Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and taking precautions to ensure the safety for all clients, families, staff, volunteers, and students as the situation progresses.
Clients and families coming to Holland Bloorview can expect some changes to the delivery of our programs and services, participation in research, as well as their experience when visiting the hospital. All precautions and measures implemented by the hospital have been put into place to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.
Holland Bloorview is strongly recommending those who are able to access the COVID-19 vaccine do so to protect themselves, their loved ones and the community. If you have questions about the vaccines, please visit www.kidshealthfirst.ca.
Have questions? Contact the HB Info Line
Call or text the HB Info Line for information about:
- Clinical, recreation and other programs and services
- Referrals and eligibility criteria, fees (if applicable), start dates and other program details
- Funding options available to support your child or loved one’s needs
- Supports available to you during COVID-19
- General details about visiting the hospital
The phone line is operated from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You can also text, leave a voicemail or email email@example.com at any point. A hospital staff member will respond back within one business day. The HB Info Line is closed on statutory holidays.
If you have a concern about your child’s health, please get in touch with your clinical team or primary care physician. If your matter is urgent, please visit the nearest emergency department.
What does the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic mean for Holland Bloorview?
We will continue to provide inpatient and outpatient clinical care to our clients and families. We will also continue to operate our COVID-19 testing service.
What is Holland Bloorview doing to ensure that the hospital is a safe space for all who enter?
We are confident that Holland Bloorview remains a safe place for our staff, clients and families, researchers, students and volunteers. With the number of measures in place, such as daily screening, masking, promotion of physical distancing between people and workspaces, Plexiglas barriers, reduced staff on-site and enhanced cleaning measures, we are working to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19.
In addition, our outpatient clients are pre-screened before their appointment and screened again when they come onsite. Our inpatient clients that go on weekend passes are pre-screened before returning to the hospital as are their caregivers. They are screened again when they come back on site and monitored for symptoms every day during their admission. We ask clients and their caregivers to report any symptoms immediately so we can take appropriate action.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have evolved our approach to health and safety based on the latest guidelines from public health authorities and are evaluating risk from a pediatric rehabilitation perspective. The process to evaluate guidelines is ongoing as new and evolving guidance comes from public health on a regular basis. We examine new information and guidance daily with an eye towards anything that we can proactively take action on. For example, we continue to have ample supplies of all categories of personal protective equipment (PPE).
It is important to remember that we provide essential care services to kids and youth, and any disruption of our services has significant impact on the health and well-being of children. The kids we serve are among the most vulnerable in the province – they and their families need us.
All hospital visitors, including clients and family caregivers, are required to answer screening questions before entering the building. Some may be re-directed if exhibiting symptoms of illness, have travelled outside of Canada, or have been exposed to a person COVID-19 positive or pending COVID-19 test results. All inpatient family caregivers are subject to daily screening.
An online COVID-19 self-screening form is now available to complete within 24 hours of coming on-site, which will help ensure a speedy entry and prevent unnecessary travel to the hospital, should screening requirements not be met. Online screening is only for outpatients at this time.
Please allow extra time during your visit for screening upon arrival.
Universal masking policy
Consistent with guidelines released by hospitals across Ontario and Public Health, everyone age 6 and older is required to wear a hospital-provided mask at Holland Bloorview. We will provide you with a medical mask when you arrive. This policy applies to everyone who enters the hospital. Please note that even if individuals are fully vaccinated, they are still required to wear a medical mask at the hospital.
- If clients of any age are not able to wear a mask safely, they will not have to. Younger children may be asked to wear a mask if they receive a positive result after a COVID-19 test or have COVID-19 risk factors (travel history, exposure to COVID-19, or symptoms) and can safely wear a mask.
- If you choose to wear a cloth mask or a mask with a filter, or exhalation valve, you will also have to wear a hospital-provided medical mask on top. Gloves are not allowed in the hospital - instead we ask that you clean your hands often with hand sanitizer.
- Mask exemption cards are not accepted at Holland Bloorview. Exceptions will only be considered for family caregivers with medical conditions that prevent them from safely wearing a mask and must be approved by the patient’s Holland Bloorview health-care team in advance. If approved for an exception, you will be given you a face shield to wear instead.
- You will not be allowed to enter Holland Bloorview without a mask, or if you’ve been given an exception, without a face shield.
Physical distancing is not always possible and wearing a mask helps to protect everyone at the hospital, including you and your child, from the spread of COVID-19.
We recognize that this may change may have an impact on your child’s experience. The best way to prepare your child is to discuss these changes before coming to the hospital.
For more information about our masking policy, please read our universal masking policy FAQ below.
Holland Bloorview has implemented physical distancing requirements around the hospital, asking everyone to maintain 2 metres (6 feet) of distance when possible. Some exceptions do apply, including when providing direct client care that requires staff to be in closer proximity to clients. Additional PPE is provided to staff (i.e. masks, visors) in these scenarios to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of our clients and families.
Disinfecting high-touch surfaces
We have put in place enhanced cleaning measures in addition to routine cleaning around the hospital. For example, high-touch surfaces that are used often (i.e. door handles, counters, light switches) are being cleaned and disinfected frequently.)
To support our clients and families during these challenging times, Holland Bloorview has assembled of a number of resources and tip sheets to help families navigate through the new reality.
Translation and interpretation services are available to support all clients and families when accessing Holland Bloorview programs and services, including clinical appointments.
Inpatient family and caregiver presence policy
To ensure the safety of everyone in our community, all family caregivers are expected to wear a mask at all times where physical distancing of at least 2 meters (6 feet) is not possible. Inpatient clients over the age of 6 years are required to wear a mask (medical or well-fitted cloth), if they are able, when outside of their room.
Visitor vaccination policy
Effective Wednesday, December 15, anyone coming to the hospital for indoor family visits with inpatient clients (excluding bedside caregivers and children 0-4 years old) will be asked to do one of the following:
- show proof of COVID-19 vaccination;
- provide a negative COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours); OR
- participate in rapid testing onsite.
In response to rising COVID-19 cases, indoor family visits are temporarily paused to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. For questions about indoor visits, please connect with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-425-6220 x3182.
Designated caregiver rapid test program
Due to the high community transmission of COVID-19, Holland Bloorview has implemented a daily rapid testing program for the designated caregivers (up to three pre-identified caregivers) of our inpatient clients. This program also applies to essential caregivers of clients in our day program.
Designated caregivers are provided rapid tests by Holland Bloorview and required to complete these tests once daily (preferably in the morning) before undergoing daily screening in the front lobby where they will be asked if they’ve completed daily testing and tested negative.
We recommend that clients who cannot wear masks refrain from going into retail stores when on neighbourhood outings.
On-site programs and services
Holland Bloorview offers a number of programs and services on site, such as urgent clinical appointments and the re-initiation of research and teaching activity. We continue to also provide access to life-enhancing programs and services in a virtual environment.
The safety of everyone on-site is our top priority and our teams are working together to limit the number of people at the hospital at a time and taking additional precautions including screening, disinfecting and masking as noted above.
If you have an upcoming appointment, we encourage you to review Holland Bloorview on-site visits: processes and guidelines for more information on what to expect when coming to the hospital.
If multiple on-site appointments are needed for a client, we are making efforts to align appointment date and times to reduce the number of times they need to come to the hospital.
Outpatient family and caregiver presence policy
Two caregivers, aged 16 or older, per client are permitted at each visit. Additionally, caregivers may bring an infant under 30 months.
If your family requires additional support when visiting the hospital, an accommodation/exception requests can be made by contacting email@example.com or calling 416-425-6220 ext. 3115 at least 48 hours before your appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a universal masking policy?
A universal masking policy means that everyone age 6 and older coming into the hospital must wear a hospital-provided mask while inside. This policy applies to everyone that enters Holland Bloorview. If clients of any age are not able to wear a mask safely, they will not have to. Younger children may be asked to wear a mask if they are COVID-19 positive or have COVID-19 risk factors and if they can safely wear a mask. Exceptions will only be considered for family caregivers with medical conditions that prevent them from safely wearing a mask and must be approved by the client’s health-care team in advance.
Why is everyone being asked to wear masks at Holland Bloorview?
COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have any symptoms or who do not realize they have the virus. Universal masking helps to prevent the spread of infection to other patients and to our staff, especially when physical distancing – staying two metres or six feet apart – is not possible.
How does wearing a mask help?
Masks can decrease the spread of COVID-19 in two ways:
- Wearing a mask helps protect others around you by limiting the spread of your droplets when coughing, sneezing, and speaking.
- Wearing a mask protects you by reducing the chance of inhaling droplets from others around you.
Can I wear my own mask or face covering? What about my child?
Not on its own. To ensure the safety of everyone at Holland Bloorview, we are providing masks at our entrances after you complete the COVID-19 screening process Not all masks are the same – by providing our own masks we can be certain that the one you are wearing will offer the right amount of protection for you and our staff. If you choose to wear your own mask, you will also have to wear a hospital-provided mask on top.
Where will I get a mask when I arrive at Holland Bloorview?
Entrance screening staff will ask you to sanitize your hands and then give you a mask after you have completed the COVID-19 screening process. They can explain how to put it on properly if you would like assistance.
What if I can’t or don’t want to wear a mask?
Everyone age 6 and older is required to wear a hospital-provided mask at Holland Bloorview. This policy is to protect those around you who may be at a higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19.
If patients of any age are not able to wear a mask safely, they will not have to. If you are a family caregiver who has a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, contact your Holland Bloorview health-care team before your appointment and request an exception. If approved, tell the screening staff that you have an exception, and they will give you a face shield to wear instead. You will not be allowed to enter Holland Bloorview without a mask, or if you’ve been given an exception, without a face shield. No exceptions to the Universal Masking Policy will be made for other types of visitors.
How do I safely put a mask on and take a mask off?
Our staff can teach you about wearing and removing masks. Have a look at this handy poster for a step-by-step guide to wearing and removing a mask properly and safely.
How can I be sure a mask fits properly?
Follow this checklist to ensure a mask fits properly:
- Fully covers your mouth and nose once the elastics are secure around ears
- Has minimal gaps between your face and the mask – the mask should fit tightly but not feel uncomfortable
- Does not need to be repositioned or adjusted while being worn
- Is easy to remove safely
A mask that does not fit well can compromise the safety of the person wearing the mask and those around them.
What should I do if my mask gets wet or dirty?
If your mask gets wet or dirty during your appointment, let your health-care team know that you need a new mask.
Can I remove my mask to eat or drink?
You may remove your mask to eat or drink while you are at the hospital if you are in an eating area or in a designated patient space where you can reasonably distance from others 2 metres (or 6 feet). You must put on your mask on when a staff member enters the room and when you move from one area to another in the hospital.
What should be done with the mask if I need to take it off?
Masks must be worn at all times in the hospital - however you may remove your mask to eat or drink in eating areas or in designated patient spaces. Remove it safely and place it on a clean piece of paper towel or inside a plastic container. If you are changing to a fresh mask or leaving the hospital, be sure to dispose of your mask in a waste container.
Can I take my mask off once my appointment is over?
Please leave your mask on the entire time you are inside the hospital. If you need to take it off to eat or drink, or as part of your medical appointment, first wash your hands and then remove your mask carefully, without touching your face. If you are taking public transit, a rideshare, or will be entering any indoor spaces on your way home from the hospital, you will need to be wearing a mask in accordance with the City of Toronto’s Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw.
My child is staying at the hospital. Do I have to wear a mask in their inpatient room?
Masks can be removed but must be put back on whenever you cannot maintain 2 meters of physical distance from other families or when a member of the health care team enters.
We feel strongly that immunization against COVID-19 is an individual and societal responsibility and we must do everything possible to protect our clients, families, our colleagues and ourselves. Learn more here.
November 4, 2021 update: all staff, researchers, volunteers, students and contractors at the hospital are vaccinated with the exception of two medical exemptions. Learn more here.
In partnership with SickKids, Holland Bloorview runs a COVID-19 testing service for children with medical complexity and children with developmental conditions who cannot be served in their community and up to two (2) family members, such as family caregivers and/or siblings.
**Due to increased demand for COVID-19 testing, there are currently limited appointments available. Please check with your local pediatric hospital as well.**
About the service:
- An appointment is required to access the service and can be made by calling 416-419-4623. The line is open Mondays to Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and staffed by Holland Bloorview staff (Note: On Tuesdays, the line is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
- Appointments are available at SickKids during daytime hours (Monday to Friday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or at Holland Bloorview 4 days each week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- To provide families with options, the testing swab can be taken inside a vehicle or tent outside (SickKids) or in an indoor setting (Holland Bloorview).
For inpatient caregivers:
Inpatient caregivers are eligible to access testing onsite. Please call 647-298-3862 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
See our web story for more information about the COVID-19 testing service at Holland Bloorview.
For more information: click here.
Emergency Transit Fund
Holland Bloorview has an Emergency Transit Fund (ETF), dedicated to helping alleviate the financial stress and barriers experienced by some of our clients and families when they need to visit Holland Bloorview for clinical appointments. The fund provides up to $500 of wheelchair accessible taxi chits and a parking voucher to eligible families.
To learn more about the fund and how to access it, please speak to your Holland Bloorview social worker or clinical team.
This ETF was made possible through a generous donation from the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association. The ETF is a hallmark initiative through Holland Bloorview’s Always Events, focused on enhancing client and family navigation.
Kindercircle Day Care
The Kindercircle Day Care at Holland Bloorview has re-opened its doors to a limited number of children of Holland Bloorview staff and surrounding healthcare facilities as well as children from the local community.
The Kindercircle team worked tirelessly to put in place the measures needed to open the Kindercircle daycare as soon as possible with a modified plan that aligns with provincial regulations and Holland Bloorview’s own standards of health and safety.
For more information, check out the Kindercircle Day Care Re-opening Guide.
The health and safety of everyone in our community is always our top priority. Holland Bloorview, like hospitals across the province and City of Toronto has been impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
As of January 27, 2022, the number of COVID-19 positive cases include:
|Client cases active:||3|
|Client cases recovered/discharged:||9|
|Client cases total:||12|
|Staff cases active:||18|
|Staff cases recovered temporarily unavailable:||-|
|Staff cases total temporarily unavailable:||-|
Visit Bloorview School Authority’s website for their case count.
While we have experienced COVID-19 positive cases in our community, Holland Bloorview remains a safe environment for all client, families, staff, students and volunteers. See the General Information section above to learn more about some of the ways we keeping everyone safe at 150 Kilgour Road.