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COVID-19 Information

Baycrest is committed to communicating with you about COVID-19. The health and safety of residents, families, visitors, private companions, staff and volunteers is of paramount priority. This page contains the most up-to-date information from Baycrest.

Please provide your email address to receive updates on COVID-19:

Latest Update: New information on the Terraces of Baycrest and delivering items to residents and patients in Baycrest.

Page updated: March 25, 2020

Visiting Restrictions for Residents and Patients

The situation with COVID-19 continues to change rapidly with new recommendations from public health being introduced on a regular basis. All provincial Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes and other congregate care settings received a notification from Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, that only essential visitors are permitted to visit the facility. Effective, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 5:00pm, Baycrest will only allow essential visitors until further notice.

The ministry is defining “essential visitors” as those who are visiting a resident or patient who is dying or very ill:

  • Imminently Dying: Any person in the last hours or days of life (less than 1 week). 
  • Very Ill:  Patients or residents who have been identified as imminently requiring transfer to acute hospital care.

The Baycrest team will be reaching out by telephone to the families who have residents and patients who meet these criteria. The clinical team will monitor the status of all our residents and patients on an ongoing basis to support continuous updating of our essential visitor list. Children under the age of 16 years will not be permitted to visit Baycrest under any circumstances.

For all other residents and clients at Baycrest who are not permitted visitors, Baycrest is exploring alternative ways for family and friends to stay connected using videoconferencing and other virtual technologies. Details will be shared on our website before the end of the week.   

As part of our larger social distancing strategy to limit the number of people on our campus, Baycrest is actively reviewing which third party contractors are required to provide essential services. Currently, Baycrest has determined that private companions are classified as an essential third party contractor and will be permitted to provide services on the Baycrest campus.

Permitting private companions in the Apotex and Hospital is a short term, temporary measure as we are working to reduce the total number of people on the campus as part of our larger social distancing strategy.

At this time we are urging our families who employ private companions to consider restricting their services as much as possible to assist us with public health measures to limit the introduction or transmission of COVID-19 on our campus. Additionally, we will be requiring all families that employ private companions to acknowledge in writing that they will assume responsibility for ensuring compliance with our active screening measures for those private companions. Any private companion who has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days or shows any symptoms and signs of a respiratory illness or fever will be denied entry to Baycrest.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves provincially, the Baycrest team will continue to reevaluate which third party contracted services are permitted onsite, including private companions.  We understand how very difficult and stressful these types of social distancing measures are on our clients and their families. Our team is actively developing alternative strategies to keep our families informed on the status of their loved ones, to ensure that all of our residents and patients receive the care supports they require, and that we are unrelenting in our focus on maintaining the quality of life of all who depend on us. This is an unprecedented situation and we welcome the collaborative participation of our clients and their families to manage through these challenges. The Ministry of Health will reevaluate these public health measures in the coming weeks and ensure consistency with the guidance provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

We will continue to update you on our measures as the COVID-19 situation progresses.

Active Screening

  • In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) to our residents and employees, out of an abundance of caution, Baycrest is starting Active Screening for COVID-19.
  • The Active Screening process is based on our established infection control plans to prevent respiratory illness outbreaks like COVID-19.
  • Effective immediately: Active Screening will take place at the Bathurst Street entrance (Door # 3), Apotex Entrance (Door # 7) and the south entrance of The Terraces. All other entrances will be closed. Visitors should be prepared to expect some delay when getting into the building. Please plan travel accordingly. 
  • All individuals entering Baycrest and Terraces will be screened. Everyone will be asked:
    • To provide their name and contact phone number
    • Who they are visiting
    • If they are feeling ill or experiencing  any influenza-like symptoms – fever and onset of cough or difficulty breathing, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat or other.
    • If they travelled  outside of Canada in the last 14 days
    • If they have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID 
    • If they have had close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days
  • In case of failed screening, visitors will be asked to reschedule their visit after 14 days and if they have symptoms to contact their health provider. 

Social Distancing

  • Baycrest is applying social distancing protocols in all public areas. Social distancing refers to reducing the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection and others who are not infected. This includes modifying programs, adding spaces between tables in our eating areas, and cancelling large group gatherings and large group events, including concerts, volunteer orientation, synagogue services and recreation programs.
  • When entering the elevator, please keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people. If this is not possible, please wait for the next elevator. We will be posting signs by the elevators to remind you of this best practice.

At-Risk Populations

  • Our Baycrest clients are a particularly vulnerable population. Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions, like heart, lung, or kidney disease, are at higher risk.


Delivering items to residents and patients in Baycrest

If you would like to deliver items (including laundry) to your loved one in the hospital or Apotex, you can do so.  Items can be dropped off at the Apotex or Bathurst entrance.  Your items must be in a plastic or cardboard container.  You will be asked to fill out a delivery slip.  A Baycrest staff member will deliver the item to the resident/patient and obtain signature of receipt. If the resident or patient is unable to sign for the package, a member of the unit’s clinical team may sign for it. Please note, containers will not be returned.  Hand hygiene performed after parcel delivery must be performed to protect staff, residents and patients.  

e-Visit Program and Wellness Checks

Baycrest is committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment on our campus. In compliance with the recent Ministry directive, only essential visitors are permitted at Baycrest during this time. We understand this important measure is nevertheless difficult for our residents, patients and their families, and facilitating your ongoing communication with one another is a priority for us. We are implementing new strategies to keep you connected to your loved one and informed of their health status.

We continue to focus on providing excellent healthcare, while balancing the need to provide alternative methods of communication with families during this time. I want to outline for you some of the actions currently underway:

e-Visit Program
Our new e-Visit program aims to keep families connected to their loved one through regular audio or video calls. Designated staff members will help residents and patients keep in touch with their loved ones with the use of Zoom, WhatsApp or a standard phone call.

To set up a call with your loved one, please contact us at 416-785-2500 and dial the extension number 2020 or email

Please note that e-Visits are for social purposes only. The call facilitator cannot answer any health-related questions.

Wellness Checks
Our Clinical teams will be contacting family members for updates on their loved ones’ health status. This outreach began on Friday, March 20 and will continue while visiting restrictions remain in place.

If you have any questions, our Client Relations and Experience Office has extended their hours and are available to you from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday at any of the following extensions: 6843 or 2919 or 2685.

We will continue to update you regarding new strategies to keep you connected as the COVID-19 situation progresses and thank you for your ongoing support and dedication as we navigate this rapidly evolving landscape.

Closures to Outpatient Services

On March 15, Ontario Hospitals received a directive from the Ministry of Health to limit elective surgeries and non-emergency activities. Due to this request, all outpatient services are closed or delivered virtually, effective March 17. As circumstances with COVID-19 change, we will continue to update our available services. Please visit this page for a list of clinics that are closed or are offering services virtually.

We have created a page with local, national and international and multilingual resources on COVID-19. Please click here to view.

Confirmed COVID-19 case in isolation in Baycrest hospital

On March 13, Baycrest had some patients in our hospital who were sick with respiratory symptoms and a respiratory outbreak was declared. It is important to note that this was not at the time, deemed a COVID-19 outbreak. Baycrest worked with Toronto Public Health (TPH) to institute respiratory outbreak control measures as part of our routine and ongoing care and we completed testing for influenza viruses. Given the current pandemic situation, in an abundance of caution, all patients with influenza-like symptoms in this unit were also tested for COVID-19.

On March 20, we received confirmation that one of the patients tested positive for COVID-19.

Baycrest is actively working with TPH and our lab partners to investigate this matter, prevent further spread to others, and to ensure the strictest outbreak control protocols are in place.

To date, no staff, residents or other patients have been affected. We will continue to closely monitor this situation.

In the meantime, we have now activated our Incident Management System (IMS) to address the present situation and to ensure that we are exceptionally well equipped to respond should other cases of COVID-19 emerge at Baycrest.

We want to assure you that Baycrest is following all proper isolation precautions and taking all the steps we can to keep everyone safe. This includes the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, limiting the amount of people that enter patient rooms, and frequent and diligent equipment sanitization. We will continue to limit access to Baycrest healthcare and residential facilities to essential staff and essential visitors, the latter as defined by our Ontario public health authorities.   

We very much appreciate the remarkable support we are receiving from our community during a time that is causing widespread fear and apprehension.

For over 100 years, Baycrest has served our community with compassion, diligence and the best-informed care. We will continue to do so, despite the evident challenges of this time in our history.  

Information for Residents, Families, Visitors and Private Companions

To ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and patients, it is imperative that staff, volunteers, family members, private companions and visitors stay home if they are ill or have flu-like symptoms.

This includes ANY of the following symptoms:
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Anyone with these symptoms will be asked to leave immediately.

If you are worried that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 please call the Toronto Public Health hotline at 416-338-7600. Information is available in multiple languages.

You can prevent the transmission of respiratory infections through the following practices:
  • Do not come to Baycrest if you are ill or experiencing flu-like symptoms (see above).
  • Wash your hands. Hand hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent transmission of infection.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing. Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue out. Cough into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.

If you have questions or comments, please email You can expect a response back within 48 hours.

Additional Resources

General information

News & updates

Practical resources – prevention, screening, etc.

Travel information


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is a coronavirus/novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. 
  • What are the symptoms of someone infected with a coronavirus?
    Common signs include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Most cases are mild. In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and, in rare cases, death.
  • Is there a vaccine available for this infection?
    At this time there isn’t a vaccine available for the COVID-19.
  • Should I be concerned that there are confirmed cases in Ontario?
    The overall risk in Ontario is still considered low. Most of the patients were identified early and managed using the appropriate precautions. We anticipate that in the coming weeks, more cases will be identified in Ontario, in other parts of Canada and in other countries.
  • What is a pandemic? Are we in one?
    A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease impacting populations over a large geographic area. It occurs when a new virus emerges and spreads around the world and people do not have immunity against it. The World Health Organization (WHO) and local health officials consider a number of factors before declaring a pandemic. On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 situation a pandemic.
  • Are there reliable places I can get more information?
  • What’s the difference between seasonal coronaviruses and COVID-19?
    The seasonal coronavirus is NOT the same as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  Seasonal coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses (including the common cold), and can spread easily between people. Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness-of-breath and breathing difficulties. There are strains of coronaviruses that have caused more severe illness in humans in the past, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and now, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and cough.
  • How is COVID-19 transmitted?
    COVID-19 cases and clusters demonstrate that Droplet/Contact transmission are the routes of transmission. The majority of cases are linked to person-to-person transmission through close direct contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19. There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through the airborne route.
  • Delivering items to residents and patients in Baycrest

    If you would like to deliver items (including laundry) to your loved one in the hospital or Apotex, you can do so.  Items can be dropped off at the Apotex or Bathurst entrance.  Your items must be in a plastic or cardboard container.  You will be asked to fill out a delivery slip.  A Baycrest staff member will deliver the item to the resident/patient and obtain signature of receipt. If the resident or patient is unable to sign for the package, a member of the unit’s clinical team may sign for it. Please note, containers will not be returned.  Hand hygiene performed after parcel delivery must be performed to protect staff, residents and patients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - e-Visit