At Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients, staff and community at large. We know that vaccinations help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thus, effective Tuesday, October 26, 2021, all MGH visitors will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (defined as having a full series of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine plus a minimum of 14 days passed) OR an approved and documental medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccination, along with government-issued photo I.D., in order to enter the hospital. Visitors who are fully vaccinated but do not have proof on them may request assistance from a staff member at the main entrance.
This temporary requirement will not apply to patients. No patients will be denied care or service due to their vaccination status.
Exceptions to the proof of vaccination requirement will be made for people visiting:
- patients at imminent end-of-life
- paediatric patients (patients under the age of 18)
- patients with a significant developmental or intellectual disability
- patients in labour and delivery (one unvaccinated essential caregiver permitted)
Visitors who meet these exception criteria are advised to contact the patient’s care team to discuss visiting options.
Patients attending an outpatient appointment at MGH may be permitted to bring one (1) escort if they:
- require mobility support
- require communication and/or translation support
- have a cognitive impairment or a significant developmental/intellectual disability
- are under the age of 18 (paediatric patient)
Escorts must be fully vaccinated. One (1) unvaccinated escort may be considered if required and if approved by the clinic. Please speak to the clinic prior to the appointment to discuss support person options.
All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to follow our visitor guidelines when in the hospital including passing COVID-19 screening, wearing a mask at all times, maintaining social distancing and following rules about visiting hours.
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated, who do not have a medical exemption and who do not meet exception criteria will not be able to visit in-person.
For more information about this policy, please see the F.A.Q. below. For more information about visiting at Michael Garron Hospital, click here.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Why is Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for visitors?
As a hospital, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to protect our patients, staff and the community. Throughout the pandemic, MGH has put measures in place to protect all those entering the hospital. This policy will help us further protect all those who seek care and/or work at MGH.
- What does “fully vaccinated” mean?
Fully vaccinated means having received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada (e.x. two doses of a two-dose vaccine series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series) 14 days prior to your visit.
- I am not fully vaccinated and am unable to visit a patient at MGH. What do I do?
If you are not fully vaccinated and would like to visit a patient at MGH, you may:
- Request an appeal with Patient Relations at @email or at 416-469-6096.
Appeals are granted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the patient’s needs.
- Schedule a virtual visit through our Video Family Visits Program.
- Consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines can be booked at tehn.ca/VaccineAppointment or can be obtained by walk-in at one of our COVID-19 Outreach Centres.
- I’ve had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Can I still visit a patient at MGH?
If you are partway through your vaccination series, or have other vaccine considerations (e.g. received vaccines not approved by Health Canada), our Patient Relations team will work with you through the appeals process. If you would like to request an appeal, please contact Patient Relations at @email or (416) 469-6096.
- I am visiting with a child under the age of 12. What happens to them?
As children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination, they are exempt from this requirement and will follow our normal process for visitor approval by the patient’s care team.
- I’m fully vaccinated but don’t have my proof of vaccination. What do I do?
If you have received your COVID-19 vaccine but do not have proof of vaccination, you can retrieve your confirmation receipt by visiting covid19.ontariohealth.ca and following the step-by-step instructions. This website works with most modern browsers on desktop and mobile devices.
If you do not have a valid health card, please call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. This line is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.
Staff will also be available in the Coxwell lobby to help retrieve proof of vaccination for those who need it.
- Can I provide proof of a negative COVID test in place of full vaccination?
MGH will not be accepting proof of negative PCR or rapid antigen tests in place of COVID-19 vaccination records for entry at our hospital. This aligns with the approach to mandatory vaccination in place at other public places in Ontario.
- Will there be additional precautions required for visitors who are not fully vaccinated but have been given an exception to enter the hospital?
In alignment with MGH’s infection prevention and control (IPAC) standards, ALL visitors must wear a mask at all times, practice proper hand hygiene and maintain physical distancing at all times.
Unvaccinated visitors will specifically be expected to go directly to and from the unit, and not visit any other areas of the hospital except to use the bathroom.
- Will visitors who are not fully vaccinated be able to enter the hospital for compassionate reasons?
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated but would like permission on compassionate grounds may request an appeal with Patient Relations. Similar to our current process for addressing exceptions to the Essential Visitor policy, the Patient Relations team will work with the visitor and clinical team, on a case-by-case basis, to explore the patient’s needs and alternative options. These decisions will not be made by the Screening Team at the hospital entrance.
Individuals who would like to request an appeal can contact Patient Relations at @email or (416) 469-6096.
- How will MGH ensure there is an equitable approach to visitor vaccination requirements?
MGH serves a diverse community and is committed to working with visitors to best meet the needs of our patients and community. MGH will maintain as much flexibility and support as possible through our appeals process to support patient care needs.
- Will MGH be allowing patients to have more visitors, since only vaccinated visitors will be able to come to the hospital after October 26?
The proof of vaccine requirement will not impact the number of visitors permitted per patient. MGH will continue with the safety protocols already in place. Most in-patient units will continue to book visits during regular visiting times. Please check with a patient’s care team to learn about the specifics visiting details on their unit.