Update on visitor restrictions at Grand River Hospital – Visiting coming soon

We know how important it is for patients to have family and friends by their side to support their care and recovery. Back in March, we restricted visitors from coming to the hospital except under exceptional circumstances to reduce the risk of spreading illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are accommodating visits with *Care Partners in many areas of the hospital. We are proceeding cautiously, by appointment, ONE Care Partner visitor at a time per patient and with infection prevention and control protocols in place to support the health and wellness of all.

Many people are anxious to get back to normal; we are too. As we resume more services and increase surgeries, we are also working to be able to safely accommodate visitors at the hospital. This planning will be ongoing and will consider the number of COVID cases in our community, protocols that are designed to keep everyone safe and healthy and our overall patient volumes.

We’re not quite ready yet, but are hoping to share visitor processes soon.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns at patient.feedback@grhosp.on.ca. In the event it is helpful for you to have more information, below are answers to some commonly asked questions.

*Care partners are individuals identified by patients as being essential for their well-being and providing direction on their care, whose presence enhances their stay and contributes positively to their overall healing process. By contrast, visitors are people wanting to provide well wishes. Visitors are not yet allowed to come into the hospital.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions we’ve received. We will continue to add to this list.

Am I required to wear a mask when I enter the hospital?

Yes. All patients and designated visitors and caregivers, and staff and physicians who work in care areas are required to wear masks when they enter the hospital, and in clinical areas where physical distancing is not possible.

Can I visit if I wear my own mask?

At this time, no. Care partners can visit by appointment only and must wear a hospital-provided mask. When we are able to have visitors come into the hospital, we will also ask that they wear a hospital-provided mask. This is because we are not able to tell if masks that are sourced elsewhere have the same level of protection that our hospital grade masks provide.

I believe I qualify as an “exceptional circumstance” and should be allowed inside the hospital to accompany, or visit my loved one.

If you believe this is the case, speak with your loved one’s care team to have your status reviewed. If you have had your status reviewed and disagree with the outcome, please contact our patient relations department at patient.feedback@grhosp.on.ca.

I have an appointment at a hospital clinic. Can my friend/family accompany me?

No, not unless they are considered a "designated support person" and you have arranged this with the clinical area ahead of time. Most clinic area spaces are smaller and cannot easily support additional people and physical distancing. Please make arrangements with the clinic you are visiting before your scheduled appointment.

I believe I qualify as a care partner. How can I be allowed to visit?

Staff are working with patients in areas where we can accommodate visiting to identify one care partner that can attend a scheduled visit. As we work through this process, staff will reach out by phone to discuss options with that individual. If you have questions, you may contact the care area of your loved one to discuss further

When will you allow visitors back at the hospital?

This is coming soon. We are working through processes with each area of the hospital to ensure that we have protocols and supports in place to accommodate visitors and ensure the health and wellness of all.

If long-term care homes can accommodate visitors, why can’t you?

Many long-term care homes have been able to invite visitors to see their loved ones outside. This isn’t always possible in the hospital. Currently, we are still trying to reduce the number of people coming into our buildings to reduce the spread of illness to our staff and patients.

I have a surgery and was told to arrange for a family or friend to drive me home. Can they come into the hospital with me?

No. Staff will call your ride to let them know that you are ready and arrange a time to meet at the main entrance. Surgery staff will bring patients to the main entrance and outside the hospital where your ride will be waiting.

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.

Are you hiring health care workers to assist with COVID-19 response?

Yes! We are currently hiring nurses (RNs and RPNs) as well as other health care workers. Please click here for more information on how to apply.


With the new COVID-19 restrictions who’s allowed to be with the mother during childbirth?

Expectant mothers are allowed one (1) designated support person that is healthy.

Is my midwife allowed as well as my partner?

Whether you have a doctor or a midwife, he or she is your health care provider and you are still allowed your 1 designated support person.

Please note: Doulas will not be permitted in the hospital unless chosen as the designated support person by the patient.

Would my mom and my partner be allowed to switch back and forth as my designated support person?

No, you are allowed one designated support person. Support people will be screened for COVID symptoms every time they enter the hospital. No other visitors will be permitted into the hospital. We also ask that you please plan ahead and bring everything to the hospital that the both of you will need for your entire stay to reduce the amount of times people come back and forth through the hospital.

What happens if my designated support person is sick/fails the screening?

They will not be permitted in the hospital. They will need to stay home and a healthy individual may be your support person.

What happens if I’m sick?

You will be cared for in isolation in the hospital.

Am I required to wear a mask while giving birth?

Yes. All staff, patients, and designated caregivers/support person are now required to wear a mask while in hospital. If you are unable to keep your mask on while giving birth, your care team will need to apply additional personal protective equipment.

Where can I get more information about having a baby at GRH?

Please visit our Childbirth program webpage.

Paying a bill

I need to pay a hospital bill. How do I do this if I am not allowed into the hospital?

Our patient accounts office in the Kaufman Building is now closed. Please contact our patient accounts team at the following numbers to arrange payment or for general inquiries:

General Inquires: Ext 2352

Payments by Credit Card: Ext 7082

Payment Arrangements: Ext 3718