Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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St. Joseph's Care Group


Visiting St. Joseph’s Hospital during a Pandemic

Visitor restrictions may change at any time, without prior notice

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

St. Joseph's Hospital is currently in Step 2 of our visitation policy and general visiting is temporarily paused.

Be Prepared, Visitors must

  • Be fully vaccinated (See below for medical exceptions)
  • Complete at-home antigen testing and provide proof of a negative antigen test when they arrive
  • Pass screening
  • Compassionate exceptions for those 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 Long-Term Care, along with the guidance of public health.

Visitor Requirements & Precautions
  • Clients may have a maximum of two (2) essential visitors at a time, in addition to one (1) other visitor. General Visiting is temporarily paused.
  • Visitors must provide proof of full vaccination, unless you have a valid medical exemption approved by the unit manager in advance of your visit.
  • All Essential Visitors are required to complete a self-administered Rapid Antigen Test twice per calendar week prior to entering the building. The test is to be spaced out during the week when visiting regularly and immediately prior to infrequent visits. Testing should not be completed two days in a row.
  • Must pass your screening and prepare to show your results before you enter St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • 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.
  • 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 one (1) year of age are not considered visitors and may accompany a vaccinated individual without being subject to surveillance testing.
  • Children ages 1-5 years of age are not permitted entry at this time
End-of-Life Visits

All End-of-Life visitors must follow the visitor requirements and travel restrictions above but may exercise the following exceptions.

Visitor Exceptions

Compassionate exceptions are made for clients who are at end-of-life by arrangement with the program staff.

General Visitors

A general visitor is a person who is not a designated 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, including care related to cognitive stimulation, meaningful connection and relational continuity.

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 to provide essential supports to the client. A paid caregiver who provides direct care for support feeding, mobility, hygiene, and/or cognitive stimulation, may be considered as an Essential Visitor.
  • 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 final dose 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 receipt.
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: May 9, 2022 --

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