Essential Care Partners & Visitors

Joseph Brant Hospital understands the important and invaluable role loved ones play in supporting family members and friends receiving care. At this time, up to two (2) Essential Care Partners (ECPs) and visitors are permitted access to our inpatient units. 

An ECP is a support person whose presence is considered essential to the safety and well-being of a patient while they are in the hospital. They may advocate for a patient, be part of planning their care while in the hospital/once discharged, assist with eating or bathing, and support in decision making. A visitor has a relationship with a patient and the intent of their visit is most often social in nature and not part of the patient’s health care.

Visiting hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Only two people allowed at a patient’s bedside at any given time - please coordinate your visit ahead of time with the patient and other ECPs/visitors. 
  • Please stay in the patient room with your loved one for the duration of the visit.
  • If you are waiting for another visit to finish, please wait outside the building or in your car.
  • If you are switching with another visitor or ECP, we ask that you go outside to avoid confusion on the inpatient unit floor.
  • Please ensure you Sign in/Sign Out in the Unit Visitor Log book.

  •  Remember to return the pass you were issued on the way out of the hospital so that others are able to visit the patient.

The following visitor limitations remain in effect:

  • Inpatients: Adolescent (15 years and under) ECPs and Visitors are not permitted.
  • Patients who are pregnant/in labour/postpartum: Visitors are not permitted.
When coming to the hospital for ambulatory care, diagnostic imaging or emergency care, only one Essential Care Partner is permitted in special circumstances, such as for patients with cognitive, mobility or language difficulties. 

Additional Information

Choosing Essential Care Partners

Essential Care Partners (ECPs) are chosen by the patient or their Substitute Decision Makers (SDM). ECPs are not required. Not every patient will want or need an ECP.

Documenting Essential Care Partners and Visitors

At this time, the patient or Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) can identify an  unlimited amount of people as ECPs. But, only two ECPs/visitors can be onsite at a time.

ECPs and Visitors will be required to check in and will be provided with a card containing a check-in number that must be returned upon exiting the hospital. 

Coming to the hospital

ECPs and Visitors can not come to the hospital if:

  • they have a fever, new or worsening cough, or any other symptoms of respiratory or other illness 
  • they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, or
  • they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

In those cases, ECPs and Visitors must inform the unit manager or other person in charge so that the hospital can perform contact tracing.

ECPs and Visitors must also:

  • self screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and other illnesses the day before or morning of each visit
  • complete screening for symptoms of COVID-19 and other illnesses by hospital staff at the hospital entrance
  • agree to follow all Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) practices—including:
    • Washing hands frequently and often
    • Wearing a mask properly at all times
    • Using public washrooms
    • Not eating and drinking while in the patient's room
    • Disinfecting phones, tablets and essential items brought on the unit
    • Following instructions from people in the health care team and on the unit
    • Accepting education and coaching from the health care team
    • Reviewing safe donning and doffing procedures before you visit
    • Following public health guidelines in the community such as limiting contacts, wearing a mask and physical distancing

Personal Protective Equipment

ECPs and Visitors must wear a face mask during their visit. ECPs and Visitors may also be asked to wear other personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is required when visiting someone who is placed under contact and droplet precautions (like those with COVID-19). Please review these safe donning and doffing procedures before you visit. 

Eating and drinking

ECPs and Visitors 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. This includes the cafeteria.

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 and Visitors 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

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 and visitors with concerns about our visitor 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 Relations

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