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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

Posted Jan 31st, 2020

Updated on March 23, 2020

La préparation face au nouveau coronavirus

Niagara Health is continuing to provide high-quality, safe care to our community and the hospital remains a safe place. We are adhering to the highest standard of infection prevention and control and we have the support of our experts and partners. Niagara Health is in constant contact with regional, provincial and federal authorities to share information and best practices. We continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and adjust our protocols to enhance safety.

This FAQ provides updates on the precautions we have in place at Niagara Health to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and maintain the hospital as a safe place for all. Please check back regularly for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

What can I expect when I come to the hospital?

Niagara Health has implemented a no-visitors policy as part of our ongoing efforts to maintain a safe environment for our patients.

To support the ability of patients to keep in contact with their loved ones, Niagara Health is providing all patients with free WiFi, telephone and television service.  You can drop items off to your loved ones at the locations and times listed here

Limited exceptions for visitors will be made on a case-by-case basis. We expect these restrictions will be in place for several weeks and will provide updates.

Learn more here

What can I do to protect myself from getting COVID-19?

There are some simple precautions people can take to stay healthy and limit the spread of illness:

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid shaking hands and close contact with people who are sick
  • Practice social distancing – avoid large gatherings and remain two-metres apart from others
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or into your sleeve
  • Stay home if you are sick

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common signs of infection include:

  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

I think I may have COVID-19. What should I do?

If you need emergency care, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Otherwise, we recommend you begin by taking the COVID-19 self-assessment, available on the Ministry of Health website here. If you are still concerned about your condition, you can contact Public Health at by calling 905-688-8248 ext. 7019 or toll free at 1-888-505-6074. On the call, patients will be screened for symptoms and travel history. Based on the screening, you may be referred to a COVID-19 Assessment Centre. Staff at the centre will follow up with you to book an appointment where testing can be completed.

Can I go directly to the Assessment Centre?

Assessment Centres are unable to accept walk-ins and are only available by referral from Public Health.

I have an upcoming procedure at the hospital, will it go forward?

Urgent and emergency procedures will continue.

However, Niagara Health is postponing elective surgeries and non-urgent ambulatory visits. If you are impacted by these cancellations, we will contact you directly. We regret this disruption and will reschedule all postponed procedures as soon as we are able.

Patients wanting to check the status of their procedure can contact the office the appointment was booked through.

Should I wear a mask to the hospital?

Masks are not considered an effective preventative measure for people who are not sick. Masks are not designed to be worn for long periods of time and may increase your risk by having you touch your face to adjust it or if it becomes wet.

Niagara Health System