Visiting Patients

Info for Essential Care Partners and Visitors:

Queensway Carleton Hospital is currently in low visitor restrictions.

    • Inpatients may have up to two visitors at a time, preferably between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.*
    • Inpatients can identify two Essential Care Partners who will have access to that patient even if a visitor is present. The patient should identify them to their clinical team.*
    • For outpatients, one Essential Care Partner may be permitted.*
*Some units have other restrictions in place. Please see below for unit-specific information.


Units in Outbreak

If a unit is experiencing an outbreak, there will be increased visitor restrictions on that unit to ensure the safety of patients, staff and Essential Care Partners. This means that, in some cases, visitors may not be allowed on that particular unit. Before visiting a unit experiencing an outbreak, please consult with unit staff. Updates on outbreaks can be found on our Monitoring Outbreaks page.



Essential Care Partner vs Visitor

What qualifies as an Essential Care Partner?

An Essential Care Partner is a person designated by the patient or substitute decision-maker as being especially important to the patient’s recovery. They should be someone who is deeply involved in the patient’s healthcare journey and is integral to the overall well-being of the patient. The designated Essential Care Partner is welcome to be at the bedside at all times.

This person may also be the patient’s spokesperson who will tell friends and family about the visiting guidelines and serve as a first contact for any questions on the patient’s condition.

QCH welcomes up to two Essential Care Partners to stay at the patient’s bedside 24 hours a day on the medical, rehab, childbirth, and surgical units. The Day Surgery Unit, Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit limit this to one Care Partner only given space constraints and complexity of care.

Care Partner Etiquette

    • Please use the public washrooms, not the washroom in the patient’s room.
    • Please keep noise to a minimum. Use headphones when listening to music or watching TV.
    • During the night, use minimal lighting.
    • It is important for Care Partners to be rested however, if you are staying the night, please provide your own blankets and pillows.
    • Please do not wear scented products or bring scented products to the hospital.


What qualifies as a Visitor?

A visitor is different than an Essential Care Partner. They are a guest of the patient or family who wants to provide well wishes and social connections. A visitor may be a friend or relative of the patient or family. Our visiting policy reflects the needs of our patients: to rest, to take part in care and treatment, and to have the support of family and friends.

Visitor Etiquette

    • Please keep your visits short to approximately 20 minutes.
    • Please be respectful of the patient’s roommate’s need for privacy, rest and recovery.
    • Children under 14 years of age must be always supervised by an adult (not the patient).
    • Please follow the infection control guidelines posted on the door. If you are unsure of what to do, talk to the Nurse prior to entering the room.
    • Please do not wear scented products or bring scented products to the hospital.

Unit-Specific Restrictions

Childbirth Program

Who can visit

Birth Unit

Mother Baby Unit

Special Care Nursery


Essential Care Partner



Parents any time except during daily report times (7-7:30 a.m. and 7- 7:30 p.m.).


Family, friends, and siblings of new baby

2-8 p.m., two adult visitors at the bedside at one time. Siblings must be accompanied by an adult. No children under the age of 14 years old are permitted (unless they are siblings of the newborn).

2-8 p.m. except 7-7:30 p.m. during report time. One grandparent at a time. Learn more.

 2-8 p.m.

Number of people at the bedside

Two including essential care partner. No switching of support people

Three including essential care partner. Please be considerate of other patients in the room. Siblings of newborn permitted.

Two including one person assigned baby bracelet

Three visitors 



For more details, please click here.

Emergency Department

Due to physical distancing and safety requirements, patients can have one Essential Care Partner* with them in the Emergency Department.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Two Essential Care Partners can be identified for each patient. One Essential Care Partner is encouraged to stay at the patient’s bedside and may stay 24 hours-a-day. Please communicate the name of the Essential Care Partners to the ICU team. Essential Care Partners and family are encouraged to attend multidisciplinary rounds from 9-11 a.m., but visitors may be limited.

Visitors may visit any day between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. In normal circumstances, we limit visitors at the bedside to two people at one time, but more may be allowed in certain circumstances. Please discuss this with the nurse.

Mental Health

Mental Health visiting hours are:


    • Monday to Friday: 4-8 p.m. 
    • Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 12-8 p.m.
Please contact the unit to set up a time to visit.


Outpatient Clinics

Due to space limitations, only 1 Essential Care Partner may accompany the patient to their outpatient appointment.

Park Place

Visitors are welcome at Park Place, which follows the same guidelines as listed above. Visits may take place outside as well if you'd like to enjoy a nice weather day with your loved one.



Whether you are a patient, visitor or staff, when you arrive at Queensway Carleton Hospital, you will see handwash stations set up at each entrance and outside patient rooms. We are asking all patients and visitors to wash their hands before and after entering the hospital and before and after entering a patient room.


All Essential Care Partners and visitors must pass self-screening upon entry and must not be showing signs of any COVID-19 symptoms. Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself before entering QCH. Do you have:

    • A new cough (not associated with your current illness)
    • A fever
    • Shortness of breath (worse than usual)
    • Severe headache (worse than usual)
    • Unexplained muscle aches
    • Unexplained extreme fatigue
    • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
    • Please postpone your visit if you have experienced these symptoms in the last 72 hours.

Mask Requirements

All our staff, physicians, volunteers, patients, visitors, and Essential Care Partners are required to wear a mask at all times in the Emergency Department.


Masks are recommended but not required in clinical and public areas outside of the Emergency Department, unless otherwise stated.


Masks will continue to be available throughout the hospital for all who need or want them. If you would like your care provider to wear a mask in other areas of the hospital, please let them know. We will support those who choose to wear a mask because they feel vulnerable or to keep their loved ones safe. Liberal use of masks is part of our new normal. 

The 5 moments of masking:

Outside of the Emergency Department, the masking of staff and physicians will be based on 5 particular scenarios:

    1. If a patient asks staff to mask.
    2. If a staff member's point of care risk assessment (PCRA) suggests they should be wearing a mask to protect their mucous membranes from splash or spray of blood or body fluids, or to protect a vulnerable patient from their respiratory secretions.
    3. If there is signage, such as a droplet/contact precautions sign that indicates masks are required to enter the patient care space.
    4. If a unit is on outbreak, requiring all patient care to be delivered wearing a mask and eye protection.
    5. If a staff member is on Work Self Isolation.

If a patient or Essential Care Partners (ECP) is unable to wear a mask, staff will ask if there is any ability to wear a mask temporarily for movement through occupied spaces in the facility. If the patient or ECP is unable to tolerate a mask for any period, a face shield will be offered or staff will ask the individual to stand at least 6 feet away from all other persons and will contact a member of the clinical team who will further discuss the limitations, including medical exemptions. Those patients who are unable to wear a face shield will be accommodated to the extent possible. Efforts will be made to find an appropriate location in which the patient can wait for their assessment. All triage decisions in the Emergency Department are based on the presenting medical issue for the patients. A patient’s inability to wear a mask is not a factor in speeding the assessment of that patient ahead of others.


The hospital's cafeteria is located on Level 1 of the Main Building. Breakfast and lunch are available Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


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