Updated on September 22, 2022
Keeping Staff and Patients Safe
These are extraordinary times and CAMH is committed to transparency and communication with the community that we serve. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, CAMH will update the public when there are changes to report and the actions that we’re taking to keep staff and patients safe.
Like all hospitals, CAMH has extensive and detailed procedures in place for infection prevention and control. These are designed to ensure the health and safety of our staff, the community and those within our care.
CAMH works closely with Toronto Public Health on reporting, surveillance and infection control policies and procedures. Our staff continually monitors and follows the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) recommendations from Public Health as they are updated, including screening, testing and use of personal protective equipment. Guidelines for Health Professionals and Institutions are published and updated regularly here.
CURRENT STATUS OF COVID-19 SURVEILLANCE AND INFECTION CONTROL AT CAMH as of September 22, 2022.
Number of patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 2
Number of staff with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 19
Units with a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak: n/a
Actions in Response to COVID-19
In keeping with standard infection prevention and control procedures in any respiratory outbreak scenario, CAMH put in place the following procedures to manage the risk of COVID-19:
- Closing confirmed or suspected COVID-19 outbreak units to admissions and transfers.
- Placing all patients on outbreak units on “contact and droplet precautions”–meaning that all staff members are wearing personal protective equipment when interacting with patients.
- Enhancing cleaning and disinfection processes at every CAMH building.
- Providing patients with supports to stay in their rooms and to ensure physical distancing (for example, meals are provided in patient bedrooms).
- Opening two isolation units to facilitate transfer of patients who test positive for COVID-19.
- Limiting visitors.
- Keeping only staff supporting essential patient care on site.
- Ceasing community passes for forensic patients.
- Having universal masking requirements. Learn more about masking requirements at CAMH.
- Having staff who work on outbreak units monitor twice daily for the development of symptoms.
CAMH is deeply grateful to staff and physicians who are working to deliver mental health care to those in need, to our community who supports us in this important work, and to Toronto Public Health for their leadership and partnership in fighting the spread of COVID-19.
Additional Precautions to Keep Staff and Patients Safe
Updated family and visitor policy at CAMH
Changes to CAMH Visitor Policy: Effective Friday, July 1, 2022
To keep our patients and staff safe, and to minimize the spread of COVID-19, CAMH’s visitor policy allows:
- Indoor visitors: Each patient may have one indoor visit with up to two visitors at the same time, once per day, for a maximum of one hour. Visitors do not have to be designated, and patients can have different people visit them each day.
- Outdoor Visitors: CAMH patients can have a maximum of seven outdoor visitors at a time.
Visiting Information and Hours
Vaccines are a crucial public health measure to combat the spread of COVID-19. We strongly recommend everyone protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated with as many vaccine doses as you are eligible for. That is why CAMH staff, volunteers and learners are required to have two vaccine doses, to help ensure that our hospital is a safe place to work and receive care. You can find out more information about our visitor vaccine requirements below.
Only three visitors can be on an inpatient unit at any given time and further restrictions on numbers may be imposed to accommodate the needs of a unit on any particular day.
Patients who have been admitted for more than seven days, and who have passes to the hospital grounds, may be permitted up to seven outdoor visitors (at the same time) for visits on the hospital grounds. As indicated below, outdoor visitors must be fully vaccinated, subject to certain exemptions. Outdoor visits must take place on CAMH grounds. Courtyards, porches and terraces are excluded, as these would require visitors to enter CAMH buildings to access these spaces.
Visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Process for Visiting
All visitors must register with the patient’s care team before 2 p.m. one day in advance of their planned visit. Lawyers wishing to visit inpatient units must notify CAMH Clinical Legal Services no later than 2 p.m. the day prior to the intended visit.
For information about how to contact specific CAMH units or care teams, please call the CAMH switchboard:
- 416-535-8501 (calling from the GTA)
- 1-800-463-2338 (Toll-free)
All visits to particular units, including those on outbreak or enhanced surveillance, clinical areas, or outdoor spaces may be restricted in response to increase in general risk of COVID-19 transmission.
COVID-19 vaccine requirements for people visiting CAMH patients
We strongly encourage you to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated with as many vaccine doses as you are eligible for.
Effective July 1, 2022, visitors and essential care partners do not need to provide proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit our hospital.
If you are visiting CAMH you can still expect to:
- Wear a hospital-approved procedure mask when entering any CAMH buildings. A mask will be available to you at the beginning of your visit.
- Participate in the screening process.
- Clean your hands with hand sanitizer upon entering our buildings, and before leaving.
If you are planning to visit CAMH and you feel unwell, please delay visiting until you have recovered.
CAMH’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement remains in place for staff, physicians, volunteers, learners and contractors and helps ensure that our hospital is a safe place to work and receive care.
For more information about CAMH’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements for visitors, please read our FAQ document.
If you have questions about our visitor or other policies, you can call the Family Information and Support Centre telephone line. The telephone line is an information and support resource for CAMH families. It includes a recorded message on CAMH policies and where to find more information on a variety of topics. You can also leave a voicemail message with inquiries about services and supports. Please dial 416-535-8501 ext. 33472.
Visitors who wish to appeal a decision to deny or restrict visits may do so by contacting CAMH’s Client Relations Office at 416 535-8501 ext. 32028 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Package delivery is permitted for CAMH patients. Whenever possible, deliveries should be coordinated with the patient’s clinical team in advance. Third-party food deliveries are also permitted (e.g., via UberEats or restaurant delivery services). Patients are required to work with their clinical teams when placing orders, as COVID-19 restrictions in place require cashless payment methods and delivery to screening stations. For this and other family-related information, please contact the Family Information & Support Centre.
The Family Information and Support Centre telephone line is an information and support resource for CAMH families. It includes a recorded message on CAMH policies and where to find more information on a variety of topics. Callers can also leave a voicemail message with inquiries about services and supports. Please dial 416-535-8501 ext. 33472.
The Family Resource Centre is currently closed to all walk-ins. Staff continue to respond to call and emails. Patients and families, staff and the public can continue to connect with the Centre at email@example.com or 416-535-8501 ext. 33202.
Due to COVID 19 all-volunteer programs are temporarily suspended. We are not accepting and/or processing new volunteer applications until volunteer operations resume. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Active screening protocols are in place for visitors, contractors, and essential care partners entering CAMH. Symptom-based screening will be performed for a number of COVID-19 symptoms including (but not limited to):
- Shortness of breath
Anybody presenting with the above symptoms will receive further instructions.
- Click here for screening station locations and hours for the Queen Street site.
- Click here for the screening station location and hours for the College Street site.
Please continue to check this page or the @CAMHnews Twitter account for updates for patients and families of CAMH.