Updated on November 24, 2021
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 November 24, 2021.
Number of patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 0
Number of staff with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at CAMH: 1
Units where a suspected COVID-19 outbreak has occurred: n/a
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.
- Actively screening all staff members who enter CAMH.
- 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
As of Monday, November 8, 2021, CAMH will require all people visiting patients, both indoors and outdoors, be fully vaccinated, subject to a few exemptions that are outlined below.
Requiring visitors to be fully vaccinated will protect the health and well-being of our patients and staff, allow us resume the re-opening of more in-person programming, and ensure that our services can remain open so people in need can continue to safely visit our hospital.
Visitors will need to show proof of vaccination at entrance points to CAMH buildings, will continue to be actively screened, and will be required to adhere to infection prevention and control measures, including self-monitoring for symptoms, performing proper hand hygiene, and donning personal protective equipment where appropriate, at the direction of CAMH staff.
There are some exemptions to the mandatory vaccination requirement for visitors, including:
- People accompanying patients to the Emergency Department or Bridging Clinic;
- People accompanying outpatients attending appointments in the Child, Youth and Emerging Adult Program;
- Correctional/Immigration officers transporting patients from jail, Court Services Personnel, and emergency services personnel.
- Attendees at hearings of the Consent and Capacity Board or Ontario Review Board/Nunavut Review Board who are medically exempt for vaccination or who have been granted exemptions in consultation with Legal Services.
- People who have a medical exemption from vaccination
- People who have been granted an exemption on compassionate grounds
Visitors seeking an exemption on compassionate grounds can discuss their request with the patient’s clinical team who, if they support the exemption, can apply for leadership approval.
Visitors with medical exemptions must provide written evidence of medical exemption to the patient’s clinical team in advance of the visit. Visits with individuals who are not fully vaccinated, but granted a medical or other exemption, will only be permitted if appropriate infection control precautions can be reasonably implemented.
Please note, patients may have one visit per day from up to two visitors, for a maximum of one hour. This can be different visitors each time. 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.
Inpatients 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 outdoor visits on the hospital grounds. As indicated above, 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 indoor and outdoor 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.
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.
For more information, please call the Family Information and Support Centre telephone line at 416-535-8501 ext. 33472. For questions related to the updated Family and Visitor Presence During COVID-19 policy, read our FAQ document.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 all people 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.
Weekday Screening Locations
- Unit 1, Unit 3, 40/50/60 White Squirrel Way – All Screening at Unit 1 Lobby (6:30 am to 8:00 pm)
- 100 Stokes Street (Bell Gateway Building) and 101 Stokes Street (Doctors’ Association Building) - All screening for both buildings will occur at 100 Stokes Lobby (7:30 am to 5:00 pm – after 5:00 pm, please use an alternative open screening centre.)
- Crisis and Critical Care Building (1051 Queen Street West) - 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
- McCain Complex Care & Recovery Building (1025 Queen Street West) - 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
- The Screening Centre at Unit 4 has been closed as of Thursday, November 26. Staff members and patients who need to access Unit 2 or 4 are required to screen and receive a new mask at one of the Screening Centres at either Unit 1, the Bell Gateway Building, McCain Complex Care & Recovery Building or the Crisis & Critical Care Building and then proceed to Unit 4.
College and Ursula Franklin Street
- 250 College – Spadina Entrance of 250 College Street (7:30 am to 4:30 pm)
- 33 Ursula Franklin Street and 252 College – All screening at the Spadina Entrance of 250 College Street (7:30 am to 4:30 pm)
- Please note that All CAMH Emergency Services can be accessed 24 hours a day via the ED entrance of the Crisis & Critical Care Building (1051 Queen Street West)
- 1451 Queen Street West (Downtown West Clinic) – All screening at Main Entrance (8:30 am to 4:30 pm)
- 250 College (Downtown East Clinic) – All screening at Spadina Entrance of 250 College Street (7:30 am to 4:30 pm)
Weekend Screening Locations
There will be three active screening locations at the Queen Street site on weekends and holidays.
- McCain Complex Care & Recovery Building (1025 Queen Street West) - 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
- Unit 1: 6:30 am to 8:00pm
- Crisis and Critical Care Building (1051 Queen Street West) - 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
- For patients seeking CAMH Emergency services, screening is done directly within the ED entrance of the Crisis & Critical Care Building (1051 Queen Street West). The Gerard Sheff & Shanitha Kachan Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Please continue to check this page or the @CAMHnews Twitter account for updates for patients and families of CAMH.