Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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St. Joseph's Care Group


Visiting Hospital Inpatients or 24/7 Programs

Visitor restrictions may change at any time, without prior notice

The following visiting information is applicable to:

  • St. Joseph's Hospital
  • Mental Health Support Housing
  • Sister Margaret Smith Centre
  • Balmoral Centre
  • Lodge on Dawson

If you are feeling unwell, please postpone your visit until feeling better. All visitors must participate in COVID screening.

We are currently in Step 3 of our visitation policy. General visitors are welcome.

Be Prepared, Visitors must*

  • Be fully vaccinated (See below for medical exceptions)
  • Pass screening

*Compassionate exceptions exist for visiting clients at end-of-life

While you are here

  • Clean your hands often (See requirements below)
  • Wear the medical mask provided by St. Joseph’s Care Group


Televisits are available for family and friends who live out of town, or who are unable to visit in person. Visit our Televisit page for more information.

Full List of Requirements, Precautions and Extra Details

Please select a sub section below, to learn more.

Requirements & Precautions
  End-of-Life Visits
Essential/General Visitors, Fully Vaccinated and more
  Antigen Testing
Proof of Test

St. Joseph’s Care Group follows the direction of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Long-Term Care, along with the guidance of public health.

Visitor Information
  • General visiting hours are from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. with the following exceptions:
    • Essential Visitors may visit may visit outside of visiting hours to support care needs.
    • Visitors to clients at end-of-life can visit at any time.
  • Clients may have a maximum of two (2) visitors at a time, in addition to one (1) other visitor.
  • Visitors aged 1+ must provide proof of full vaccination, unless you have a valid medical exemption approved by the unit manager in advance of your visit.
  • Must pass COVID-19 screening.
  • Everyone must clean their hands with sanitizer when:
    • Entering the Hospital
    • Before and after putting on protective equipment
    • As needed, such as after touching common surfaces like door handles
  • Wear the mask provided while inside St. Joseph's Hospital. Personal masks are not permitted. Please use a new mask on each visit.
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and must follow all applicable public health measures when visiting clients at end-of-life
  • Infants under 12 months of age are not considered visitors.
  • Visitors are expected to follow the travel restrictions, if any, as directed by Thunder Bay District Health Unit. International travel restrictions are directed by federal legislation
Outbreak Restrictions
  • When an outbreak is under initial investigation, all visiting will be paused.
  • When an outbreak is declared, only one Essential Visitor may visit.
End-of-Life Visits

Compassionate exceptions are made for visitors to clients who are at end-of-life. End-of-life visiting is determined by the program manager in consultation with the responsible physician.

General Visitors

A General Visitor is a person (infants under 12 months of age are not counted in the number of general visitors) who is not an Essential Visitor and is visiting:

  • To provide non-essential services, who may or may not be hired by the hospital or the client and/or their substitute decision maker; and/or
  • For social reasons (e.g. family members or friends) that the client or their substitute decision-maker assess as different from direct care.

Visits take place during regular visiting hours.

General visitors are not permitted if a client is symptomatic, isolating under droplet and contact precautions, or lives in an area of the hospital that is in an outbreak.

Essential Visitors
  • The person identified by the client or substitute decision maker (SDM) to provide essential supports to the client (e.g. caregiver who provides direct care, support feeding, mobility, hygiene, and/or cognitive stimulation). Essential Visitors may bew substituted to another individual by the client or SDM in consultation with the manager.
  • Essential Visitors may be substituted to another individual by the client or substitute decision maker in consultation with the manager.
Other Visitors

An other visitor is a person or persons requested by the client or SDM (substitute decision maker) as described below:

  • Cultural, spiritual, or religious providers to visit and/or participate in cultural, traditional, religious ceremonies and practices for clients receiving end-of-life care or episodically. This may include support organizations, such as Hospice Northwest or Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.
  • A paid support worker who provides direct care for support, feeding, mobility, hygiene, cognitive stimulation. Such visits will be prioritized and facilitated where possible.
Fully Vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Individuals who are 14 days past their completed primary series of a World Health Organization approved vaccine.
Proof of Vaccination for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate (paper or electronic); and
  • Photo identification that matches name on immunization certificate.
Vaccination Medical Exemptions
  • If you are unable to be fully vaccinated for a medical reason, an appointment must be made with the unit’s manager in advance of your visit.
  • Medical exemption documents must be completed by a physician or nurse practitioner and include:
    • Name and contact information of the physician or nurse practitioner providing the note;
    • Practice logo or letterhead identifying the physician or nurse practitioner;
    • A statement that clearly indicates the medical reason for exemption of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19; and
    • The time period for the medical exemption.

For visitor information on Seniors' Supportive Housing or Long-Term Care Homes, please follow their respective links.

-- Updated: September 26, 2022 --

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