Novel coronavirus update for patients, families and visitors

Donate medical supplies buttonAs the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves around the globe, St. Joseph’s continues to look at 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.

Various measures have been or are being 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.

Planning is ongoing with London Health Sciences Centre, the Middlesex-London Health Unit, and our academic partners on COVID-19 preparedness. Please note: Information provided here is subject to change.

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.

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.

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: 

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
  • 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.

Rescheduling of surgeries and appointments

Several changes in our day-to-day operations are being made to preserve capacity as cases of COVID-19 continue to grow in Ontario. In alignment with the provincial directive, St. Joseph’s Hospital has continued to reduce elective (non-urgent) surgeries and other non-emergent clinical activity. Administrative and physician leaders have been working in partnership to plan for these reductions.

Effective March 30, all elective and semi-urgent surgical cases have been postponed; only urgent and emergency surgeries are proceeding. Surgeries that are being cancelled will be rescheduled as a priority when capacity in the system improves and it is safe to proceed. Any patient whose appointment or procedure is impacted by these reductions, will receive direct communication from their physician to discuss their ongoing care plan.

Outpatient clinic appointments are also being rescheduled. Patients with appointments at St. Joseph’s will be notified directly if there is any change to their appointment. 

  • Some non-urgent visits will be deferred to a later date, and others may be rebooked as a virtual visit. Either way, you’ll be notified in advance if the status of your visit is changing – please be patient during this time of uncertainty. If a virtual visit is appropriate, you’ll be provided with details about how to connect to our virtual care appointment line.
  • A virtual visit means your doctor will use telephone and/or video (if appropriate) instead of a face-to-face visit. While some health concerns can be addressed with virtual care alone, in other cases your doctor may ask you to visit the hospital or another health care facility that will meet your needs.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about virtual visits, please contact your clinical team. 

Services and programs at Parkwood Institute Main Building, Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building, and Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care are also are in the process of ramping down as appropriate and options for virtual care delivery are being explored.

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. 

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

Update on Donations of food and drink

We appreciate the generosity and kindness of those in our community who want to recognize the tireless work of our staff and physicians. Effective April 29, new acceptance guidelines will enable St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation to facilitate in-kind food donations. 
Each donation will be assessed against food safety principles including only accepting items from establishments regulated by Public Health (restaurants and commercial food suppliers) and individually packaged items, while ensuring the distribution of items does not place undue burden on hospital staff. 
Anyone wishing to donate food can email the St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation or call the foundation office at 519-646-6085 (x66085).

Donations of medical supplies

St. Joseph's Health Care London welcomes, and will continue to accept donations of medical supplies. Anyone with medical supply donations for St. Joseph's is encouraged to fill out the online Pandemic Supply Donation form (managed by Healthcare Matterials Management Services) or email for more information.

*Please note that health care workers cannot wear home-made masks. Home-made masks are made of materials that have not undergone testing, have not passed regulatory bodies and cannot therefore be certified as effective and safe in protecting health care workers against hazards in the workplace. Home-made masks cannot be worn by clinicians who are treating patients in our hospitals, and as such we are not able to accept them as donations. 

Temporary reduction in Financial Services business office hours:

Business office hours at all St. Joseph’s sites have been temporarily reduced due to COVID-19 as follows:

Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care
Room Z-021 ext. 65135:
Open Tuesdays from 1 to 3 pm
Parkwood Institute Main Building
Room C2-105 ext. 42474:
Open Fridays from 1 to 3 pm
Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building
Room F2-182- ext. 42474:
Open Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11 am 
Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care
Room C2-216- ext. 49283:
Open Tuesdays from 8:30 - 11:30 am
St. Joseph's Hospital
Room B0-068 - ext. 64249:
Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 am - noon


Volunteer work at across all St. Joseph's sites has been suspended. Until further notice, volunteers in all programs and service positions at all sites have been asked not to report to their positions.

Student nurses and professional practice students

Current nursing student clinical placements and professional practice experiences across St. Joseph's sites are cancelled.

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

Community Assessment Centres in London

London currently has two COVID-19 Assessment Centres, operated by London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and the Middlesex-London Health Unit:

  • one located at Oakridge Arena, 825 Valetta Street in London. (Open Monday to Friday from 11 am to 7 pm. It's now closed on weekends. View the MLHU updated hours notice for more information.)
  • The other is located at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre, located at 656 Elizabeth Street in London. (Open seven days a week from 11 am to 7 pm.)

Assessment Centres are out-of-hospital clinics where people can be seen by a health-care provider, rather than have them visit an Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centre or their family doctor’s office. Ontario’s COVID-19 Assessment Centres are providing medical guidance, will triage individuals, and will determine the next steps in their care as needed. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, this is where you should go. There will be no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 Assessment Centres.

Visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit for more information about the COVID-19 Assessment Centres.

Resources for Care Providers

For reliable information and resources on COVID-19, including information on travel and self-isolation and how to look after yourself, visit: 

Last updated: Thu, 2020-05-14 13:06