COVID-19 pandemic information for patients, families and visitors

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to impact our community and the world, St. Joseph’s has taken all courses of action to proactively limit the spread of COVID-19. Our primary concern is always the health and well-being of our patients/residents and their families as well as our staff, physicians and volunteers.

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Various measures have been put in place at St. Joseph’s in accordance with guidance from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Long Term Care. Below is what patients and visitors can expect when coming to any St. Joseph’s site. This includes: St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Institute Main Building, Parkwood institute Mental Health Care Building, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care, and St. Joseph's Family Medical and Dental Centre.

Please note: Information provided here is subject to change.

Gradual reintroduction of scheduled services

St. Joseph’s is gradually reintroducing scheduled services that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we are still in a pandemic, it may be some time before St. Joseph’s can fully open all services, which will require ongoing patience by our patients.

Coming for your appointment

Patients are being prioritized to ensure those most in need are seen first. Many patients will, unfortunately, continue to experience delays in receiving a face-to-face appointment. However, many programs and services will continue to serve patients virtually wherever possible.

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Important information for patients coming for care: 

You will be notified of your appointment: Patients will be notified directly when their procedure or appointment will be rescheduled. 

  • Please keep your appointment: It’s critical, for their health and safety, that patients do not miss a scheduled appointment. Those who cannot attend their appointment are asked to call their physician’s office or clinic so that the spot can be given to another patient. 
  • Our buildings are safe to enter: Stringent safety practices are in place to protect the well-being of patients. COVID-19 screening is done at entrances, all patients and essential visitors are provided with masks to wear while in our buildings, physical distancing is being maintained in our clinics and throughout our facilities, and specialized cleaning is done before and after each patient visit. See Information for ambulatory clinic patients and Screening at entrances.
  • Leave plenty of time: Screening at our entrances takes extra time. Only certain entrances are open for patients and essential visitors. Patients will be asked to remove their personal masks and gloves prior to entry and provided with a hospital mask. Please check which entrances you are permitted to enter and leave an extra 15 minutes for screening BEFORE your appointment check-in time. See Screening Entrances.
  • Your support person may not be able to come in: We continue to limit the number of people in our building and visitor restrictions remain in place. Patients who arrive for their appointment with a support person should be aware that they may asked to wait outside the building, depending on the patient’s needs.  See Restrictions on visitors/family caregivers.
  • Our Urgent Care Centre is open and safe: St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre is a safe place for individuals requiring care for non-life-threatening illness or injury. It is open 365 days a year and has on-site access to diagnostic imaging and laboratory services. See Information for Urgent Care Patients.
  • Help for sexual assault and domestic violence: St. Joseph’s Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program is available 24/7, virtually and in person. See Help for sexual assault and domestic violence.

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Information for Urgent Care patients

Please be reassured: physical distancing doesn't mean avoiding hospital if you are sick and need care. Attend St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre, or one of LHSC’s Emergency Departments, if you have a serious health concern during the pandemic. However, if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, please go to one of two London Community Assessment Centres.  If you have shortness of breath or are unable to catch your breath, call 911. Visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit for more information about what to do if you think you have COVID-19.

Patients who attend our Urgent Care Centre will be provided with a mask upon arrival and asked to wear it for the duration of their visit. Please do not come to Urgent Care wearing a mask or gloves from outside the facility. Doing so may pose an infection control risk to our patients and staff. Please avoid wearing gloves and use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is located at our entrances.

For more information on where to go for care, including when to go to St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre, versus LHSC’s Emergency Departments, visit our Urgent Care page.

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Information for ambulatory clinic patients:

Patients and their essential accompanying visitors who are attending outpatient appointments will be provided with a mask upon arrival and asked to wear it for the duration of their visit. We ask that you use our masks instead of wearing your own masks when attending your appointment. Please avoid wearing gloves and use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is located at our entrances.

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Screening at entrances

St. Joseph’s has initiated perimeter screening at all sites. This means that entrances to our buildings are restricted and active screening is in place for all staff/physicians, patients, residents and essential visitors. All individuals are required to enter through main entrances only. Signs will direct you. 

All staff/physicians, patients, residents and essential visitors will be actively screened upon entry at each facility. Those who fail screening will not be permitted to enter.

Please note: At St. Joseph's Hospital, the tunnel into the hospital from the Grovenor Street parking garage is closed, and the Cheapside parking garage is closed.

Site maps of screening entrances: 

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Restrictions on visitors/family caregivers

Visiting hours have been reduced and are restricted to essential visitors only. The following visiting hours are in place until further notice, as follows:

  • Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care: Visitors restricted to essential visitors only, between 10 am and 8 pm - On June 11, the provincial government announced in a new release a loosening of restrictions to visitors for long-term care settings. According to the directive, family and friends will be allowed to access Mount Hope beginning June 18, to visit their loved-ones outside, one visitor at a time for each resident. Strict health and safety protocols will be followed, including our infection prevention and control practices. While this is very welcome news we will need your patience as we work through the government’s direction and prepare for the June 18 date. At this time the current visiting restrictions remain in place.
  • Parkwood Institute Main Building: Visitors restricted to essential visitors only. 
  • Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building: Visitors restricted to essential visitors only, between 8 am and 8 pm.  
  • Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care: Visitors restricted to essential visitors only, between 9 am and 9 pm.
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital: Visitors restricted to essential visitors only. 

Essential visitors are those who have a patient/resident who is very ill or requiring end-of-life care. For mental health patients, essential visitors include someone who is considered necessary for the care and comfort of the patient or a substitute decision maker for treatment decisions. Patients are limited to one essential visitor at a time. 

For patients who have outpatient clinic appointments, in rare circumstances when an essential support person is required for special needs, one family member/care giver is permitted to attend with the patient for their appointment and will be screened upon entering the facility. 

Please note that priests, spiritual leaders, and community clergy will be allowed into our facilities for urgent needs only – serious illness and end-of-life situations, as assessed in consultation with medical staff, and in alignment with medical protocols and current visitor restriction policies. 

All individuals must pass screening at main entrances.

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Visitors for veterans and long term care residents

Outdoor visits are now underway for veterans at Parkwood Institute and residents at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care. Veterans, residents and families are being informed of the visiting process and provided instructions specific to their care area. 

For all visitors, stringent safety measures must be followed to keep our veterans, residents, staff and visitors safe from potential exposure to COVID-19. Visits must be arranged in advanced and the visitor must pass screening before the visit, which includes being tested for COVID-19 within the past 14 days, with a confirmed negative result. These measures align with provincial guidelines. 

Visiting guidelines are available to help friends and families know what to expect and how to arrange a visit. 

Virtual visits, which have been facilitated by staff throughout the pandemic, are ongoing for veterans and residents. Please contact your loved one’s care team for more information on virtual visits. 

Download:

 

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Care partner presence and resumption of hospital visitors

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended welcoming patient and family partners, and other visitors, back into the hospital setting. St. Joseph’s is reviewing this information and developing processes and policies. Our patient and family partners will be engaged in co-designing our plans, which will consider all the necessary measures to keep everyone safe. Patients and families will be kept informed.

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Lab Test Centre at St. Joseph's Hospital

People are asked not to come to St. Joseph's Hospital for routine (non-urgent) lab work (blood work, urine testing, stool testing). Your physician can direct you.

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Help for sexual assault and domestic violence available 24/7

Do you need help? The same measures that are helping flatten the COVID-19 curve are contributing to a rise in domestic violence and sexual assault. St. Joseph’s Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program is available 24/7, virtually and in person. A nurse is onsite at St. Joseph’s Hospital at all times who is specially trained to support those who have experienced an acute sexual assault and/or domestic violence, as well victims of human trafficking. Care and support are offered to individuals of all ages, sexual orientation or gender identity – at the time of the assault and in the months following.

There are many options for care. If you need help, call the program at any time, day or night, at 519-646-6100, ext. 64224.

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St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre

St. Joseph's Family Medical and Dental Centre on Platt’s Lane is providing clinically essential care only for patients.  All other patients will be seen over the phone or through videoconferencing. Patients are asked to call to book an appointment. The centre’s evening clinic as well as the Dental Clinic is also seeing urgent cases only. 

Please note: COVID-19 testing is NOT being done at St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre. Patients with significant symptoms (breathing difficulties) should go to the Emergency Department. 

Perimeter screening is underway at St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre. Patients with appointments will be stopped at the front door and screened for COVID-19.

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COVID-19 cases at St. Joseph's

Patients:

  • St. Joseph's Hosptial: 0
  • Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care: 0
  • Parkwood Institute Main Building: 0
  • Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building: 0
  • Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care: 0

Staff:

  • Total number to date: 19

*Note: We conduct contact tracing for every positive individual, and only some cases can be linked to the health care worker role at St. Joseph's or employment elsewhere. 

This information is updated when cases numbers change.

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