Visitor Information

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Visitor Information at Niagara Health

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Resuming Services at Niagara Health

Assessment Centres - Getting tested for COVID-19

What we are doing to keep you safe

Updated July 10

Beginning Monday, July 13, visiting hours for inpatients at Niagara Health are increasing.

As part of gradually lifting visitor restrictions, visits are subject to certain conditions. This helps ensure the safety of everyone at the hospital.

Starting Monday, July 13, inpatients (those admitted to the hospital) may have one visitor during each block:

  • 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

To help maintain a safe environment, including reducing the number of people entering the hospital, visitors may not rotate throughout the allotted time. It is recommended that each inpatient’s family and friends agree to a visitation schedule in advance to ensure patients only have one visitor throughout each time block.

Patients coming for clinic visits and other outpatient services:

Those coming for appointments – including clinic visits and other outpatient services – as well as those coming to our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres – are still asked to come alone. As well, patients admitted to our

Emergency Departments are not permitted to have visitors at this time.

Patients with extenuating circumstances are encouraged to contact their care provider at Niagara Health directly to discuss their needs. Anyone accompanying a patient to an appointment must be preapproved and meet all visitor criteria.

Accessing the hospital:

There are limited entrances to our sites. All visitors are asked to enter through the main entrance of each site, with the exception being visitors at the Port Colborne Site and Douglas Memorial Site using the Urgent Care Centre entrance.

Limited exceptions

  • Limited exceptions to this policy will be made on a case-by-case basis. This includes:
  • Compassionate reasons.
  • Women in labour, as well as patients on the Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care units may have one visitor.

Other exceptions as determined by the care team. Please contact the manager on the unit where the patient is staying.

We will continue to look at our visiting policies going forward.

Visitors coming to Niagara Health must:

Be 18 years of age or older.


Pass screening. Please click here to download a copy of the screening tool, which can be printed and filled out to expedite the screening process.


Bring their own mask and wear it at all times while in the hospital.


Follow signage and other directional information while at the hospital.


Maintain a safe physical distance of six feet (two metres) from others while at NH sites.


Practice meticulous hand hygiene upon entry and at appropriate times while in the hospital.


Limit their movement while in the hospital, staying in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Download a list of frequently asked questions here.

Planning your visit

Can inpatients have multiple visitors during each visiting block as long as they only visit one at a time?

No, at this time inpatients may only have one visitor throughout each time block. Reducing the number of people entering the hospital supports physical distancing and is an important infection prevention and control measure.

Can two people visit at one time?

To support our infection prevention and control practices, only one visitor per patient is permitted in each block. Limiting the number of individuals in the hospital at one time allows for proper physical distancing, which is important to reducing the potential spread of the coronavirus.

When am I able to visit?

Each inpatient may have one visitor during each time block:

  • 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

We recommend each patient’s family and friends agree to a visitation schedule according to the above times in advance.

How long can I expect screening to take?

Screening must be completed every time you enter the hospital. As part of this process, a team member will ask you a series of questions. The time it takes for screening depends on the number of people coming into the hospital. This includes those with scheduled appointments. There will be signs to indicate where visitors are screened.

The quickest and most efficient way to enter the hospital is by filling out the screening form before your visit and bringing it with you to show the screeners. Download the screening form here. 

Please remember to stay two-metres (six-feet) away from others while waiting to enter the building.

What is the difference between an inpatient and someone coming for an appointment?

Inpatients are those who have been admitted to the hospital, meaning they are in a room on one of our units. This does not include patients coming for an appointment to areas such as Diagnostic Imaging (eg. X-Rays, CT scans, bone scans, etc.), the Walker Family Cancer Centre and Dialysis Units, as well as visits to our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres.

Patients coming for appointments are asked to come alone if possible. We have team members who would be happy to assist you. If you need to bring someone to assist you, please let your care team know ahead of time as all visitors need to be approved in advance. Anyone accompanying you must also pass hospital screening. Please visit our resuming services page for more information.

Are there any exceptions? How are exceptions determined?

Exceptions are made by our care team on a case-by-case basis. This includes:

  • Additional visitors and longer visiting hours may be arranged on compassionate grounds.
  • Women in labour, as well as patients on the Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care units, are allowed to have one visitor.
  • Other exceptions as determined by the care team.

Please contact the manager on the unit where the patient is staying if you have questions. 

If I request an exception and it is denied, can I appeal this decision?

After a conversation with your care team where an exception to our visiting restrictions is denied, you may appeal the decision through Patient Relations. For urgent cases – decisions will be made within 24-hours. For non-urgent cases, you will receive acknowledgement of your appeal within one business day and decisions will be made within three business days.

If I am unable to visit during these hours, can I still drop essentials items off?

Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting deliveries for patients. All essential items, including food, must be brought to patients by a visitor during the designated visiting times.

Flower deliveries

We understand that families and friends may wish to send flowers to their loved ones while they are in the hospital, and we are pleased to support these deliveries where possible. In order to keep everyone safe we have implemented the following guidelines:

  • Unfortunately, flower deliveries to Oncology Units will not be permitted at this time.
  • We can only accept deliveries of flowers in a vase with no soil.
  • Outside of the designated visiting blocks for inpatients, flower deliveries can be made to the designated entrances and times at each of our sites (see below), where a staff member will then bring the flowers to the patient.

Flowers may be dropped off at the following locations and times:

  • St. Catharines Site: Main entrance (6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Welland Site: Main entrance (6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Greater Niagara General Site: Main entrance (6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Port Colborne Site: Urgent Care Centre entrance (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Douglas Memorial Site: Main entrance (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

During your visit

Can I bring food to my loved one while visiting?

Visitors may bring food to their loved ones while at the hospital; however, food must be eaten in the patient’s room and visitors must take any leftover food with them when they leave. We are no longer be accepting food outside of the designated visiting times.

What’s being done to support safety?

Everyone’s health and safety is our primary concern. We’re lifting our visitor restrictions in a safe and gradual way.

Measures include:

Reducing the number of entrances/exits at all our sites.

Screening everyone who enters the hospital. All visitors must pass screening to gain entry to the hospital. Download the screening form to fill out before coming to the hospital here.

Encouraging physical distancing. Everyone should maintain a safe distance of two-metres or six-feet away from one another. There are signs, barriers and other markers in place as reminders. Please note only two people are permitted in the elevator at a time.

Regular hand cleaning. There are sanitizer stations located throughout the building. Please clean your hands when you enter the building, throughout your stay, and when you leave.

Limiting food services in the building. We ask that you maintain your distance while in line.

Arranging seating in public areas to promote physical distancing. Please do not move the furniture.

Do I need to wear masks the whole time while visiting?

Yes. Visitors must bring their own mask and wear it throughout the hospital, and while visiting patients. Visitors who do not wear a mask will not be permitted to enter the building.

Can I take my loved one outside while visiting?

We are asking that visitors limit their movement while in the hospital. As part of this, we ask that you stay in the patient’s room for the duration of your stay. Going for walks is not currently permitted. Family members/caregivers must not go to any common areas unless to purchase food/beverages from a cafeteria/café or use a public washroom.

Can I purchase food and drinks in the hospital cafeterias?

Yes, you can purchase food and drinks in the cafeterias at our St. Catharines and Welland sites, and Tim Hortons at our Greater Niagara General and St. Catharines sites.

Our Douglas Memorial, Greater Niagara General and Port Colborne sites have cafeteria space for dining, however food and drinks are not available for purchase at these sites.

While using our dining areas, please follow physical distancing guidelines – maintaining a six feet (two metre) distance from others -  and do not move the furniture which has been spaced out appropriately for everyone’s safety. You will also notice new cleaning stations available in our cafeterias for disinfecting tables and chairs. This is an added measure that we’ve put in place to keep everyone safe as we are gradually welcoming back visitors to our sites. Please follow the instructions on the signage provided and use the cleaning supplies provided to disinfect the tables.

After your visit

How will I know when visiting hours are over?

An announcement will be made on the overhead speakers to indicate when visiting blocks are over (1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.). We ask that you remember to maintain proper physical distancing while exiting and only have two people in the elevator at a time.

How do I pay for parking?

A gated system is in place at our St. Catharines, Greater Niagara General and Welland sites. Pay and display systems are in use at the Port Colborne and Fort Erie sites.

How to use our gated parking systems:

We recommend that you use your VISA or MasterCard, swiping upon entry and exit. Please note that the same card must be used to enter and exit. No ticket is required. If you take a ticket, you can also use your VISA or MasterCard to pay at the exit gate. Insert your ticket into the machine, followed by your VISA or MasterCard.

You can take a ticket upon entry into the parking lot. Bring the ticket into the hospital with you – do not leave it in your vehicle. There are kiosks at the entrances, and you are encouraged to pay using VISA or MasterCard before leaving the building.

Please note that the parking system cannot take debit or debit cards.

Please remember to maintain a proper physical distance from others while waiting to use the parking kiosks and clean your hands afterward. You may also wish to pay at the gate with your VISA or MasterCard to avoid lining up with others.

When parking in pay and display lots, please purchase a ticket in the machine and display it on your dashboard.

Information for patients coming for an appointment

I’m coming in for an appointment, does this mean I can bring someone with me?

To help maintain physical distancing, patients coming for clinic visits or other outpatient services are asked to come alone. We have staff available to assist patients while in the hospital. If you require a support person, please speak to a member of your care team at Niagara Health before coming to the hospital. This support person must pass screening and follow the processes above.

For more information on the resumption of services at Niagara Health, click here.

What is the difference between an inpatient and someone coming for an appointment?

Inpatients are those who have been admitted to the hospital, meaning they are in a room on one of our units. This does not include patients coming for an appointment to areas such as Diagnostic Imaging (eg. X-Rays, CT scans, bone scans, etc.), the Walker Family Cancer Centre and Dialysis Units, as well as visits to our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres.

Patients coming for appointments are asked to come alone if possible. We have team members who would be happy to assist you. If you need to bring someone to assist you, please let your care team know ahead of time as all visitors need to be approved in advance. Anyone accompanying you must also pass hospital screening. Please visit our resuming services page for more information.

I’m bringing my loved one to an appointment. If I cannot enter, how will I be informed of their results or care needs?

We encourage family members and caregivers to follow up with the patient’s care provider.

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Download a list of frequently asked questions here.

Niagara Health System