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Why are we keeping our vaccine and masking requirements?

Effective June 11, 2022 - While the provincial mask mandate is expiring on June 11, Sunnybrook’s universal masking policy remains in place. Sunnybrook will continue to require masking and proof of vaccination for visitors until further notice in order to continue to prioritize the safety of patients, families and staff.

Updated June 9, 2022:

With COVID-19 public health measures easing in Ontario, patients and families have asked us why we are continuing to require proof of vaccination and masking while visiting the hospital. Sunnybrook’s Infection Prevention and Control team answers your questions.

COVID-19 is beginning to ease, why are you still requiring visitors to show vaccination status and wear a mask when visiting their loved ones?

It’s true (and great to see!) that COVID-19 is decreasing in the community. It has been a long two years for everyone.

At Sunnybrook, we care for some of the most vulnerable patients in Ontario. And we know COVID-19, while decreasing, is still in the community. Our patients are vulnerable not only because of their health conditions, but also due to the treatments they are receiving. A COVID-19 infection could be life-threatening for many of the people we care for. Ensuring proof of vaccination and masking while in the hospital (unless you’re eating in a cafeteria) helps to keep everyone safe. As always, our policies are continually revaluated based on current evidence and guidance, and we aim to be in alignment with other healthcare organizations in the Toronto area.

When will you change the requirements?

Together with our peers at other Toronto hospitals, we are continuously monitoring community spread of COVID-19, along with the severity of the most predominant strain. At this time, it’s too soon to make any changes that may impact our vulnerable patients. I understand how much we want to get ‘back to normal’ but COVID-19 continues to be a serious illness. Protective measures, like proof of vaccine and wearing a mask inside the hospital, will keep everyone safe.

How can I ensure I keep myself, and my hospitalized family member, safe?

Get vaccinated, including your booster, and wear a mask while inside the hospital. These steps are incredibly effective and will help protect your loved one.

What if I feel sick and don’t qualify for COVID-19 testing?

Stay at home if you’re feeling unwell. It’s really that simple. You may return to visit five days after your symptom onset only if you have no fever and your other symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting or diarrhea). Your friend or family member can designate another visitor to come to the hospital while you’re unwell.

If you have a positive COVID-19 test result (for example, through a COVID-19 testing site or from a rapid antigen test), please do not visit for 10 days from the start of your symptoms or receipt of a positive test result.

Learn more about accessing free rapid antigen tests »