Essential Care Partners

We've made changes to essential care partner and visitor allowances

As of December 30, Essential Care Partner (ECP) allowances for Inpatients allow only one (1) designated ECP entry in each day from a list of two (2) identified ECPs for the duration of stay.

We have updated our guidelines for ECPs in response to a surge in community transmission of the Omicron variant. The measures are in alignment with actions taken by other hospitals in our region and the Greater Toronto Area to help reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.

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Requirements for entry in to the hospital

All ECPs must :

  • show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (vaccine receipt or enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code and government-issued photo ID) OR show an approved and documented medical exemption in order to enter the hospital.
  • Successfully complete COVID-19 screening assessment by:
    • Scanning the QR code below with your phone, entering code JBH2022 & showing your screening pass to the active screening station (please note that self-screening is only valid for 2 hours), or
    • In person at an active screening station.

Those who fail screening will not be permitted entry. 

ECPs 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 had close contact in the last 10 days with a COVID-19 positive patient or a symptomatic patient under investigation. ECPs will be asked to identify an ECP who has not had close contact with the patient in the last 10 days.

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


Those who are unable to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or valid medical exemption cannot enter the hospital, with very limited exceptions as determined by the care team, such as:

  • Partners of women giving birth
  • Patients at end of life
  • Parents/legal guardians of patients under the age of 18
  • Proof of medical/human rights exemption. 

What is an Essential Care Partner (ECP)?

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.

ECP allowances

Patients receiving outpatient care or services must come alone, with limited exceptions:

Ambulatory Care (Outpatient Clinics)

At this time, Ambulatory Care patients are only permitted one (1) ECP when needed to provide cognitive, emotional or mobility support.

Emergency Department

Non-admitted, Emergency Department patients are only permitted to have one (1) ECP when needed to provide cognitive, emotional or mobility support. 

ECPs are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or an approved and documented medical exemption in order to enter the hospital.

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, ONLY one (1) ECP may be allowed entry in to hospital per day from list of two (2) identified for duration of stay.

In-patient care for patients under 18: Two (2) Parents/legal guardians are permitted at the same time.

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

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 

  • 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.

  • Visiting hours are 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.
  • Visitor screening closes at 7:30 p.m. and entry will not be permitted after this time.

  • Adolescents (18 years and under) are not permitted.

  • Return ECP passes to the screening desk on your way out. 

  • Be sure to sign in and out in the Log book (where applicable).

Personal Protective Equipment

ECPs must wear a face mask during their visit and follow all infection prevention and control (IPAC) guidelines.

ECPs 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 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 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

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 Relations

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