, June 1, 2023, CHEO will have two masking zones clearly identified throughout all CHEO locations: Mandatory: Masking will be mandatory in clinical and waiting areas. Recommended: Masking will be recommended in all other areas of the CHEO.

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

last checked July 16, 2023

[email protected]

519-291-3120 x6206

Changes to Masking and Admission Testing at LWHA (June 15) : Effective Monday, June 19th, 2023, several changes to masking and COVID-19 testing protocols will occur... Masks will be welcome, but no longer required in most clinical areas of the hospital.

Emergency Department Closures (July 14) : As a result of on going health human resources shortages, the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance will have the following Emergency Department closure: Wingham and District Hospital Emergency Department will be temporarily closed from 5am on Sunday July 16th to 7am on Monday Julu 17th.

COVID-19 Page (last checked July 16) : As of July 5, 2023, wearing a mask is optional in most public areas of UHN hospitals. Masks are still welcome in all spaces where they are not required. The choice to wear a mask will be respected and supported... In addition to being optional in public areas like lobbies, elevators, and lounges, masks are also now optional in common spaces on most inpatient units. This includes hallways, at nursing/team stations or communication stations, and in charting, break and meeting rooms.

Read a Q&A with Dr. Susy Hota on updating the mask policy (July 4) : On Wednesday July 5 UHN is updating its masking policy to refine where masks need to be worn and, where they are optional. UHN News invited Dr. Susy Hota, UHN Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control to detail the scope of the changes.

OUTBREAK Banner (Posted on Monday, July 17) : On July 17, Osler’s IPAC department and Toronto Public Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak on 7 East Cardiology at Etobicoke General Hospital.

Visiting Hours Page (last checked July 18) : As we continue to return to normal operations and pre-pandemic practices, Osler has transitioned its masking policy in order to align with other acute care facilities in Ontario. Patients and visitors are no longer required to wear a mask while onsite at Osler with the exception of specific clinical situations. Osler continues to support a mask-friendly environment and encourages masking.

Posted July 9, 2023

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

last checked July 9, 2023

COVID-19 Page Last checked July 9 : Masking is optional in most public areas of the hospital, but remains mandatory in patient areas.. Masking is optional in most public areas of the hospital, including common spaces in clinical areas and waiting areas where patients are not present (e.g., The Larissa Atrens-Mikan Critical Care Family Room and the Family Surgical Waiting Room).

News & Media July 6 : The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Inpatient Unit at its Seaforth Community Hospital site.

COVID-19 Page June 5 : Effective Monday, June 5, 2023 masking will be welcomed, but no longer required in many clinical areas of the hospital.

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

last checked July 9, 2023

COVID-19 Page Last Updated July 6, 2023, 10:00 am: : Current total # of inpatients in the hospital, including the ICU, with confirmed COVID-19 = 9

News Page Published June 8, 2023, 11:55 am : Windsor Regional Hospital is reducing its requirements on masking inside the hospital and updating their essential caregiver (visitor) policy, in compliance with Public Health Ontario guidance. WRH says the updates will generally move both policies closer to pre-COVID era requirements with some limited exceptions. These new policies take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 12, 2023.

Posted July 2, 2023

Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of July 2, 2023

[email protected]

905-521-2100 x75240

June 1 : Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton no longer require patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks at hospital sites... Additionally, healthcare workers will use a tool called Point-of-Care Risk Assessment (PCRA) to assess what personal protective equipment (PPE) they need when interacting with patients. Staff and physicians will consider each individual scenario, including the patient, environment and circumstances to assess what PPE is required for that situation... Masks will continue to be available at all hospital facilities for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be supported in their decision to do so.

Grand River Hospital (Kitchener)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of July 2, 2023

[email protected]

519-749-4300 x2966

Checked July 2 : Wearing a mask makes us smile! Grand River Hospital has eased our masking requirements. Masks are recommended in all areas and will still be available for everyone (team members and guests)...GRH team members will also continue wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, including masks, when a unit is in COVID outbreak, when caring for a patient who is COVID exposed, symptomatic, or as required based on other illnesses. Please feel free to ask any of our team members to wear a mask when caring for you. We are here to care for your well-being and comfort.

Brantford General Hospital & The Willet (Brant Community Health System) (Brantford/Paris)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of July 2, 2023

[email protected]

519-751-5544 x2395

April 27 : On May 1, 2023, Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) will be shifting from a Universal Masking Policy to a Mask-Friendly Policy. This means that patients and families, visitors, employees, professional staff and volunteers will no longer be required to wear a mask within hospital sites... advising that Ontario is considered to be in a 'non-high risk period.'

St. Michael's Hospital (Unity Health Toronto) (Toronto)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of July 2, 2023

June 30 : Masking is mandatory for patients and visitors when they are in close contact with other patients and in waiting areas... While masking is optional in some areas, all are welcome to continue masking in all areas. Masking is optional in the following spaces: All public areas (lobbies, public hallways outside clinical areas, elevators, cafeterias etc.), All hallways in clinical areas where you are not close to patients

Posted June 25, 2023

Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital (Burlington)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of June 25, 2023

[email protected]

905-632-3737 x4949

June 12 : JBH Completes its Transition to a 'Mask-Friendly' Facility. Effective, June 12, 2023, all JBH healthcare workers will be guided by a Point-of-Care Risk Assessment tool to determine the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for safe care for each patient, including masking... Patients and visitors without symptoms can choose to wear a mask in the hospital... JBH respects that masking is a personal choice and supports individual choices on wearing a mask...

The Ottawa Hospital General Hospital (Ottawa)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of June 25, 2023

June 12 : Masks will now be optional in the following areas: Public spaces (hallways, cafeteria, elevators), Non-clinical areas (administrative spaces, meeting rooms), Clinical areas where direct patient care is not provided (nursing stations, unit hallways)... Masks will still be widely available throughout and we encourage visitors and patients to wear a mask in any area they choose.

St. Joseph's Healthcare London (London)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of June 25, 2023

[email protected]

519-646-6100 x61234

June 5 : Effective Monday, June 5, 2023, For patients and visitors to St. Joseph's, this means the following: Masking will be voluntary in the majority of our facilities, with some exceptions... Masks will continue to be available for anyone that prefers to wear one in all settings. Masking continues to be recommended in our clinical areas and waiting rooms. This change in masking is being made as we move towards living with COVID-19...

Current Outbreak : Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care: MV1

Posted June 18, 2023

London Health Sciences Centre (London)

ACTIVE OUTBREAK

as of June 18, 2023

[email protected]

519-685-8500 x58230

June 13 : Alert Level Two Outbreak - Gastrointestinal Illness - University Hospital - Emergency Department

Niagara Health System Welland Hospital Site (Welland)

ACTIVE OUTBREAK

as of June 18, 2023

[email protected]

905-378-4647 x44423

June 12 : Welland Site on Fourth Floor, declared on June 12, 2023

Kingston Health Sciences Centre (Kingston)

MITIGATIONS LIFTED

as of June 18, 2023

[email protected]

1 800 567 5722 x4158

Visitor/Family Presence and Masking policies : Effective Wednesday June 7, masks are no longer mandatory in most areas at the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hôtel Dieu Hospital (HDH) sites, and physical distancing will no longer be required.

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