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COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions

Due to the continued prevalence of COVID-19 and variants of concern in the community, GBGH continues to restrict visitation to the hospital with the exception of palliative and birthing circumstances, and essential visitors. If you have questions about essential, palliative or birthing visitation for inpatients, please contact the care team on the unit or email

Essential visitors are defined as:

  • Paediatrics/Birthing Unit/OBS – one adult support person in the hospital at a time (no children permitted)
  • Emergency department – only one adult essential support person
  • Exceptions – special circumstances as determined by the care team (e.g. gravely ill or dying patients, other unique situations as determined by the care team)

Essential visitors will be screened, must wash their hands and wear a mask (provided by the hospital) for the duration of their visit.

Emergency Department:

Emergency department patients may have one support person with them if additional assistance is required. Circumstances where support could be required include:

  • Pediatric patients – i.e. children under 18 (one guardian permitted with child)
  • Language barrier (translation required)
  • Mental health/competency/confusion challenges
  • Palliative

Outpatient Visitation:

Patients attending the hospital for scheduled appointments or procedures may have one support person accompany them if the patient requires it for similar reasons as in the Emergency department (listed above).

All permitted visitors will be screened upon entering the hospital. Any visitor who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to not visit. In exceptional circumstances (such as a support person for a woman in labour, a parent/guardian of a child in the Emergency department or a palliative/end of life patient), a visitor who screens positive for symptoms will be reviewed by GBGH’s infection prevention and control practitioner or hospital coordinator prior to entry.

Screening questions include the following:

  • Have you had close contact with anyone with acute respiratory illness OR travelled outside of Ontario in the past 14 days?
  • Do you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR have you had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR are you currently being investigated for COVID-19 (swab collected but not yet received results)?
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • Fever
    • New onset of cough
    • Worsening chronic cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Sore throat
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Decreased or loss of sense of taste or smell
    • Chills
    • Headaches
    • Unexplained fatigue/malaise/muscle aches (myalgias)
    • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
    • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
    • Runny nose/nasal congestion without other known cause
  • Are you 70 years of age or older, and are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
    • Delirium
    • Unexplained or increased number of falls
    • Acute functional decline
    • Worsening of chronic conditions

All visitors must comply with hand hygiene practices, wear a hospital-provided mask and follow physical distancing. Visitors could also be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment as determined by the care team based on a patients’ condition.

Visitor guidelines are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic within the region GBGH serves.

Virtual visitation options are still encouraged where possible (please see below).



In light of visitor restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GBGH is introducing Virtual Visitation through the hospital’s bedside entertainment units. Patients can stay connected to loved ones while in the hospital via Family Chat – a video calling service.

To use the virtual visitation service, please click here –

GBGH understands the impact of contact with family on patients’ quality of life so the hospital has dedicated a staff member to assist patients and families with use of the service Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For assistance using the virtual visitation service, please email

The hospital anticipates having this service continue beyond the pandemic for loved ones who are unable to visit.