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Veterans Centre and Palliative Care Unit - COVID-19 Information

Below you can find information about changes made to the Veterans Centre programming and visitation due to COVID-19, as well as other COVID-19 related information specific to the Veterans Centre and the Palliative Care Unit. For all general information about COVID-19 from Sunnybrook, please visit sunnybrook.ca/COVID19

If you have any questions about the below, please contact the resident or patient's unit directly. 

- Last updated January 15, 2020


Questions specific to the Veterans Centre

Can I visit my relative at the Veterans Centre?

Given the current province-wide restrictions to limit the growing spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to limit visits at this time to only those residents approaching end-of-life and essential visits (as determined by the health care team).

As of January 16, 2021, Essential Care Partner (ECP) visits will be placed on hold, until further notice. The final day for ECP visits is January 15th.

We recognize the importance of regular visits but the risk to all of our residents is currently increasing. When the infection rate reduces to a level that indicates the pandemic is under better control, we will resume our ECP visits.

We are guided by our Infection Prevention and Control team to make every effort in the Veterans Centre to ensure the safety of all while considering provincial directions and protocols.

How can I connect with my loved one?

Connecting with your family member is of utmost importance during this time. A member of your healthcare team will reach out and work with you to support visits with your family members in a format that is equitable and beneficial. This may include telephone calls, emails/photographs or virtual visits.

You will be notified in advance of the intent to reconvene essential care partner visits again, so that you are able to obtain your COVID-19 test in a timely manner. We appreciate your support during this difficult time to keep everyone safe. We will be sure to inform you of any changes to these visiting options. Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times.

What are you doing to protect Veterans and those in Palliative Care, those who may be at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19?

We are taking all precautions, including limiting the number of people on site. Our Infection Prevention & Control team is diligent in ensuring the best practices are maintained to protect our patients, residents, visitors and staff. This includes cleaning surfaces often, limiting visitors and using the proper personal protective equipment when needed.

We appreciate your support in keeping everyone safe.

How are COVID-19 restrictions affecting daily life for the veterans living at the Veterans Centre?

While visitation and external entertainment programs are temporarily on hold, there will continue to be many opportunities for social interaction, physical activity and engagement through unit-based programs and therapy services the Veterans Centre is known for.

Gardens now closed

We're looking at a plan for the new year to allow some access to an outdoor space.

Will there be entertainment for residents of the Veterans Centre?

Warriors Hall programming will be suspended until further notice.

Opportunities for social interaction, physical activity and engagement will continue through unit-based programs and therapy services.

We're looking at innovative ways at using technology to bring entertainment and engaging activities to the units.

My father likes his routine of going down for coffee or pop and to supplement his standard mealtimes. Can he continue, and will it be safe to do so?

Please note reduced hours for some of our retail/food services (for residents and staff only):

  • Sunny’s restaurant will be open, with minimal seating, from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Weekends 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • The Artisan Gift Shop will be open to Residents/Patients on Monday - Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. for the purchase of essential items and snacks.
  • Debit or credit cards are preferred. If a resident doesn’t have a card, Sunny’s will run a tab and submit to Patient Accounts for payment.

We are taking every precaution including additional screening and cleaning measures to preserve the health and well-being of all residents and staff. More information at sunnybrook.ca/COVID19

Why are Veterans Centre staff wearing masks and sometimes other personal protective equipment?

All staff will be wearing face masks and shields in patient care areas. Anyone who enters the Veterans Centre will be wearing a mask. Veteran residents continue to have masks available to them, should they wish to wear them.

Can I drop off a care package, flower or food delivery for a resident or patient?

We are happy to deliver care packages to veterans and patients. Please review these important requirements when preparing the package (no donations for staff please):

  1. A known family member must provide items only for immediate relative.
  2. We can now accept homemade food for patients. It must be a single portion – no leftovers, no multiple meals, or shared food. Food must be safe to remain at room temperature due to variability of delivery timelines to the units. Any leftovers will be disposed of and containers will not be washed or returned.
  3. Notes from friends and family member to your loved one are welcome.
  4. Please deliver packages to the screening desk from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for same day delivery by our staff. Hand hygiene must be performed before and after the delivery. (We cannot assume responsibility for lost items)

Please contact your unit Patient Care Manager or Social Worker, with questions related to your family member.

Questions specific to the Palliative Care Unit

Can I visit a patient who is in the Palliative Care Unit?

We understand the importance and value of visits and spending time with patients or family members on our palliative care unit. Continuing to maintain a safe environment for our patients, Veterans, staff and visitors is also top of mind for everyone. Adequate physical distancing is still a key measure to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and for this reason some visiting restrictions remain.

How many visitors can a patient have?

A patient on our palliative care unit is able to have a visit by up to two individuals during visiting hours, with only one of the individuals permitted in the building at a time. There is no interchanging of names or in and out privileges permitted.

If more than one visitor is required, in the case of persons requiring support or minors, the health-care team will offer direction for this request.

If a patient at any time is significantly approaching end of life (or death), the substitute decision maker (SDM) will be contacted to offer visits in hours outside of the usual daily schedule. If a patient’s condition improves, the team will discuss a plan for returning to daily visits.

Guidelines for visits:

  • Visitors will present to the K-Wing East entrance for the visit. The visitor's name will be on a list at the door and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Do not visit if you are unwell. Visitors will not be permitted in the hospital if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Visits will occur between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Visitors may not leave the building and return. Visitors may use public washrooms only (K1W and K1C lounge)
  • Visiting opportunities are for family members only and are not available to privately-hired companions.
  • A garden area is designated for our palliative patients and families, accessed through the K1W elevator. For more information, discuss with your health care provider.

If a patient is approaching end of life and is COVID-19 positive or under investigation, only one healthy symptom-free visitor may visit. The visitor will be informed of the risk of visitation and receive careful instruction on the use of the required personal protective equipment (PPE). Visitors must use the PPE as advised or the visit will be ended.

Visitors must wear a face mask at all times while in the facility, perform frequent hand hygiene, and follow staff direction if additional PPE is required. Visits must occur on the patient care unit or the designated palliative care garden only.

Please contact the palliative care team if you have questions or require clarification.

Visitor access to K-Wing

Access to the entrance of K-Wing is located at the far east door of the facility. Signage will be visible to direct you to the entrance.

No individual physician or health-care worker can make an exception.

Have visiting hours changed for the Palliative Care Unit?

During this time, visiting hours are between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. 


View all information about COVID-19