If you have an upcoming appointment, please review this important information before coming to the hospital.
Information for patients
All patients and designated visitors and caregivers are now being asked to wear masks when entering the hospital. Wearing a mask will help to reduce the risk of transmission for everyone in the hospital. Thank you for your understanding.
Please do not come to the hospital for a clinic appointment, test or other procedure if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
If you have one or more of these symptoms, call your clinic. Talk to the staff about:
- Whether you need to come to the hospital
- Rescheduling your appointment
- Any concerns you have with delays in your care
You can stay up-to-date about COVID-19 in our region by visiting the Region of Waterloo Public Health website. Information is updated daily.
How is GRH screening potential cases?
- Difficulty breathing*
- Travel to or close contact with someone who has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms
- Close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
*Symptoms will be screened regardless of travel.
COVID-19 testing will continue to run by appointment only as directed by Public Health.
Will my appointments be cancelled?
Some outpatient clinics have been discontinued for at least next 6-8 weeks. Patients that are seen in these outpatient clinics are generally healthy whose condition is deemed as non-life threatening where the service can be delayed without anticipated change in outcomes.
The types of services temporarily discontinued include routine screening and follow-up where it is reasonable to wait until the pandemic is over (eg OBSP screening, adult psychiatric consult clinic).
Patients affected by this service reduction will be directly notified by phone prior to their scheduled appointment to inform them of the change. If we are able to provide services by an alternative means (eg. phone consultations), we will notify patients as soon as possible.
What if I have an upcoming surgery?
GRH has cancelled all elective surgeries. We will continue to provide emergency surgery and surgery for cancer. Other ambulatory clinics like minor outpatients (MOP) and our hip and knee clinic are also closed until further notice. If you have an upcoming surgery, you will receive a phone call about your surgery status. If you haven't received a phone call, please call switchboard at 519-749-4300.
I heard that Ontario is reopening elective surgeries. When will my surgery be rescheduled?
On May 14, the Ontario government announced the beginning of Phase 1 in its plan to re-open the province. Phase 1 includes the careful resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures that had been significantly reduced in accordance with the Medical Officer of Health’s March 15 directive.
The government has also released specific instructions for hospitals about resuming surgeries and procedures. We are working with other hospitals in Waterloo-Wellington to follow those instructions, which include criteria that we have to meet. For example, as a region, we need to ensure we have enough space available for care (ie. patient beds available in all hospitals), and enough of the supplies and medications needed to perform these surgeries.
Because there are many variables involved, we don’t yet know the specific date elective surgeries will resume.
We know that many patients are anxiously waiting to hear about their surgery. We will share information with you as the plan is developed, and when your surgery is rebooked, we will call you to let you know.
What can I expect when I come to the hospital?
We are screening everyone before they come into the hospital buildings. This simply means that when you come to the hospital, staff will ask you why you are at the hospital and if you have any of the above symptoms. In order to do this, we have closed some of the entrances to the hospital, or have reduced access. We caution everyone coming to hospital to maintain a safe 2 meter distance from others. This will be reinforced at the screening locations. If you have an appointment, please plan to arrive earlier than usual.
Everyone will be asked to clean their hands. Patients, designated visitors and caregivers and staff and physicians who work in clinical areas where physical distancing is not possible will be asked to wear a mask.
What if I have symptoms when I come to the hospital?
We will take you to your appointment, where we will talk about options for your care.
Visitors will be turned away if they show any symptoms during the screening process.
Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?
GRH will no longer allow visitors into the hospital. There will be limited exceptions to this restriction.
Since visitors are no longer allowed, how can I connect with my loved one?
None of us wants social distance to become isolating for patients. Our staff will do what they can to help patients and families connect virtually and by telephone.
In an effort to help patients and families connect virtually and by telephone we are now offering free WIFI to our patients and caregivers. This network is “GRH-Guest-Wifi” and is now visible under your wireless settings for mobile devices and tablets.
Patients are encouraged to have their mobile phones with them. We have a limited number of bedside phones available which will be reserved for patients who do not have access to a mobile phone. There will be no charge for their use.
Please speak to your loved one's care team for more information.
General tips to avoid the spread of illness:
Practicing typical hygiene can help:
- Wash your hands often
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs. If you use a tissue, throw it away as soon as possible and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth
- We want everyone to stay safe so whether in hospital, at home or out in the community we remind you to keep a distance of two metres from others.
What should you do if you think you have the novel COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should self-isolate at home until you have been symptom free for 24 hours, or it has been 10 days since you developed symptoms, whichever is longer:
- fever, new cough and/or difficulty breathing (or a combination of these symptoms)
- muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat or runny nose (or a combination of these symptoms)
If you are a having difficulty breathing, or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms, and travel history if this applies.
Avoid contact with others. Please notify Waterloo Region Public Health for instructions before coming to hospital at 519-575-4400. You can take their self-assessment on-line here.
If you are sick and need to come to Grand River Hospital for a scheduled appointment or test, please call ahead to your clinic or department to allow healthcare staff to manage your case appropriately at 519-749-4300.