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 evolves, St. Joseph’s continually reviews 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.
Effective Monday, April 24, 2023, St. Joseph's Health Care London and our partner hospitals in London and throughout the South West Region are introducing new masking policies that align with guidelines released by Public Health Ontario. For patients and visitors to St. Joseph's, this means the following:
- You are no longer required to wear masks in common areas of the hospitals including hallways, cafeterias, elevators, lobbies and foyers.
- You will continue to be asked to wear a mask when in our clinical areas and in direct contact with health care workers, other patients and in waiting rooms.
- Patients with a fever or respiratory symptoms are required to mask in all clinical and non-clinical settings (except if in an inpatient room or bed space). Please note: Children under 2 are not required to wear a mask.
- At Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term and in the Veterans Care Program at Parkwood Institute, the current Ministry of Long-Term Care guidelines are being followed, which continues to require masking indoors in all areas, with some limited exceptions.
- Masks will continue to be available for anyone that prefers to wear one in all settings.
This change in masking is being made as we move towards living with COVID-19. It is part of ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of everyone in our buildings while recognizing changes in the nature of the pandemic and direction from public health experts.
Quick Links for this page:
- Questions asked at screening entrances
- 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 and surgery patients
- Screening at entrances
- Help for sexual assault and domestic violence
- Family Medical and Dental Centre
- COVID-19 Cases and Outbreak Areas at St. Joseph's
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.
Self-screening questions at entrances
Do you have any of the following symptoms:
- Fever (37.8° C or greater) and/or chills
- Cough or barking cough (croup)
- Shortness of breath
- Decrease or loss of smell or taste
- Muscle aches/joint pain
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy/congested nose
- Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
In the last 10 days:
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19, including on a rapid antigen test, or a home base self-testing kit?
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 and provided information on where to get tested. If you have not been informed, then you do not need a test before coming for your appointment.
The Ministry of Health's COVID-19 website provides information on: Ontario's free rapid test kit program and where to obtain rapid tests; and on clinical assessment centres where you can get assessed, tested, and provided treatment options for COVID-19.
Visitors and essential caregivers will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination.
For up-to-date information on the vaccine, visit the COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario webpage. For vaccine eligibility in London-Middlesex, visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit website.
Important information for patients coming for care:
St. Joseph’s is closely monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, which could impact our services. 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 scheduled 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. All patients, residents and essential visitors are asked to self-screen before entry and are provided with masks to wear while in our buildings. Effective April 24, 2023, masking requirements are being relaxed in common areas of the hospitals including hallways, cafeterias, elevators, lobbies and foyers. However, all patients and visitors will continue to be asked to wear a mask when in our clinical areas and in direct contact with health care workers, other patients and in waiting rooms. Masking in clinical areas also continues to be required for staff and physicians. See Information for ambulatory clinic and surgery patients and Screening at entrances.
- Leave plenty of time: Only certain entrances are open for patients and visitors. Patients, residents and visitors will be asked to self-screen for COVID-19 before entering our sites. Masking requirements are changing. Effective April 24, 2023, masking is only required depending on where you are going in the hospital. See above. Signs in the hospital will let you know where masks are required. Please check which entrances you are permitted to enter. See Screening Entrances.
- Our Urgent Care Centre is 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 medical 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.
Information for Urgent Care patients
Do not avoid the 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 or at anytime. Visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit for more information about what to do if you think you have COVID-19. If you have shortness of breath or are unable to catch your breath, call 911.
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 self-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.
Information for ambulatory/outpatient clinic and surgery patients:
Please note: Patients may be accompanied by a family member/caregiver when attending appointments. 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 coming for surgery will receive information and instructions before arriving.
Patients and their accompanying visitors who are attending outpatient appointments will be provided with a mask upon arrival to the clinic 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.
Screening at entrances
All patients, residents and essential visitors are required to self-screen before entering St. Joseph’s sites. At each entrance there is a sign with screening questions to guide you through this process. Before entering you will be asked if you have completed and passed the self-screen. Those who fail screening will not be permitted to enter. All individuals are required to enter through main entrances only. Signs will direct you. Please ensure that you sanitize your hands when entering the building.
Please note: At St. Joseph's Hospital, the tunnel into the hospital from the Grosvenor Street parking garage is available to patients and visitors Monday to Friday, 5:30 am to 3:00 pm. After hours and on weekends and holidays, patients and visitors are directed to Grosvenor Entrance 2.
Site maps of self-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 - 5:30 pm Monday to Friday.)
- Grosvenor Entrance 1 - Zone A: 6 am - 6 pm, Mon - Fri (swipe access available for staff and physicians after hours)
- Grosvenor Entrance 2 - Zone B:
--8 am - 6 pm, Mon - Fri - for Urgent Care and Endoscopy patients only
--6 pm - 8 am, Mon - Fri and 8 am to 4 pm weekends and holidays - for all patients and visitors
(swipe access available for staff and physicians after hours)
- Entrance 3 - Zone B: CLOSED
- Staff Entrance - Zone B: 24/7 swipe access for staff and physicians
- Cheapside Entrance 4 - Zone C: 5:30 am - 8 pm, Mon - Fri
(swipe access available for staff and physicians after hours.)
- Tunnel - accessible from the Grosvenor Street parking garage. Available Monday to Friday, 5:30 am to 3:00 pm. After hours, weekends/holidays, please use Grosvenor Entrance 2.
(swipe access available for staff and physicians after hours.)
- Mount Hope
- Entrance 1 - Zone Z: CLOSED
- Entrance 2 - Zone W (main entrance on Grosvenor): 5 am - 12 am
- Tunnel - accessible from the Grosvenor Street parking garage. Available Monday to Friday, 5:30 am to 3:00 pm. After hours, weekends/holidays, please use the Mount Hope main entrance on Grosvenor Street.
- Parkwood Institute Main Building
- Entrance 1 - Zone A (Day Hospital entrance) open 8 am to 4:15 pm for patients/visitors. Outside these hours, please use Entrance 2, Zone C. (Also open to staff and physicians during these hours.)
- Entrance 2 - Zone C: open 24 hours/7 days a week
- Entrance 3 - Zone B: CLOSED
- Entrance 4, Zone D (Arthur J. Hobbins entrance) open 7:30 am to 5 pm for patients being dropped off for appointments. Outside these hours, please use Entrance 2, Zone C.
(Swipe access available for staff and physicians after hours.)
- Entrance 5, Zone E (Western Counties Wing) open for visitors to the Veterans Care Program and a surveillance testing location from 8 am to 4 pm. (Also open to staff and physicians during these hours.)
- Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building
- Main Entrance - Zone F: open 24 hours/7 days a week
- Southwest Centre
- Main Entrance - Zone C: open 24 hours/7 days a week
Help for sexual assault and domestic violence available 24/7
Do you need help? The pandemic has significantly contributed 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
St. Joseph's Family Medical and Dental Centre on Platt’s Lane is providing care to their patients in-person and virtually. Patients are asked to call to book an appointment to be seen by our care providers during the day. We also offer evening clinic appointments to our patients on a walk-in basis.
Please note: COVID-19 testing is NOT being done at St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre.
Current COVID-19 Outbreak Areas
Parkwood Institute Main Building: 4AN, 5AN
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