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).

Along with mandatory masking for all visitors, other infection control precautions including hand hygiene and physical distancing remain in place at KHSC.  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/Watches due COVID-19.  A Watch is a form of heightened COVID-19 surveillance and is declared when a single case of COVID-19 is detected on a unit. An Outbreak is declared when two or more cases are acquired in the same hospital unit/area.  In both instances, restrictions will apply to admissions and visitors to the unit. 

  • August 4, 2022 - COVID-19 outbreak declared on Davies 5:   Only essential visitors are allowed at this time.
  • August 10, 2022: COVID-19 outbreak declared on Kidd 7.  Only essential visitors are allowed at this time.

INPATIENTS

Admitted patients may register THREE approved Visitors, with TWO Visitors present at a time.  Patients can speak with their care team to identify their Visitor(s).  Visiting hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Unvaccinated Visitors must complete a negative rapid antigen test and pass screening each time they arrive at the hospital.

Visitors must remain masked at all times, including at the bedside.  Visitors may not eat or drink in a patient room or visit anyone other than the patient they are registered to visit. Staff may inform the registered Visitor of a 3-hour time limit as required to support safe patient care.  Registered 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 exceptions in the following circumstances:

  • Patient on quarantine:  No Visitors allowed until quarantine is cleared.
  • Imminently dying person (including pediatric patient or neonatal death):  May have 2 registered Visitors at a time (maximum 6 registered)
  • Imminently dying person who is COVID positive:  May have 2 registered Visitors at a time (maximum 6 registered)
  • Patients on day of surgery:  May have 1 Visitor the day of surgery
  • People in Labour & Delivery: 
    • Vaginal deliveries & C-section deliveries:  May have 2 fully vaccinated or unvaccinated support partners (latter require a negative rapid antigen test)
    • Outpatient/emergency visits to Labour & Delivery:  May have 1 vaccinated or unvaccinated support partner
  • Babies in the NICU:  May have 2 vaccinated or unvaccinated registered Visitors; only 1 Visitor permitted during visiting hours with N95 and negative rapid antigen test required regardless of vaccination status
  • Pediatric patients (including patients in the child and youth mental health unit):  May have 2 registered Visitors (parents/guardians) at a time 
  • 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 and/or vaccination requirements.

OUTPATIENTS

Patients coming for outpatient services may be accompanied by ONE (1) Caregiver. A Caregiver does not need to be registered or show proof of vaccination; 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.
    • 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.