Visitors must: be asymptomatic, fully vaccinated & wear a mask at all times »

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DAN Women & Babies Program - COVID-19 information

Here you can find information about COVID-19 that is specific to Women & Babies 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 March 8, 2022

PLEASE NOTE: Children and infants are not permitted in any area of the program at this time. This includes outpatient areas (prenatal appointments, ultrasound and postpartum appointments) and all inpatient units.

Important note regarding visitors for our in-patients

» For the Birthing Unit and Maternal Newborn Unit

Birthing Unit:

Please note: If a patient’s support person develops symptoms at any point, they must leave the hospital. An alternate asymptomatic support person may stay with the patient.

Asymptomatic patients who test negative for COVID-19:

Two support persons are permitted for labouring patients who are asymptomatic. The second support person must bring proof of full vaccination, and once the baby has been delivered will be asked to leave the hospital. Please note, the second support person may be a doula. At all times, patients’ support persons must:

  • NOT be symptomatic or COVID-19 positive
  • Wear a mask
Patients who have COVID-19:

If a labouring patient tests positive for COVID-19, they may have one asymptomatic support person. The support person must remain in the patient’s room at all times, and must leave the hospital if they develop symptoms.

Patients who refuse a COVID-19 test upon admission:

Sunnybrook is now testing ALL patients who are admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. To keep everyone safe, patients who refuse a test will be managed as if they have tested positive for COVID-19.

Please note: Indigenous patients may request a second support person in labour. This request must come from their care provider to the management team in the DAN Women & Babies Program who will alert Birthing Unit if approved.

If a birthing patient has symptoms upon arrival, the patient will be placed on droplet contact precautions (staff caring for the patient will wear a mask, face shield, gown and gloves) while awaiting the result of the COVID-19 test. The patient’s support persons may stay with the patient and remain in the room.

If a birthing patient has no symptoms when admitted, but then develops symptoms, the patient will be placed on droplet contact precautions, as described above. The patient’s support persons may stay in their room at the hospital.

Prior to labour/admission to hospital

We highly recommend that pregnant women and their identified support persons continue to follow recommended public health guidelines, including receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (including booster), practicing safe physical distancing and wearing a mask, to decrease the risk of acquiring COVID-19.

» For the High Risk Obstetrics Unit

Sunnybrook is now testing ALL patients who are admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. To keep everyone safe, patients who refuse a test will be managed as if they have tested positive for COVID-19.

Patients in the High Risk Obstetrics Unit may have two fully vaccinated designated visitors between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Please note that visitors must:

  • Eat and drink only in cafeterias and outdoors – not in patient rooms
  • Wear a mask at all times
  • Clean their hands before entering a patient’s room and after leaving
  • Use public washrooms only

At this time, family spaces will not be available as meeting or lounging spaces for patients or designated visitors. Children and infants are not able to visit at this time.

Visitors must show proof of full vaccination (14 days following a final dose of a Health Canada-approved vaccine) and will be screened at the M-1 entrance. We encourage visitors to bring in belongings, personal or comfort care items for patients.

» For families with a baby in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

  • Two parents may be with their baby in the hospital at any time.
  • If a parent or anyone in their family has symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and call the unit at 416-480-6055 to let staff know.
  • Parents will continue to wear masks and be screened multiple times a day.
  • At this time, we cannot welcome siblings, other family members and friends into the hospital. We are also limiting the number of parents in the Family Lounge to four at any time.
  • The unit has social workers and parent mentors available for additional support. Karen Bong, Ophelia Kwakye and Kate Robson are available to meet with parents in person, by phone or video conference.
  • Please note: If COVID-19 activity escalates we may need to return to previous policies restricting parental visits.

COVID-19 testing for in-patients

Sunnybrook is now testing all patients for COVID-19 who are admitted to the hospital. To keep everyone safe, patients who decline a test may be managed as if they have tested positive for COVID-19. This means their asymptomatic support person must stay in their room at all times.

Birthing patients

If a birthing patient has symptoms upon arrival, the patient will be placed on droplet contact precautions (staff caring for the patient will wear a mask, face shield, gown and gloves) while awaiting the result of the COVID-19 test. The patient’s support persons may stay with the patient. While the birthing patient is under investigation, the support persons will not be able to leave the birthing unit room for any reason.

If a birthing patient has no symptoms when admitted, but then develops symptoms, the patient will be placed on droplet contact precautions, as described above. The patient’s support persons may stay at the hospital and would be required to remain in the room.

Patients in the High Risk Obstetrics Units

For patients in the High Risk Obstetrics Unit, declining a test means the patient will not be able to have any visitors during their stay.

Information about visitors/companions for our outpatients (patients attending prenatal appointments, ultrasounds, and postpartum appointments)

At this time, there should be no accompanying support people unless they are pre-approved for extenuating circumstances.

Please note: If at any time Sunnybrook or the community experience a surge in COVID-19 infections, this policy may change and new protocols will be implemented.

Birthing unit information

Information for pregnant patients and their support persons

All patients and support persons are required to wear masks in the presence of any health-care provider or when they are outside their room.

Once you are admitted to hospital, we ask that you and your support persons stay in the labour room, with the exception of accessing our family space for water and ice, as well as fridge and microwave use. Our family space may only be used as long as the patient or their support persons are not under investigation for COVID. Family spaces will not be available as meeting or lounging spaces for patients or support people at this time.

We still recommend that you bring food/drinks/snacks and other items that the support person will need for your entire stay. The hospital will not be able to provide food for support persons. A small refrigerator is available in each room.

Movement through and between care environments by the support person should be minimized and will only occur following the direction of a member of the health-care team.

'In and out' privileges are permitted for support persons.

A support person who develops signs or symptoms of possible infection at any time during the stay will need to leave immediately and must go to a COVID-19 Assessment Centre to be tested. If a patient becomes a person under investigation (PUI) following admission due to fever in labour, the support person will be allowed to stay, but must remain in the patient’s room at all times.

If at any time it is deemed unsafe with respect to the ability to maintain appropriate physical distancing in our care environments (for example, due to an increase in admissions) then the health-care team will work together to determine appropriate actions, which may include asking support persons to leave.

We will continue to encourage early discharge for pregnant patients and babies as long as our discharge criteria are met.

Please note: If at any time Sunnybrook or the community experience a surge in COVID-19 infections, this policy may change and new protocols will be implemented.

Information about masks for patients and support persons 

For the protection of the health-care team, you will be provided with a mask to be worn while in hospital. This mask should be worn when you are in contact with the health-care team, when you are transferred from one area to another, and when you are leaving the unit (for example, to go home or for a test in another area). In addition, if you are in a room with another family, you will need to wear your mask at all times.

Information about appointments

Is my prenatal check-up cancelled?

The DAN Women & Babies Program is open for appointments, including prenatal visits and ultrasound appointments. As we work to protect our patients and staff from COVID-19, we are trying to limit the number of people at the hospital. It is possible your obstetrician’s office might call you to reschedule your appointment or set up a phone or virtual appointment. At this time, there are no visitors permitted. Labouring patients may have one support person in the Birthing Unit.

What are you doing to protect pregnant patients?

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 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.

How do I get in for my appointment?

We will be screening all patients for symptoms at the M1 entrance.

All other nearby entrance doors will be closed to patients.

Our door screeners will provide patients with additional instructions for precautions in order to proceed with urgent appointments.

We have an appointment at the neonatal follow up clinic and are really keen to see the team. Is it cancelled?

The clinic will contact you if your appointment is cancelled. While Sunnybrook is safe and remains open to our patients, we are taking some precautionary steps during the COVID-19 pandemic to help 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 clinic staff may reach out to you to set up a telephone or virtual appointment, if possible.

I am supposed to visit the breastfeeding clinic? What do I do?

While Sunnybrook is safe and remains open to our patients, we are taking some precautionary steps during the COVID-19 pandemic to help limit the number of people in the hospital during this time. For this reason, all outpatient breastfeeding clinic appointments will be conducted by phone or through a virtual visit.

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.

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 your physician’s office for further instructions.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Looking for information about the COVID-19 vaccine? View resources from Sunnybrook:

Having a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic: Tips, information and resources

If you’re pregnant, you likely have questions about how COVID-19 will impact your pregnancy and unborn baby. You may also be wondering what life will be like after you have your baby. Sunnybrook experts address some of these questions in a FAQ.

» Learn more

How can I send a gift to a loved one?

The Sunnybrook Gift Shop offers free delivery to patients at our Bayview Campus. Order your chosen gift online and let your loved one know you are thinking of them.


View all information about COVID-19