The health and well-being of our patients and our community is important to us.  We are working closely with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario and Public Health Ontario to ensure we are following all guidelines and recommendations regarding the management of the Coronavirus COVID-19. 


A coronavirus typically causes symptoms that are similar to those of the common cold.

However, it can also cause more severe illnesses including pneumonia and death. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus was a type of coronavirus.

A novel coronavirus COVID-19 is a new strain previously not identified in humans.

Common signs of infection include:

  • respiratory symptoms
  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties

In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

More information is available here.

The only way to confirm this new coronavirus is with a laboratory test.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of the virus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure.

Everyday preventive actions can help to stop the spread of this coronavirus, in fact, any respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home if you are sick

SAH is following the guidance of the chief medical officer of health and we have all the recommended processes in place to ensure both our staff and patients remain safe. SAH has implemented a number of protocols. In addition to continuous surveillance, we have:

  • Enhanced screening measures: Everyone who enters SAH is screened at entry points and outpatient clinics. This includes questions about COVID-19 symptoms and travel history. Patients with a travel history to high-risk areas or those who have had contact with anyone who travelled to high-risk areas and is unwell will receive additional screening, protection and care.
  • Patients with symptoms or travel history will be masked and cared for in isolation, by staff wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including droplet contact.
  • SAH will be provided updates as they arise from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Ontario. SAH will action further recommendations accordingly.

The health and well-being of our patients and our community is important to us. With this in mind, here is what you can expect when you come for an in-person appointment. 

 Arriving at SAH

  • Park in the usual visitor parking and make your way to one of the 4 screening stations – the main entrance/lobby of the hospital, Emergency Department (ED) entrance, south entrance (beside the ED) or east entrance at Tim Hortons.
  • All patients must pass through the screening station to ensure they have no signs and symptoms of COVID-19. You will be asked about your travel history and symptoms.
  • Staff at the screening station will ask you to clean your hands and a mask will be provided to you. Please make sure you wear your mask the entire time you are at SAH to protect yourself and others. 
  • Plan to arrive 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Because of all our enhanced safety measures, you might need a bit more time to get to your appointment.  
  • Make your way to your appointment following signs. Look for new signage in waiting areas that indicate where to sit, and try to perform hand hygiene and physical distancing whenever possible. Young children might have a harder time with physical distancing. Please do your best to make sure they are keeping physical distance too.  

Ambulatory Care Services (Outpatient Clinics)

Exceptions may be made if the person provides support for:

  • a vulnerable patient (under the age of 18, cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate)
  • a patient experiencing a life-altering event (end of life, critically ill, trauma)

Since COVID-19, the way family and friends support patients in hospitals has changed. We know these changes haven’t been easy for patients or providers. Knowing what to expect when you visit will help us protect our hospital community.

Our Visitor Guidance will help you understand when you can visit SAH, your responsibilities as a visitor, and important safety tips to follow while in the hospital.

Click here to review: Visitor Guidance