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Visiting SickKids

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

What patients and families need to know before coming to SickKids

Current as of: March 31, 2020, 5 p.m.

SickKids is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please check this page often for the latest updates on clinical services, access to the hospital, and how we are keeping our patients, families and staff safe. Families, friends and members of the public: please avoid coming to SickKids if your presence is not essential to the care of a patient who is currently at the hospital.

What measures are in place at SickKids that will affect me?

Visitor restrictions: Only ONE adult caregiver per patient is allowed in the hospital. No siblings or other visitors are permitted. 

Screening: We are screening patients and families at entry points to the hospital for signs of illness. All patients and family members will be screened upon arrival at the Elizabeth Street entrance or at the parking elevators. Other entrances will be closed until further notice.

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

Please note that traffic is currently light in the downtown area surrounding SickKids. Families are advised to plan travel to appointments accordingly to limit time spent at the hospital.

Reduction in clinical activities: To ensure that we have the capacity for any unplanned increase in hospital activity and that our skilled clinical staff are available to provide care, we are making changes to some services, including:

  • Limiting surgical and diagnostic imaging activity to urgent/high-priority cases: If your child’s condition is not considered urgent, the procedure/appointment will be postponed until a later date. Affected families are being notified directly. If you do not hear from a member of our team, your status has not changed. If your child is experiencing respiratory illness symptoms (see below) prior to their appointment, please let your health-care provider’s office know.
  • Virtual care options for your clinic visits: If your health-care provider determines a clinic appointment can be accomplished without an in-person visit, you will be contacted to change your upcoming appointment to a virtual platform. If the clinic appointment, test or other procedure cannot be offered virtually, and your child is experiencing respiratory illness symptoms (see below) prior to their appointment, please let your health-care provider’s office know. Please note the visitor restrictions above.

Volunteer programs cancelled: We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their dedication to SickKids and understanding during this time. We look forward to welcoming you back to the SickKids Volunteer Program as soon as we are able.

What do I need to know before coming to the Emergency Department?

Our Emergency Department is NOT a COVID-19 assessment centre and does not test children without symptoms, although we will accept referrals from any of the assessment centres who are concerned about any child. 

It is important to immediately let the person registering your child know if your child has symptoms of respiratory illness (see below). Visit Coming to Emergency to learn more about what to expect in our Emergency Department. Please note the visitor restrictions above.

Parent resources 

  • Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. Please visit AboutKidsHealth to learn more.
  • NEW! Patients, parents and guardians can now apply for a MyChart account using an online form. MyChart is a secure, online patient portal that provides patients and authorized family members and caregivers access to parts of their SickKids’ electronic health record, anywhere, at any time. Learn more about MyChart.

What are the symptoms?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms and have recently travelled internationally, please contact your clinic or health-care provider before coming to the hospital:

  • Fever
  • Respiratory symptoms or flu-like symptoms (i.e. cough, runny nose, sore throat)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia

Please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus for the latest information.

We recognize that these temporary measures can be an inconvenience and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work together to protect our patients, families and staff. Thank you for helping to keep our community healthy.