Patient, Family & Caregiver Experience

We are taking precautions at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) to ensure the safety of our patients, families, caregivers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates will be shared frequently to ensure everyone has the information required to remain safe.

Please visit the Province of Ontario's dedicated COVID-19 webpage to help educate yourself about COVID-19, including how you can protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk. 

Please select from the menu below:

COVID Testing, Assessment & Treatment

Our COVID, Cold & Flu Care Clinic will close as of March 31, 2023. After this date, if you think you need a COVID-19 test, assessment, or treatment, you can:

If you think you have COVID-19 and are seeking treatment, don’t delay. You will need to start treatment within 5
days of the start of symptoms.

If you or your child have severe symptoms, call 911 or go to the emergency department.

For adults, severe symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
For children, severe symptoms include:
  • Working hard or straining to breathe – for example, the lower chest is moving in more than normal when the child breathes, the child is grunting, or the child’s nostrils are flaring
  • Bluish skin
  • Unable to breastfeed or drink
  • Very sleepy or difficult to wake
  • Peeing less than usual
  • Fever with rash
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Fever in an infant younger than 3 months
If you are worried your child is seriously ill, call 911 or go to the emergency department.


Updated June 5, 2023

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has worked closely with our partners in Infection Prevention and Control to ensure patients, staff, physicians and families/caregivers are safe and protected while in our hospitals. Along with our partner hospitals throughout the South West Region, and based upon the most recent Public Health Ontario guidance, updates will be made to our Universal Masking Policy to reflect current health and safety risks.

Effective Monday, June 5, 2023 masking will be welcomed, but no longer required in many clinical areas of the hospital. The exception to this is any of HPHA’s Emergency Departments where masking will be required. Masking will also be required throughout the hospital sites for individuals who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory infection such as cough, fever and sore throat, and for those who are accompanying or visiting a patient with these symptoms. Hospital-provided medical grade masks will continue to be provided with masking stations set up throughout HPHA hospital sites, not just at entrances. Anyone entering the hospital is welcome to wear a mask.

What This Means for Our Patients, Families/Caregivers and Visitors

Masking is Required

  • If you are a patient or caregiver in the Emergency Department
  • You have symptoms of a respiratory infection (such as cough, fever, sore throat)
  • You are caring for someone with a respiratory infection
You may want to wear a mask if:
  • You have an underlying medical condition, are immunocompromised or are an older adult
  • Your close contacts are more likely to get very sick if they contract COVID-19
  • You are in a crowded space
  • You had a high-risk exposure and may become sick
What This Means for Our Staff and Physicians

Masking is required for staff and physicians:

  • When providing care in our Emergency Departments
  • When providing care to patients in isolation precautions or with symptoms of respiratory illness 
  • If they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness 

It is also important to note that Universal Masking may be reintroduced based on disease activity, during respiratory season and for outbreak management.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does wearing a mask help?

Masks decrease the spread of COVID-19 in two ways. First, people wearing masks help protect others around them by limiting the spread of their own droplets when coughing, sneezing and speaking. Second, those wearing masks protect themselves by reducing the chance of inhaling contaminated droplets from others who are within two metres.

Are additional masks available if needed?

Masking stations are set up throughout our hospital sites.  We will also provide patients and care partners with a new mask if it becomes very wet, soiled, damaged or dropped on the floor. Just ask your health care staff for a new mask.

What should be done with the mask when taken off?

If you will need to put the mask on again, you may remove it safely and place it on a clean piece of paper towel. However, if the mask will no longer be needed, please dispose it in a waste container.

Use hand sanitizer frequently while at the hospital. And, always remember to clean your hands before putting on a mask and after taking it off.

What happens if I can’t wear a mask due to a medical reason?

The use of a mask can be associated with a sense of anxiety. A position paper from the Canadian Thoracic Society has identified that there is no evidence that wear a mask will lead to a flare up of an underlying lung condition.

COVID-19 Self-Screening

All individuals entering the Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital and Stratford General Hospital will self-screen using the list of questions posted, sanitize their hands and put on a mask. Masks must be worn properly, covering your mouth and nose for the entirety of your visit to the hospital site. Children under the age of two are not required to wear a mask.

If you fail self-screening: 

  • Patients seeking emergency care who do not pass the self-screening may still enter the hospital but must speak with a member of the health care team.
  • Patients arriving for a scheduled appointment who do not pass self-screening should contact the health care team/department they are visiting to determine next steps. In some cases, the appointment may need to be rescheduled to a later date.
  • Family caregivers, visitors, vendors/suppliers and contractors who do not pass self-screening must not enter the hospital site. Please note, recently expanded Family and Caregiver Visiting Guidelines allow inpatients to have unlimited daily visitors, with a maximum of two at the bedside at a time.

Patients and family/caregivers are asked to enter through the following entrances:
  • Clinton Public Hospital – Emergency Department or Main Entrance
  • St. Marys Memorial Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Seaforth Community Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Stratford General Hospital
    • Main Entrances (Cambria St. & West Gore St.) 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • West Building Entrance (West Gore St.) 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Emergency Department (for emergency care and after hours, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.)

Family & Caregiver Visiting Guidelines

Our Family and Caregiver Visiting Guidelines are reviewed on a regular basis and are endorsed by our Patient Partners.

Review our latest Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines

For More Information