COVID-19 pandemic information for patients, families and visitors
Please note: Information provided here is subject to change.
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.
Quick Links for this page:
- Coming for your appointment
- Where to get a COVID-19 test
- COVID-19 vaccination
- Important information for patients coming for care
- Information for Urgent Care patients
- Information for ambulatory clinic patients
- Screening at entrances
- Essential designated (caregiver) presence and general visiting
- Help for sexual assault and domestic violence
- Lab test centre
- Family Medical and Dental Centre
- COVID-19 Cases at St. Joseph's
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.
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.
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.
Watch this animated video on what to expect when coming to St. Joseph's:
Where to get a COVID-19 test
If you require a COVID-19 test before your appointment at St. Joseph’s, you will be told well in advance. If you have not been informed, then you do not need a test before coming for your appointment.
For information on testing requirements for visitors to residents in long term care or Veterans Care, see Essential (designated) caregiver presence and general visiting.
COVID-19 testing is done at assessment centres and select pharmacies across the province. For information on the assessment centres in London, including who can get a test and how to book an appointment, visit the London COVID-19 Assessment Centres’ website.
For a list of all locations providing COVID-19 testing, including pharmacies, and who is eligible, visit the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 testing locations website.
The Province of Ontario is responsible for COVID-19 vaccination, including prioritization of Ontarians. St. Joseph’s Health Care London, along with all Ontario hospitals, must follow the provincial vaccination plan. St. Joseph’s is not providing the vaccine to patients at this time. As well, physicians and nursing staff cannot facilitate requests by patients to be prioritized for the vaccine.
For up-to-date information on the vaccine, including the province’s vaccination roll out plan, visit the COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario webpage.
St. Joseph’s is closely monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, which could impact our services as the pandemic evolves. Patients with appointments will be notified directly if there is a change in their appointment. At this time, there are no changes to patient appointments, including surgeries. Patients with appointments should ensure they come to their appointment.
- 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.
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 NOTE: Due to COVID-19 screening at the entrance to the Urgent Care Centre, patients should be appropriately dressed for the weather in case they must wait outside before safely entering the building.
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.
Please note: Patients who are coming to St. Joseph’s from a COVID-19 Lockdown Zone (Grey level) are permitted to attend medical appointments at any of our sites as long as they pass all other screening questions. However, support persons- if coming from a COVID-19 lockdown zone, may not be allowed to accompany patients inside the facility unless the caregiver is an essential part of the outpatient’s visit and must be with the patient during the appointment (i.e. needed to support the patient in the appointment). Essential caregivers for outpatients are only permitted under certain circumstances. Please review the essential caregiver for outpatients information before arriving. Due to some space challenges, clinic staff and physicians may request that ONLY PATIENTS be permitted to enter the clinic and/or exam room.
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.
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 Grosvenor Street parking garage is closed.
Site maps of screening entrances:
- St. Joseph's Hospital - parking is available in the Grosvenor Parking Garage (open 24 hours) or in the Cheapside Garage (5:30 am - 8:00 pm Monday to Friday)
- Mount Hope
- Parkwood Institute Main Building
- Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building
- Southwest Centre
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.
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.
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.
This information is updated when case numbers change.
Last Updated: 01/22/2021 at 11:53 am
Health Care Workers*
|Non-outbreak cases||Outbreak related cases||Non- outbreak cases||Outbreak related cases|
|St. Joseph's Hospital||0||0||1||8|
|Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care||0||2|
|Parkwood Institute Main Building||0||0|
|Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building||0||0|
|Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care||0||0|
Current Outbreak Areas
|All units at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care
• Five deaths have been associated with the Mount Hope outbreak.
An outbreak can be declared in long-term care when there is one positive case of COVID-19. Outbreaks are determined by the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
*Health care workers include staff, physicians, volunteers and students
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.