COVID-19: How SickKids is keeping you and your child safe during your clinic visit

Frequently asked questions for patients and families

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, SickKids is taking additional precautions to keep children, families and staff safe. SickKids has carefully examined all clinic spaces and has made changes to ensure everyone’s safety. Upon arrival, you’ll immediately notice many of the new measures in place. Please follow the guidelines and associated signs.   

Entrance Screening: Everyone is being screened for symptoms of COVID-19, recent travel outside Canada and close contact with people who have COVID-19.

Masking: All visitors are required to wear a mask. Masks will be provided at each entrance. Please make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth at all times. Only remove it when eating or drinking, or if asked by your health-care team. Masks apply to children able and willing to wear masks safely – generally children 6 years and older.

Cleaning: Frequent cleaning of common areas and highly-touched surfaces, exam rooms and medical equipment between patients.

Waiting Rooms: To ensure physical distancing is maintained, we have placed floor signs, re-arranged seating and installed Plexiglas dividers.

Elevators: No more than three people in each elevator at a time.

Line-ups: Tape has been placed on the floor to show how far apart to stand from others.

Here is a poster showing you some of these and other measures we have put into place to ensure you have a safe clinic visit. SickKids is safe for you and your child to visit, but we understand you may have questions. The following FAQ will help answer any additional questions you may have.

Who is being screened for COVID-19 at SickKids?

Everyone entering SickKids is being screened for the following: symptoms of COVID-19, recent travel outside of Canada and/or close contact with people who have COVID-19.

When does screening for COVID-19 take place?

Screening takes place:

1. 24 to 72 hours before the clinic appointment (over the phone).
2. When entering the building.
3. At your appointment location.

If my child has COVID-19 symptom(s), can I still bring them to SickKids?

Alert your health-care team before your appointment if you or your child are unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19, recently travelled outside of Canada, and/or have had close contact with people who have COVID-19. Having a symptom does not mean your child will not be allowed to come for their appointment. Your child’s appointment may be rescheduled or changed to a virtual appointment. If your child must come in for their visit, your health-care team will talk to you about taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe.    

If I have COVID-19 symptom(s), can I bring my child to SickKids?

If a family caregiver has symptoms, another caregiver should bring the child for their appointment instead. If this is not possible, connect with your health-care team before your child’s appointment to discuss options.   

If I have travelled outside of Canada, will I be allowed to bring my child to SickKids?

Travel outside of Canada is considered a risk factor for COVID-19. If you have travelled outside of Canada within 14 days of your child’s appointment, please contact your health-care team for further instruction.

How can I keep my child safe when we visit SickKids?

Ways to stay safe include:

1. Clean your hands often by using hand sanitizer or soap and water for 20 seconds.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Ensure you and your child keep a distance of two metres from others.
4. Wear your mask everywhere in the hospital (washroom, waiting room, Atrium, hallways, cafeteria etc.) and inside clinic rooms if a health-care provider is present. Here is some information on how to wear a mask safely.

If I think my child has COVID-19, should I bring them to SickKids?

If you think your child has COVID-19, please contact your family doctor or paediatrician. For urgent concerns please visit your nearest emergency department. Please note that SickKids is not a COVID-19 assessment centre. Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, your local public health unit, or use the online self-assessment tool. Please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus for the latest information.

Preparing for your clinic appointment

For updated general information regarding coming to SickKids during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.sickkids.ca/coronavirus.

How early should we arrive for my child’s appointment?

Please arrive 15 minutes before your child’s appointment. This will allow you time to go through entry screening and find your way to your child’s appointment location. During COVID-19 wait times may be longer than usual.

What entrance should we use when we come to SickKids?

Please enter and exit SickKids using the Elizabeth Street main entrance or the parking garage elevators. All other entrances are closed until further notice.

Should I wear a mask and gloves to our appointment?

For everyone’s safety, SickKids is providing masks to all family caregivers and children (6 and older). Masks will be provided at the Entry Screening desks. Gloves are not recommended – cleaning hands with hand sanitizer and/or soap and water is enough to keep you safe.

Does my child need to wear a mask at SickKids?

Children 6 years and older who are able to safely wear a mask will be asked to do so. Masks will be provided at Entry Screening. Children under 6 years and/or unable to wear a mask safely will not have to wear a mask. It is not safe for children under 2 years to wear a mask. For more information please see Family and patient FAQs: Masks for patients and family caregivers.

How many family caregivers can come to appointments?

At this time, one family caregiver can come to your child’s appointment.

What if my child needs two family caregivers present at their appointment?

If your child requires two family caregivers present at their appointment, please connect with your care team before the appointment to discuss options.

Can family caregivers switch out with one another during appointments?

At this time, switching of family caregivers at appointments is not allowed. If your child requires two family caregivers present, speak to your care team before your appointment to discuss other options.

Can I bring my other children to the appointment?

At this time, other children are not allowed to come to appointments. Please note that our Play Park for siblings is closed. If you are unable to arrange childcare for your other children, please let your care team know before your appointment.

My child is not feeling well. Should I cancel my appointment?

If your child is not feeling well, please contact your health-care team at SickKids so that they can determine if your child’s appointment should continue or be rescheduled. If your child is unwell, consider making an appointment with your child's family doctor or pediatrician. For urgent concerns, please visit your nearest emergency department.

Is there a virtual care option for my child’s appointment?

If your health-care team determines that your appointment can be accomplished without an in-person visit, you will be contacted to change your upcoming appointment to a virtual appointment.

My appointment was cancelled or postponed. When will it be rescheduled?

Your health-care team will help you determine a new date for your child’s appointment. If you feel like your child needs to be seen sooner, contact your care team to discuss options.

Is Shoppers Drug Mart at SickKids open?

Yes, the pharmacy and store remain open. Our location continues to maintain regular operating hours. Visit our Shop and Eat page for the latest updates on ordering prescription refills, prescription delivery and more.

Is Specialty Food Shop open?

Yes, Specialty Food Shop remains open. Please note that hours may vary during this time for the location on Main Street (Main Floor, Black Wing). Visit www.specialtyfoodshop.ca to shop online or for the latest updates on hours, products and more.

**Please note that policy changes may occur on short notice as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Thank you for your co-operation and working together to keep our patients, families, and staff members safe**

Latest update: July 21, 2020