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Update from Connie Dejak, Runnymede President & CEO: Easing visiting restrictions

June 18, 2020

Dear Runnymede patients and families:

At long last, our community is beginning to show early signs of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. This change in our reality is being reflected in the way we work at Runnymede Healthcare Centre, and I would like to take this opportunity to share some key updates with you.

Our response to COVID-19

Runnymede was early in recognizing the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic and led the way in navigating this unprecedented healthcare challenge.

From the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Runnymede followed guidance from the Ministry of Health to ensure our patients’ safety. This included restrictions on in-person visiting, which we know has been a tremendous strain on patients and families alike.

I can’t overstate how important your cooperation with this has been for patient safety, and I wish to thank you sincerely for your support.

Thanks to a tremendous effort from our leadership, staff, patients and families, our hospital has been outbreak-free since May 22, 2020 after experiencing only a small number of cases. Since then, no new cases have been reported in either patients or staff, and I take pride in our excellent performance.

Easing visitor restrictions

I am thrilled to update you that recent direction from the Ministry enables us to begin reopening to visitors.

Runnymede was asked to make plans for reuniting patients and families by the end of the month, but our commitment to putting your needs at the centre of our decisions drove us to act faster: we look forward to welcoming visitors as of June 23, 2020.

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).

Arranging a visit

For now, we are prioritizing visits with our long-stay patients – those who have been in Runnymede for 30 days or more.

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.

If your family member is a long-stay patient, please contact our Patient Relations office to schedule a visit:

· Call 416 762-7316 ext. 2119, or

· Email

Preparing for your visit

Safety is our top priority, and all who choose to visit must follow a set of precautions that includes a mandatory online safety education session and proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. To locate a COVID-19 testing site near you, please visit

If you have arranged a visit, our staff will walk you through our enhanced health and safety procedures for visiting. Please note that if a visitor doesn’t meet our safety criteria or follow our precautions, they will not be permitted to visit. Due to the seriousness of COVID-19, no exceptions will be made with respect to this.

Bringing items for your loved ones

To ensure the safety of our patients and staff, drop-offs including food and laundry are still restricted at this time. Please be assured that we are doing our best to make special accommodations for food preferences in house, and we continue to meet all dietary needs of our patients.

Runnymede is committed to providing patients with an outstanding patient experience while maintaining the highest standards in infection prevention and control. Since the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our plans for visiting may change based on provincial and local guidelines. We will continue to monitor updates from the Ministry of Health and keep you informed as needed.

Thank you again for your cooperation; if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 416-762-7316 and ask for the patient care manager on your floor.