So if you’re unvaccinated and trying to visit someone in the hospital, you may not be able to unless it falls under an “exceptional circumstance.”
The hospitals under the umbrella of University Health Network, Sunnybrook Hospital and Unity Health announced that as of December 21, all visitors will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to visit patients, unless they qualify for an exception, and most will require visits to be scheduled or pre-approved.
Common exceptions to the fully vaccinated visitor requirement are for patients who are under 18, if a patient is giving birth, or if a patient is close to death however, each hospital has varying rules.
University Health Network
All visitors coming to UHN, which includes Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and Princess Margaret must be pre-approved, and only one Essential Care Partner will be allowed to visit per day unless they qualify for two Essential Care Partners due to age or “intellectual disability.”
Patients who are staying under seven days will not be permitted visitors.
Unity Health which covers hospitals such as St. Micheal’s Hospital, Providence Healthcare and St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto, will only be excepting scheduled visits for patients staying “longer than 7 days.”
If a patient is staying for a longer duration, they will only be able to have two essential care partners listed, and only one will be able to visit every 24 hours for up to three hours.
Alongside tighter visitor rules, Unity Health announced in a press release on December 20 that they will be pausing all “all non-essential ambulatory care and surgical procedures,” and non-essential ambulatory visits will be moved to virtual appointments when possible.
Sunnybrook Hospital announced that admitted patients will be allowed “one fully vaccinated designated essential care partner visit each day during regular visiting hours.”
However, individuals coming in for an appointment or procedure must have a “significant need” to have a pre-approved visitor.
The Ottawa Hospital
Over in Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital is also tightening restrictions for visitors “as part of the hospital’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.”
Currently, all visits must be scheduled, and a patient may only have two fully vaccinated visitors listed, but only one of them can visit in a day. Although if one of the visitors register as an Essential Care Partner, they will be able to visit even if another visitor is present.
Although The Ottawa Hospitals has no strict rules against visitors for outpatients, if they do want to bring a companion, they must be “a fully-immunized Essential Care Partner,” and space limitations may not allow for them to wait in waiting rooms.