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Odette Cancer Centre - COVID-19 information

Here you can find information about COVID-19 that is specific to the Odette Cancer Centre patients. For all general information about COVID-19 from Sunnybrook, please visit sunnybrook.ca/COVID19

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and updates to this information might occur daily. Please check back often.

- Last updated November 27, 2020

Visitor guidelines for the Odette Cancer Centre

With COVID-19 cases going up in the community, Sunnybrook and the Odette Cancer Centre are limiting the number of people within the hospital to keep everyone safe.

Patients who need to visit the Odette Cancer Centre for appointments or treatments may be vulnerable because of their cancer or its treatments that can harm the immune system. The policy to limit the number of people in the cancer centre has been designed to keep patients safe when they need to be here.

View guidelines for in-patients and outpatients below:

In-patients (patients who are admitted to the hospital for care)

Outpatients (patients coming to the hospital for appointments or procedures)

For Odette Cancer Centre outpatient appointments in T-Wing, M6 Breast Centre or C606, there are no outpatient companions (family, friends or visitors) permitted.

Exceptions are made in special circumstances, which allow one outpatient companion:

New patients:

For a patient’s first and second visit to the Odette Cancer Centre, they are welcome to one outpatient companion. 

Patients should connect with their care team to have their companion added to the hospital’s visitor list before their first and second appointments. To reach the care team, you can either call them directly, or call patient inquiry at 416-480-4246 and ask to be forwarded to the unit/care team.

For visits after a new patient's first and second visit, our staff are here to help.

Patients having life-altering discussions:

If a patient has a medical appointment where they will have a life-altering discussion with the doctor, one outpatient companion can attend. 

Patients should connect with their care team to have their companion added to the hospital’s visitor list before the appointment. To reach the care team, you can either call them directly, or call patient inquiry at 416-480-4246 and ask to be forwarded to the unit/care team.

Patients with disability:
  • Patients with a hearing or visual impairment or a speech disability can bring one outpatient companion to the cancer centre. 
  • Patients who are unable to navigate the cancer centre to find their appointments due to dementia or other cognitive disability can bring one outpatient companion to the cancer centre. 

Patients or their companion must connect with the patient's care team to have the companion added to the hospital’s visitor list. To reach the care team, you can either call them directly, or call patient inquiry at 416-480-4246 and ask to be forwarded to the unit/care team.

We know it is very difficult for you or your loved one to attend their cancer appointments and treatments alone. We receive a high volume of requests for outpatient companions and unfortunately we cannot grant access to everyone. Our waiting rooms and other spaces within the cancer centre are simply not big enough to fit the volume of people we used to before COVID-19.


Please know this policy is in place to protect our patients when COVID-19 is spreading in the community and consider the above criteria before coming to the centre. Our staff are here to help you or your loved one get around the cancer centre, and can facilitate phone calls during appointments or treatments.

Outpatient companions, family or friends are not permitted in chemotherapy, radiation planning or radiation treatment appointments. This is because these spaces are too small to allow for staff, patients and others to all safely gather with physical distancing in place.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Entrances and symptom screening

Screening for symptoms at the door

Symptom screening

We are screening all patients for symptoms at the T-Wing East entrance. 

As fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea can be present in people undergoing cancer treatment, our door screeners may provide you with additional instructions for precautions in order to proceed with urgent appointments.

Which entrance do I use to get in for my appointment?

Patients coming to the Odette Cancer Centre are to use the T-Wing East Entrance. All patients will be screened for symptoms at the door. Please respect our door screeners as they work to keep everyone safe.

Questions about treatments and appointments

Is my clinic appointment at the Odette Cancer Centre cancelled?

The Odette Cancer Centre is open for appointments and for treatments. But your physician’s office might call you to reschedule your appointment or set up a phone or virtual appointment. In order to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, visitors or companions at appointments are not permitted at Sunnybrook or Odette Cancer Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic, until further notice. We understand that this is a difficult change for those with loved ones in the hospital or with appointments or treatment, but it is an important precaution being put in place to ensure the safety of all those at Sunnybrook, including our sickest and most vulnerable patients.

I have radiation. What do I do?

Radiation appointments will continue as scheduled.

I'm starting a new treatment at the Odette Cancer Centre. What do I need to know?

We understand this is a stressful time for you and your family. For more information about starting your cancer treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our resource for patients. If you have questions, please feel welcome to reach out to a member of your care team. 

Do I need to wear a mask to my appointment?

Sunnybrook is providing masks to all patients.

Patients who are coming to the hospital for appointments will be provided with a mask when entering the hospital. Patients may also choose to wear their own masks from home to their appointments.

Hospital in-patients will be provided with masks by their care team.

Sunnybrook has taken this precautionary step out of an abundance of caution. Masks can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness, including COVID-19, when important measures such as physical distancing are not possible.

» View information about properly and safely using a mask

Can I come pick up my prescription at the T-Wing and M6 pharmacies?

You can still pick up your prescription at the pharmacies. Please note you will be screened at the door for symptoms. Curbside pick-up may also be available to you. Please speak to a pharmacy staff member about this option.

How can I get to the breast centre?

You can enter and be screened at the M-Wing doors or enter at T-Wing East entrance and use the tunnel to the main hospital. Please practice hand hygiene as you move throughout the hospital between appointments.

I have an appointment in the breast clinic. Is it cancelled?

Your physician’s office will contact you if your appointment is cancelled.

While Sunnybrook is safe and remains open to our patients, we are taking precautionary steps during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit the number of people in the hospital during this time. This includes the cancellation of any non-urgent visits to the hospital. Your follow-up appointment might be postponed, or your physician’s office may reach out to you to set up a telephone or virtual appointment if possible. You can enter the hospital through the M-Wing entrances. Please note: visitors and companions for outpatient appointments are not permitted at this time, except in special circumstances.

Can I still use the tunnel between the main hospital and Odette?

Yes. The tunnel is open. Please practice hand hygiene as you move throughout the hospital between appointments.

Is C606 open for my treatment?

C606 is open. Please note that visitors and companions for outpatient appointments are not permitted at this time, except in special circumstances.

Why was my surgery postponed?

In order to ensure the safety of patients and staff, all hospitals in Ontario are limiting the number of people in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that Sunnybrook will be postponing any surgeries that may be done safely at a later time. All decisions to postpone surgeries have been made with careful consideration, in consultation with each patient’s health-care team.

A member of your health-care team will contact you if your surgery date is affected by these changes.

We understand this is not an ideal situation, and we appreciate your understanding during this time. If you have any questions about your upcoming surgery, please talk to your health-care provider directly for more information.

I’m confirmed to have cancer surgery. What do I need to know?

If your surgery has been confirmed, please follow all the instructions given to you by your surgical team. If you have questions about how to prepare for your surgery, please call your surgeon’s office or the nursing line at 416-480-5000.

Note: When you come to the hospital for your surgery, please bring any current medications with you. COVID-19 is affecting deliveries around the world, including deliveries of medication to hospitals. Orders may be delayed or incomplete. If you need to come to the hospital for care, please bring your medications with you. We want to avoid potential interruptions and unnecessary changes to the medications you take. An up-to-date list of your medications is also very helpful. If you have one, please bring it with you as well.

Are the places to buy food still open at the Odette Cancer Centre/Sunnybrook?

Many of our food services locations are closed or on reduced hours. If you have a long day of appointments at the Odette Cancer Centre, please bring snacks and drinks from home.

I like to bring my care team treats around the holidays. Is this allowed?

We are asked this question a lot as many patients and families like to express their gratitude with treats for staff. In the times of COVID-19, we must be extra careful about treats and food sharing. If you wish to bring in food or treats for the staff, only individually wrapped items can be accepted. Our staff will ensure that these are carefully distributed with distancing and clean hands in place.

I can’t get through on the phone. What do I do?

We are experiencing a high volume of phone calls. We understand that this is frustrating at this uncertain time. Thank you for your patience as our staff work to answer questions and re-book appointments.

Questions about COVID-19

What are you doing to protect us? We are the immunocompromised and that puts us at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

Our Infection Prevention & Control team is diligent in ensuring the best practices are maintained to protect our patients and staff. This includes cleaning surfaces often, limiting visitors and using the proper personal protective equipment when needed. We are also encouraging our physicians to consider virtual appointments so that you can access care from home, if possible. When that is not possible, we ensure all protocols are followed to protect you while you are on site.

I am finding this time stressful. What can I do?

This is a stressful and challenging time. If you would like to access to our Patient and Family Support services, those are available to you. Please call 416-480-4623 to connect with Social Work, Psychology or Psychiatry.

I don’t feel well. Is it COVID-19? What do I do?

If you have difficulty breathing or other severe symptoms and need immediate medical help, please call 9-1-1.

If you feel slightly unwell, please call the nursing line at 416-480-5000 for an assessment.

From our experts:

View all information about COVID-19