Wearing a mask makes us smile!

There has been a detectable increase in COVID-19 activity to varying degrees across the province especially in recent weeks. Locally, GRH & SMGH have begun to see the rise in cases.

GRH and SMGH, along with our regional hospital partners in Ontario Health West, have continued to monitor this data closely in order to inform measures to keep people safe within our hospitals. In response to increased COVID-19 activity, GRH and SMGH will implement the following changes, effective Wednesday, September 27, in alignment with our system partners until further notice.

Team Members & Volunteers

  • Masking is required for team members and volunteers during all direct inpatient and outpatient encounters on entering a room AND when two metres of distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Masks are not required in non-clinical spaces (e.g., nursing stations, hallways, offices, meeting rooms) but continue to be available for anyone who prefers to wear one.

Patients & Visitors:

  • To support our team and for the safety of our patients, we strongly encourage visitors to wear a mask in clinical areas, especially while at the bedside.
  • While masks are not mandatory, we continue to make these readily available for anyone coming to SMGH or GRH
  • We continue to support our patients in asking their care team to mask up if they prefer.
  • Visitors who are experiencing respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms are reminded to stay home and connect with Patient Experience who can assist in facilitating virtual visits.

We can all do our part to stop the spread of illness, and masking is just one tool in our toolkit. Please get your flu vaccine, COVID boosters and always remember to wash your hands often.

Looking for screening? Please scroll down!

Visiting a patient at Grand River Hospital

Visitors and care partners are an essential part of a patient's recovery! Visiting is encouraged while following our guidelines, below.

  • Visiting hours are 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. every day.
  • During outbreaks, visiting may be temporarily suspended. Outbreaks are posted to our website and will be communicated by the patient’s care team.
  • Visiting may also be restricted at times of increased circulation of respiratory viruses in the community, for example during winter flu season. We will update this page with the latest visiting guidelines.
  • Please do not visit if you have respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, or conjunctivitis (pink eye). Visitors and care partners with COVID-19 must wait ten days after their first symptoms before they will be allowed to visit. Please discuss with the patient’s care team in the event of exceptional circumstances.
  • During your visit:
    • Follow instructions from the care team when visiting. They may advise you on appropriate personal protective equipment, hand hygiene, or ask you to step out of the room during patient care tasks, etc.
    • Please do not eat or drink in the patient’s room.
    • As a reminder, smoking or vaping is not permitted on hospital property.

Visiting a patient staying in the hospital (inpatient visiting)

Accompanying a patient to a outpatient clinic visit:

  • One care partner (12+) can accompany a patient to an outpatient visit.
  • Please do not accompany a patient if you are feeling unwell: Take the Self-Assessment.
  • As a reminder, smoking is not permitted on hospital property.

Specific guidelines for some areas are included below:

Day surgery:
  • While the patient is in surgery, the care partner will be asked to wait outside of the hospital.


We recognize that each patient’s circumstance is different and may allow for exemptions to our guidelines. Exemptions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the manager of the area where the patient is receiving care. For more information about this, please call 519-742-3611 and ask to speak to the manager of your loved one’s care area to discuss.

Virtual visiting

In situations where an in-person Care Partner visit is not possible, our staff can support patients and families to connect virtually and/or by phone.

GRH offers free wireless internet (“GrandServe – Free patient Wifi”) inside the hospital to support virtual visiting.

Patients are encouraged to have their mobile phones with them. We have a limited number of bedside phones available which are reserved for patients who do not have access to a mobile phone.

Please speak to your loved one's care team for more information.


Please complete this screening before entering the hospital.

Do you have any of these symptoms of an infectious illness? (new, worsening, and not related to other known causes or conditions)

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches / joint pain
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pink eye
  • Rash

Within the last 10 days:

  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Have you been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed above)?

If your answer is YES:

  • Patients: Clean your hands, put on a mask and tell a member of our team that you answered “yes” to this screening. We will ensure appropriate safety measures are in place while caring for you.
  • Visitors: Please postpone your visit. If you have symptoms, you must wait until:
    • 10 days after you first started experiencing symptoms; AND
    • you do not have a fever; AND
    • your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (48 if you had nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea).

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

Physical Distancing

  • 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.
  • We encourage people to wear masks in our facilities.