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Information for patients

Temporarily suspending all non-urgent programs and services

Following Provincial Directive #2 for Health Care Providers, GRH is temporarily suspending all non-urgent programs and services to further support our ongoing operations and COVID-19 response.

This means that only surgery, medical procedures, diagnostic imaging and ambulatory clinical activity that is urgent and emergent in nature will take place at this time.

You will be contacted directly by Grand River Hospital or your physician’s office should your surgery or procedure need to be rescheduled as a result of Directive #2.

Important information for patients admitted to GRH during the omicron surge

This is a time of great concern as we work through the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. Medical staff and equipment are limited across Ontario and all hospitals were mandated on January 14, through Directive 2.1 by the Ontario Government, to share resources in order to help the most people possible. We are providing this information so that you can prepare for what MAY lie ahead for you during your stay at GRH.

What does this mean to you and your loved ones?

  • you may be in the emergency department much longer than usual before being transferred to the floor.
  • you may be transferred within the hospital during your stay depending on your needs and the needs of other patients.
  • we may need to move you to another hospital within Ontario at some point to ensure everyone can receive the care they need.

Due to the highly transmissible nature of Omicron, and being in a hospital setting with many staff and patients, there is increased opportunity for exposure to the virus. We will continue to take every precaution to protect you, and our staff, with proper air ventilation, surface disinfection and personal protective equipment like masks and visors. Please continue to wear a mask while in hospital as a patient.

We are sorry that you are experiencing health concerns that require you to be in hospital during this time. We want to assure you our staff and physicians are ready to help and do all we can to contribute to your recovery. If you have any questions or concerns, our Patient Relations team is here for you. You can reach them at patient.feedback@grhosp.on.ca or 519-749-4300 x 2966.


If you have an upcoming appointment, please review this important information before coming to the hospital.

Everyone entering the hospital will be provided with a hospital approved 3-layer mask to wear. 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:

  • Fever
  • New or worsening cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Any new and unexpected symptoms

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.

Patients transferred to GRH for care

Grand River Hospital has a number of services in place to support the diverse needs of patients who visit us for care.

Spiritual and Cultural Care

Grand River Hospital offers a comprehensive spiritual care program, supporting diverse spiritual needs of patients and their families. We believe that spiritual practices are important to healing.

At admission, patients are asked if they identify with a particular faith group or cultural tradition, and whether they have any spiritual, religious or cultural needs that are important for us to know about to better support their care.

Members of the spiritual care team can be contacted for support through a patient’s care team, or patients and families may call 519-749-4300, ext. 2142.

For more information, click here to download our patient education resource.

Special Diets

Grand River Hospital is able to accommodate a variety of diets to support a patient’s health, and faith and cultural needs. Our system allows us to create many diet combinations and enables the team to customize diets in collaboration with patients, families, dietitians and diet technicians.

Translation Support

Grand River Hospital has secured the support of MCIS Language Services which offers interpretation and translation of 300+ languages. Hospital staff are able to pre-book over-the-phone support for upcoming appointments, or call to request immediate phone interpretation support.

We value the diverse needs of patients, families and those in our community. For more information, or questions, please email us at info@grhosp.on.ca.

Visiting

Please review our current rules for care partner visiting.

General information

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 metre 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 and wear a hospital-provided 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.

Approved care partners are invited to support a patient's care, visitors, or general well-wishers are currently being restricted at this time.

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.

Please continue to check this webpage, and the GRH Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.

If I'm admitted to the hospital during this time, what do I need to know?

The safety of our patients and staff is always our number one priority. If you have plans to be in hospital, or are admitted to hospital, during this time, there are a few things you can do to help keep yourself and staff safe from exposure to COVID-19.

Here are some tips:

  • Please bring an up to date list of your medications, your pharmacy contact information and allergies to the hospital
  • Share your medication list with a trusted emergency contact in case you are unable to provide a list during admission
  • Please bring your phone and charger as hospital staff may want to communicate with you via phone whenever possible to collect/share medical information such as collecting medication lists and providing discharge counselling. This is to help minimize the amount of time staff are going in and out of your room to preserve personal protective equipment like masks, gloves, and gowns.

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.
  • Wear a mask.

What should you do if you think you have COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild - like the flu and other common respiratory infections - to severe. The most common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

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.

You can use the Ontario self-assessment on-line here. The screening tool will help determine if you need to seek care, or testing, based on your symptoms. Follow the instructions in the tool. If you are directed to get a COVID test, click here to book a same-day appointment.

If you are experiencing symptoms, you must self-isolate at home while awaiting your test results or until you meet the criteria provided in the tool if you do not require testing. You will be advised to continue self-isolation depending on your test result, your exposure, travel history and/or as directed by Public Health. Please notify Waterloo Region Public Health for instructions before coming to hospital at 519-575-4400.

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.