Visitor Protocols

Effective December 23, 2020:
Essential Visitors

As part of our ongoing commitment to safety as well as our responsibility to align with provincial health measures, we are currently only permitting essential visitors at Ontario Shores.

As essential visitor is defined as a:
• visitor for a patient who is dying or quite ill
• parent/guardian of an ill child or youth with a maximum of one visitor per patient per day

All visits must be prescheduled and approved by the Administrative Director. We ask visitors to call in to the patient care unit before visiting.

Visitors will be actively screened upon entry to the hospital.

All other visitors are encouraged to connect with patients by phone or other technologies as available.

Thank you for your assistance for your assistance and understanding.

Effective November 18, 2020: 

Ontario Shores is pleased to welcome back visitors.  As we continue to work to provide the safest environment possible, we are implementing a number of safety and infection control practices to keep visitors, patients and staff safe.

Each unit will be permitted to have one visitor at a time during one of the 3 designated time slots (10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) to allow for proper cleaning of the visitor room between visits. Visitors can also have their name added to a Short-Notice Visitor List that is being maintained on each unit. Names on this list will be contacted the morning prior to the visiting times that are available the following day to be offered the available appointment times Please connect with the unit for more information or to have your name added to that list.

All visitors will be required to adhere to the following:

  • Book an appointment with the unit in advance of your arrival.  Only visitors with a scheduled appointment will be permitted to visit their loved one.
  • Healthy and have no symptoms of COVID-19
  • Participate in the screening process at the hospital entrance prior to proceeding to the unit
  • Use a mask provided by Ontario Shores upon arrive at all times when inside the building
  • Participate in hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and maintain a physical distance of 2 metres at all times
  • Only one visitor is permitted at the assigned time and the visit must take place in the designated on unit visitor room or the unit courtyard
  • Respect time frame established for the visit and follow safety and infection control instructions provided by staff
  • Sign in and sign out at the unit

If these conditions are not followed, staff may ask you to discontinue your visit.

If you would like to book a visit with your loved one, please contact the unit directly.

Important Message for Visitors to a Geriatric Unit (GDU, GPU or GTU)
Ontario Shores is currently following the Provincial requirements and guidance around visits to Long-Term Care facilities as this population has been identified as most vulnerable.

The Province has updated its visitor policy for long-term are homes for areas that have higher community spread of COVID-19. The changes apply to public health regions in the Orange-Restrict and Red-Control levels of the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework which includes Durham Region.

For our Geriatric Program, Ontario Shores is implementing these changes as we do everything we can to keep our patients and staff safe.

Effective November 18, 2020:

General Visitors will not be allowed.

Only essential visitors may visit.

Essential visitors are individuals visiting a very ill or palliative patient.

Essential visitors who meet this definition will be required to attest to the unit staff that you have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous 2 weeks and have not subsequently tested positive.

For more information about visiting your loved on in our Geriatrics Program, please reach out to the clinical team.

Patient Care Packages

Visitors are now able to bring personal items and care packages into the unit when visiting loved ones.  Staff may ask to collect personal items or packages to clean prior to them being given to your loved one.

Care Packages can also be dropped off any time Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. to the receiving dock of the hospital.

Our receiving dock is to the west of our main entrance (green):

700 Gordon Street
Whitby, ON
L1N 5S9

Upon drop off, all Care Packages will be delivered to the patient on their respective unit.

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

Please be aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

Common symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8 degrees or greater)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)


Other symptoms of Covid-19 can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New olfactory or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Runny nose, or nasal congestion - in absence of underlying reason for these symptoms such as allergies, post nasal drip, etc.




Atypical symptoms/clinical pictures of Covid-19 should be considered, particularly in children, older persons, and people living with developmental disability. 

Atypical symptoms can include:

  • Chills
  • Headache that is new and persistent, unusual, unexplained, or long-lasting
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Fatigue, lethargy, or malaise (general feeling of being unwll, lack of energy, extreme tiredness)
  • Myalgias (muscle aches and pain)
  • Decreased or lack of appetite


Atypical signs should be assessed by a healthcare provider, should not be explained by other known causes or conditions, and can include:

  • New or unusual exacerbation of chronic conditions (e.g. chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) 
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate), including age specific tachycardia for children
  • Low blood pressure for age 
  • Hypoxia (i.e. oxygen saturation less than 92%) o Not related to other known causes or conditions (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) 
  • Difficulty feeding in infants 
  • Delirium (acutely altered mental status and inattention) 
  • Increased number of falls in older persons 
  • Acute functional decline (a sudden change in ability to function compared to baseline) 
  • Lethargy, difficulty feeding in infants (if no other diagnosis)

Clinical features of COVID-19 that can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider include:

  • Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia


Other risk factors may include:

  • Close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to an impacted area
  • Travel outside of Canada

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms:

Staff - please contat Occupational Health
Patients - please contact your healthcare provider
Visitors - please delay your visit and contact your primary healthcare provider