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Visiting the hospital

Due to COVID-19, all VCH facilities remain restricted to essential visits only

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working closely with the Ministry of Health to protect the health of everyone in B.C., including patients, clients and residents at all Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) sites. All VCH facilities remain restricted to essential visits based on direction from a Ministry policy communique.

Essential visits include:

  • Visits for compassionate care, including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end of life, and medical assistance in dying (MAID)

  • Visits paramount to the patient or client's physical care and mental well-being, including:

    • Assistance with feeding, mobility, personal care

    • Communication assistance for persons with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments

    • Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities, including provision of emotional support

    • Visits for supported decision-making

    • Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery

  • Existing registered volunteers providing the services described above.

  • Visits required to move belongings in or out of a client's room.

  • Police, correctional officers and peace officers accompanying a patient/client for security reasons.

Each patient, client or resident is now eligible for essential visits. Essential visits are limited to one visitor per patient/client/resident, once per day, within the facility. A visitor who is a child may be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member. Visitors who require assistance may also be accompanied by an additional family member.

Virtual visits are strongly encouraged and supported where in-person visits are not possible.

Long-term care: The Ministry of Health announced investment in safer visits at long-term care homes and seniors facilities. Updated provincial requirements will ease the current visitor restrictions for long-term care homes and seniors' assisted living residences with clear guidance on required precautions. Each facility must develop written plans outlining how they will meet the requirements before visitation changes take effect.

Review of decisions about essential visits: Families and visitors can ask for a review of a decision about what is considered an essential visit by contacting the VCH Patient Care Quality Office.

These restrictions are in place to protect the health of our patients, clients, residents, staff and physicians. Thank you for your understanding. We will advise the public when they are lifted.

How do I find a hospital location?

Contact information for our hospitals can be found in our Locations & services directory. Type the name of the hospital into the search box to pull up the listing. Each listing includes the address, map, contact and parking information, if available.

Hospital visiting hours

Visiting hours are included in the "Hours of operation" section of each hospital listing in our Locations & services directory.

Stay home if you aren't feeling well

We want our patients to have every chance to get well. Do not visit the hospital if you are feeling unwell (for example, if you have a cold or the flu) or have been near someone else who is sick. It is also important to wash your hands or use available alcohol-based liquid/foam hand sanitizers before and after visiting a loved one in the hospital.

Places to stay close to a hospital

Look up Accommodation information on the CIBC Centre for Patients & Families website to find reasonable and discounted rates for people visiting friends or family in our facilities.

Send Well Wishes to friends and family in hospital

Well Wishes is a free service that allows you to stay in touch with friends and family staying at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Visit our Send well wishes page to get started.

Flu season policy: December 1 - March 31 each year

Beginning December 1 through March 31 each year, all visitors to this facility must have had a flu shot or wear a mask. Flu shots for visitors are free and can be obtained at your family doctor, VCH flu clinics, walk-in clinics; or pharmacies. People planning to visit loved ones in a health care facility or who will take family members to outpatient appointments are also eligible for a free shot. 

Masks are available at nursing stations, outpatient reception desks and/or the main entrances of our facilities. 

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