Visitor and Family Presence Restrictions

KHSC respects and values family (as defined by the patient) as integral partners in providing excellent patient care.  Our family presence policy allows for the presence of both “Visitors” (to support admitted patients) and “Caregivers” (to support patients coming for outpatient services).

Visitors are not required to show proof of vaccination or perform rapid antigen testing. 

Masking is mandatory at KHSC, and critical infection control precautions including hand hygiene and physical distancing, when possible, remain in place.  Families and visitors who are unwell are asked to avoid visiting or accompanying patients at both KHSC hospital sites.

Before you visit please aware of declared Outbreaks due COVID-19.  An Outbreak is declared when two or more cases are acquired in the same hospital unit/area.  In the event of an Outbreak, restrictions will apply to visitors to the unit.  Click here for current information on COVID-19 outbreaks at KHSC.

INPATIENTS

Admitted patients may have TWO Visitors present at the bedside at a time.  Visiting hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Visitors must remain masked at all times, including at the bedside.  Visitors may not eat or drink in a patient room. Staff may inform the Visitor of a 3-hour time limit as required to support safe patient care.  Visitors, including those who actively participate in a loved one’s essential care, are invited to complete this brief information session to learn more about protecting themselves, their loved ones, other patients and staff against the spread of COVID-19. 

Patients can also stay in touch with others through Virtual Visits. Click here to learn more about this free service and to request a Virtual Visit.  

Please note the following:

  • Patient on quarantine:  No Visitors allowed until quarantine is cleared.
  • Patients on day of surgery:  May have 1 Visitor the day of surgery
  • People in Labour & Delivery: 
    • Vaginal deliveries:  May have 2 fully vaccinated or unvaccinated support partners
    • C-section deliveries:  May have 1 fully vaccinated or unvaccinated support partner in the OR and recovery area
    • For both vaginal and C-section deliveries:  Rapid antigen tests will be available on the Labour & Delivery unit for support partners to access if they are concerned about a recent exposure or consider themselves high risk for any other reason.  The test is discretionary and can be done on site.  Please speak to your care provider.

    • Outpatient/emergency visits to Labour & Delivery:  May have 1 vaccinated or unvaccinated support partner.
  • Babies in the NICU:  May have 1 vaccinated or unvaccinated Visitor at a time during visiting hours. Rapid antigen tests will be available on the Labour & Delivery unit for support partners to access twice weekly for surveillance testing. The test can be done on site or at home.  Please speak to your care provider
  • Patients on day of discharge:  May have 1 Visitor (family phone meeting is still an option if required)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Patients and families should speak to members of their care team for guidance about exceptions.

OUTPATIENTS

Patients coming for outpatient services may be accompanied by ONE (1) Caregiver. The person must pass screening and remain masked throughout the visit.  Family presence may be restricted as required in some areas due to physical space limitations and high patient volumes.

Please note exceptions in the following circumstances:

  • Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre patients:   May be accompanied by 1 Caregiver.  These areas are extremely busy with high volumes, which can quickly result in physical crowding.  Care teams have discretion to restrict family presence as needed in the interests of safety and patient care.
  • Pediatric outpatients:
    • Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre:  May be accompanied by 2 Caregivers (parents/guardians). 
    • Mental Health & Addiction Care:  May be accompanied by 2 Caregivers (adults/guardians)
    • Booked Children's Outpatient Centre visits:  May be accompanied by 2 Caregivers (adults/guardians)
    • Urgent (walk-in) Children’s Outpatient Centre visits: May be accompanied by 1 Caregiver.  A second Caregiver may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. Speak to a screener on your arrival to request this.
    • Diagnostic Imaging:  May be accompanied by 1 Caregiver.  A second Caregiver may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Cancer Centre/Renal program:  May have 1 Caregiver attend with the patient.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are these changes permanent?
We continue to monitor numerous factors including COVID-19 prevalence in the community and to update and expand visiting when we can do so safely.  Patient advisors provide advice and input into all family presence (visitor) policies.

Are there other ways my family can stay in touch with me?
If you have a cell phone or other device, we encourage you to stay in touch with others and between visits through phone calls and virtual visits.  If you need help with this, we have a free Staying Connected program where a trained staff member or volunteer will bring a cleaned, charged device to a patient and help facilitate a virtual visit.

I am scheduled for surgery.  How many Visitors can come to the Day Surgery area?
Due to the limited space, only one Visitor may escort a patient to surgery. If you are an inpatient, your other registered Visitors can see you when you are back in your room.

As a Visitor, how can I help protect myself and others from infection?

  • Wear a mask at all times over the nose and mouth, including when visiting at the bedside and even when fully vaccinated. 
  • Only use public washrooms (located in the main lobby or on each floor), not patient washrooms.
  • Do not eat or drink in patients’ rooms.
  • Do not visit any other areas of the hospital when you are here to see your loved one.