Respiratory Virus Season

Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) has worked closely throughout the pandemic with our regional partners to layer infection prevention and control strategies while implementing Provincial Guidance and responding to the unique needs of our community. As healthcare leaders, we need to do everything possible to continue to safeguard our patients, families, communities and those who provide their care.

Respiratory Virus Season

Symptoms of respiratory viruses range from very mild to more serious. They may vary between age groups.

The most common symptoms include:
• new or worsening cough
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• fever (temperature equal to or more than 38°C) and / or chills
• sore throat
• runny or stuffy nose
• headache.
• fatigue or weakness
• muscle or body aches
Nausea, vomiting and/ or diarrhea are often associated with gastrointestinal illness. Please do not visit patients or come for a procedure until 48 hours after resolution of these types of symptoms.

How can I protect myself from respiratory viruses?
1. Get your seasonal influenza and updated COVID vaccine.
2. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
3. Social distance and avoid crowds.
4. Wash your hands frequently.

How can I protect others?

1. Get your seasonal influenza and updated COVID vaccine
2. Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms, even if they are mild. If you cannot stay home, wear a mask that covers your nose and chin and clean your hands frequently.

Masking is recommended, especially when you will be in close contact with others for extended periods of time in indoor spaces, when you are recovering from a respiratory illness or if you have vulnerable family members at home.

Visitor Policy

  • Everyone who enters the hospital must sanitize their hands. Masks are required in all areas where patient care is provided as well as waiting rooms. Masks are recommended in public areas of the hospital.
  • Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) recognizes the important role that visitors play in the support and recovery of their loved ones while in hospital. We continue to monitor and adapt our visitor policy in response to changing local epidemiology while aligning with provincial guidance and our regional partners.
  • A visitor is an individual who provides physical or emotional support. Visitors may or may not be family members.
  • Regular visiting hours are from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm. After hours visiting must be arranged in advance with the care team.
  • Inpatients may have a maximum of two visitors at the bedside at a time.

Requesting an Exception:

  • Exceptions can be made for palliative patients and are granted based on multiple factors such as availability of a palliative care room, unit activity, patient clinical status, care partner compliance and staffing. The Manager or delegate of the unit or department where the patient is receiving care will review clinical exceptions in consultation with the Infection Prevention and Control Team and the care partner. Exceptions should be discussed and approved by the care team in advance of the visit.
  • One visitor may accompany the patient while in the Emergency Department, Ambulatory and Same Day Care areas.
    Children may visit in the inpatient areas when accompanied by an adult and are included in the maximum number of visitors (two) allowed at a time.
  • Visitors are asked to check in with the care team on arrival for any specific permissions or precautions.
  • When isolation precautions are in place, visitors are required to visit one at a time and comply with PPE as instructed by staff.
  • Visitor restrictions may apply when a units is experiencing an outbreak.
  • Pets are not allowed at any time.

Concerns may be expressed through Patient Relations by telephone at (519) 245-5295 ext. 5594 or by email at A response will be provided on the next business day. In an urgent situation, please request the unit manager (or manager on call if after business hours).

Guidelines for Visitors:

  • Do not attend if you are ill, even with minor symptoms.
  • Do not visit if you have been in contact with a person with a contagious illness (e.g. respiratory illness with fever, colds, chicken pox, or flu) in the past 10 days
  • Do not bring food or beverages for personal consumption.
  • Wear additional personal protective equipment if requested by staff.
  • Patients in a multi-bed room will have curtains pulled around them when the care partner is present. The care partner will stay within the curtained area.

Expectations While In Hospital

  • Perform hand hygiene when entering and upon leaving the patient room. Wear a mask while in the clinical area.
  • Remain in the loved one’s room during the visit unless instructed otherwise by staff.
  • Sit in the chair provided and not on the patient’s bed.
  • Do not use the patient washroom. Public washrooms are available; ask staff in the area to direct you to the nearest washroom locations.
  • Do not provide assistance/care for other patients.
  • Do not linger in hallways or spend extended time in public/common areas. Public washrooms are open and cafeteria seating areas are open (subject to availability).
  • Help us maintain a Scent Free environment. Please do not bring strongly scented flowers or use heavily scented body products (e.g. perfumes, lotion) when visiting.
  • The Hospital is a Smoke Free Environment. Anyone wishing to smoke will be required to leave the Hospital property.



Universal Masking

Middlesex Hospital Alliance requires all outpatients, visitors, and caregivers to wear a mask in all areas where patient care is provided as well as in waiting rooms. This is required at both of our hospital sites.

Why are patients and care partners being asked to wear masks at Middlesex Hospital Alliance?

  • The hospital is a high risk setting with vulnerable persons. We want to do everything possible to keep our patients, visitors, volunteers, staff and physicians safe. We use multiple layers of protection to reduce the risk of infection transmission including hand hygiene, masking and distancing. We encourage people to stay up to date with their vaccinations- especially those against COVID-19 and Influenza. We ask people not to visit at the hospital if they are sick.

What type of mask is allowed?

  • Medical masks are available for all patients and visitors entering either of our hospital sites. Patients and visitors are asked to perform hand hygiene and don a clean medical mask provided by the hospital on arrival.

When should I wear a mask?

  • Please wear a mask the entire time you are in a patient care or waiting area unless instructed otherwise by our staff.
  • Please wear a mask if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection (cough, fever, sore throat) and require care.

In addition, patients and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask:
• When in a crowded waiting are in close proximity to others
• When you have an underlying medical condition or are immunocompromised
• When you have close contacts who could get very sick if exposed to an infection (ie you care for someone very young or very old)
• When you have had a recent exposure to someone who is ill
• When you have symptoms of a respiratory infection (cough, fever, sore throat) and require care

Do inpatients have to wear masks?

  • Inpatients are required to wear masks if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness and are leaving their bed space, and when instructed by hospital staff.

What if I refuse to wear a mask?

  • If you have a medical exemption, please bring proof and discuss with staff.  You will not be denied care however adjustments will need to be made to help keep others safe. For example, we may ask you to wait outside if we are unable to isolate you right away.

Preparing for your Surgery

Ensuring the safety of our patients and staff is a top priority. Please be assured that our diligent infection prevention measures are in place.

Please call your surgeon’s office if you develop symptoms or have an exposure to someone with COVID -19 prior to surgery as proceeding with your surgery may increase your risk of complications.

The following symptoms or exposures require surgery to be rescheduled.

  • Fever, new or worsening cough, new or worsening shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches, joint pain, increased fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Household exposure to individual who tested positive for COVID 19 or influenza

Support Persons/Visitors
If you need assistance or support the day of your procedure, please ensure that only one person accompanies you to the hospital. Ensure the person is not experiencing any symptoms of infectious respiratory or gastrointestinal illness

At the Hospital

  • Perform hand hygiene when you arrive.
  • Wear a medical mask.
  • Attend registration and answer any screening questions
  • Follow staff direction.




Preparing for your Outpatient visit

There are limitations to the number of people in areas of the hospital. Please help us all stay safe.

  • If you are able to come to your appointment unattended, please do so. Please refer to the Visitation Policy for family and essential care partners. If you require more than 1 support person, exceptions must be requested and will be assessed on a case by case basis in consultation with your health care provider prior to the day of your appointment.
  • Please ensure you arrive no sooner than approximately10 minutes prior to your appointment unless instructed otherwise as space in our waiting areas is limited.
  • Please ensure you arrive no sooner than approximately10 minutes prior to your appointment unless instructed otherwise as space in our waiting areas is limited.
  • On arrival, you will be asked questions about symptoms you may be experiencing or exposures to the virus you may have had. These questions may be asked at multiple points during your visit.
  • Wear your mask and follow staff direction regarding infection control precautions.

For More Information

Scroll to Top