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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. Symptoms range from mild (like the flu and other common respiratory infections) to severe. The most common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

The health and safety of our patients is Runnymede Healthcare Centre’s top priority, and we have implemented protective measures that exceed our health authorities’ recommendations.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation and will post updates to our blog as new information becomes available.

For more information about COVID-19 please visit:

What happens if there is a COVID-19 patient at Runnymede?

  • Public Health is immediately notified and will provide direction
  • The patient should already be on droplet/contact precautions. This patient will be transferred to a private room with a private washroom (if not already in this accommodation)
  • If the symptoms are mild and the patient is stable enough to stay at Runnymede Healthcare Centre, they will be managed here
  • If the patient’s symptoms worsen and the patient requires a higher level of care, they will be transferred to acute care
  • We will contact all patients/family members as needed if potential or confirmed COVID-19 exposure has occurred

What can patients do during this time?

To continue to keep patients and staff safe, all patients are being asked to follow these guidelines:

  • Please maintain a safe social distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others at all times
  • Please remain on your floor
  • Please do not visit other patients in their rooms
  • Refrain from going to the cafeteria or other public areas

For patients who must leave to smoke, please maintain a safe social distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others and do not visit with anyone outside.

For more information please read:

Screening at our main entrance

We are actively screening for potential risk of COVID-19 with everyone who comes to our hospital to ensure the safety and well-being of patients and staff.

Visiting restrictions

Limited visiting permitted for long-stay patients

Recent direction from the Ministry of Health enables us to begin reopening to visitors as of June 23, 2020. For now, we are prioritizing visits with our long-stay patients – those who have been in Runnymede for 30 days or more.

Patients who have stayed at Runnymede for 30 days or more may have a scheduled one-hour visit per day from a single designated visitor (or designated alternative). Two to three visits will be permitted per patient per week, and visiting hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. These visits will take place outside, in the back garden.

Find out more by reading our information sheet for visitors.

If your family member is a long-stay patient and you are interested in scheduling a visit, please call 416 762-7316 ext. 2119, or email patient.relations@runnymedehc.ca.

For those who are not long-stay patients

Runnymede has a no visitor policy in place, with some compassionate exceptions (please see below for details). This decision was made in light of emerging COVID-19 community transmission and recommendations from the Ministry of Health to slow the spread of the virus. We understand this is a difficult time and appreciate your cooperation.

Exceptions may be given by the hospital for patients under special circumstances such as:

  • End of life care (i.e. palliative and critical care)
  • Patients who require support to access ambulatory services (i.e. day oncology, dialysis, medical imaging)

Any visitors allowed under these special circumstances must receive approval from appropriate patient care manager prior to appointment and pass Runnymede’s screening criteria before they may enter the hospital.

We are not permitting any in-person visits for patients who are COVID-positive or are suspected to have COVID-19, even under the above exceptions. We understand this may be distressing for patients and families but this difficult decision was made to limit the transmission of the virus.

For any questions about our visiting policy, please contact our patient relations team at patient.relations@runnymedehc.ca or call 416-762-7316, ext. 2119.

Staying connected with loved ones

Runnymede has implemented a few ways for patients and their loved ones to stay in touch during this challenging time:

  • Free Wi-Fi – Patients can use their own device (smart phone, tablet, etc.) and connect to the hospital Wi-Fi to make phone or video calls.
  • Access to devices – iPods and iPads are available for patients who would like to conduct a video call and do not have their own device.

Requesting devices to make video calls to loved ones

Patients and families can request a device to video call their loved one, provided they don’t have their own device.

  • Patients – Speak to a member of your care team about requesting a device
  • Families and friends – Please contact our activation department at 416-762-7316 ext. 2224

Delivering patient belongings

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not permitting personal items and food to be brought into the hospital, to reduce the potential of the virus to spread.

If you have any questions about our policy regarding deliveries to the hospital, please contact our patient relations team at patient.relations@runnymedehc.ca or call 416-762-7316, ext. 2119.