Essential Care Partners

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Services offered Monday to Friday (excluding holidays), 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. using Zoom. 

Essential care partner and visitor allowances

Updated July 13, 2022

We have updated our guidelines for ECPs in response to key public health and health system indicators continuing to improve. Our ECP guidelines are evolving and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure our commitment to quality and safe patient care.

For information related to Having a Baby, Neonatal Intensive Care or Paediatrics please click here.

On this page

Requirements for entry in to the hospital

Effective, May 1, all ECPs must:

  • Wear a medical-grade face mask when entering the hospital and in all areas where patients may be, including waiting rooms, elevators, and hallways, and follow all infection prevention and control (IPAC) guidelines. Learn more about our safe masking guidelines here.
  • Complete COVID-19 self-screening before entering the hospital with the following questions:
    • Do you have new or worsening:
      • Cough or shortness of breath
      • Unexplained diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
      • Fever
      • Sore throat
    • In the last 10 days, have you or anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19?
    • Are you a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Those who fail self-screening should not enter the hospital, with very limited exceptions.
  • Children 18 years and under may visit loved ones in hospital under adult supervision, while wearing a face mask, if two years or older and passing the COVID-19 self-screening.    

ECP allowances

Ambulatory Care (Outpatient Clinics)

At this time, Ambulatory Care patients are permitted one (1) ECP to accompany them to an appointment.

Emergency Department

Non-admitted, Emergency Department patients are permitted to have one (1) ECP at their side at any time.

Depending on the number of people in the Emergency Department and the ability to maintain social distancing, ECPs may be asked to leave temporarily.  

Inpatient Care

In inpatient areas, two (2) ECPs are allowed at the bedside at the same time. This can include two adults or one adult and one child.

ECPs must stay in the patient room with their loved one for the duration of the visit. 


ECPs may be permitted during your surgery—please speak with your health care team for full details.

Visiting hours 

  • Visiting hours are 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.
  • Please note that the South Tower and Pedestrian Bridge entrances close at 9 p.m., 7 days a week. For entrance into the hospital after 9 p.m., please use our Emergency Department or North Tower entrance. See map.

Eating and drinking

ECPs are not permitted to eat or drink while in the patient room. Food and beverage must be consumed in designated areas of the hospital while ensuring social distancing. 

If you are bringing in food or beverage for the patient, please ensure it is individually packaged. Do not share. Discard waste and leftovers immediately after consuming.


ECPs are not permitted to use washrooms in patient rooms. Please use the public washroom on Level 1.

Personal items for patients

Approved personal items can be dropped off to screeners at the South Tower Main Entrance from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Please pack them in a clear plastic bag.

We will confirm the patient's name and room number on arrival, before delivery. 

Approved personal items

  • Books, magazines, puzzle books
  • Clean clothes 
  • Electronics: cellular phone, tablet
  • Medications
  • New unused toiletries 
  • New unused grooming items: toothbrush, comb, hair brush, and razor
  • Photos 

Unapproved personal items 

  • Decorative arrangements: balloons, edible and floral 
  • Food
  • Jewelry 
  • Vitamins, supplements and over the counter remedies

Video Visits

Wherever possible, families and loved ones are encouraged to connect with patients virtually. 

If you wish to arrange a video visit with a patient, please complete a video visit request form. A member of our team will work with you and the patient to facilitate the call. 

This service is provided Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. using Zoom. Appointments must be booked more than 24 hours in advance. All calls are limited to 20 minutes. Wherever possible, please try to meet as a group. 

Your visit may be cancelled or re-scheduled without notice due to patient deconditioning, care or refusal.  

We will do our best to accommodate all requests.

Additional information

Keeping you connected

Wherever possible, patients are encouraged to connect with their loved ones by telephone or by video. To help keep you connected, we are offering free telephone and Wi-Fi to patients.

Sharing your feedback

Patients with concerns about our ECP policy are asked to share this information with their health care team so that they can work with you to meet your needs.  If further support is required, please contact Patient Experience Office

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