Essential Care Partners & Visitors

Joseph Brant Hospital is happy to welcome back Essential Care Partners (ECPs) and visitor with some conditions

Joseph Brant Hospital understands the important and invaluable role loved ones play in supporting family members and friends receiving care. At this time, both Essential Care Partners and visitors are welcome at our hospital with conditions. 

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.

What is a visitor? 

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.

Ambulatory Care (Outpatient Clinics)

At this time, Ambulatory Care patients are not permitted to have an ECP or visitor accompany them (limited exceptions apply). Please speak with your healthcare team for full details.

Emergency Department

Non-admitted, Emergency Department patients are permitted to have one (1) ECP with them at a 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-patients may have unlimited ECPs and visitors, but only two (2) may be at the bedside at one time.

ECPs and visitors 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. 

Labour & Delivery / Maternal & Child (Pregnant, in labour or postpartum)

Those who are pregnant, in labour or postpartum may have two (2) ECPs at the bedside at one time (i.e. partner, spouse or doula).  Visitors are not permitted.


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


  • 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 (15 years and under) are not permitted.

  • ECPs and visitors are expected to follow all infection prevention and control (IPAC) guidelines.

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

  • If an ECP or visitor is waiting for another visit to finish, please wait outside the building or in your car.
  • If you are switching with another ECP or visitor, we ask that you go outside to avoid confusion on the inpatient unit floor.
  • Be sure to sign in and out in the Log book (where applicable).

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

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 (2) ECPs or visitors can be onsite at a time.

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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