Vaccination Requirement FAQs

Frequently asked Questions

Care partners are required to show proof of vaccination and accompanying government-issued ID. Go to the Visiting and COVID-19 page for information on how to book a visit. 

What does fully vaccinated mean?
Why are you making this change?
What can I expect when I come for my approved, scheduled, care partner visit?
What are acceptable pieces of ID?
Will I need to show proof of vaccination and ID each time I visit the hospital?
Where can I get vaccinated?
How can I download my proof of vaccination?
Why are you allowing unvaccinated patients come into the hospital if an unvaccinated care partner cannot?
I don’t plan to get vaccinated, does this mean I can’t visit as a care partner?
Can I just be tested at the door? Why or why not?
What about my child, who is too young to be vaccinated?
If they change the age groups for vaccinations, will my child need to be vaccinated?
I’ve already had COVID and have natural immunity. Why can’t I visit?
Does this process only apply to care partners? What about staff and doctors?
Why do I have to be vaccinated to visit a loved one when paramedics can be unvaccinated?
I only have one dose of the vaccine; will I be allowed in?
Who can I contact about this change?
Are any programs exempt from this guidance? For example, my unvaccinated spouse being present for the birth of my child?

What does fully vaccinated mean?

Fully Vaccinated: Having received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada (e.g., two doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series; and having received the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior).

Why are you making this change?

Many of our patients are immunocompromised. In addition to mandating vaccines for our staff, making this change will limit the opportunity of exposure in our buildings and support our focus on protecting staff, patients and our community from COVID-19. We chose November 30th to create alignment between care partner expectations and the timing of our staff vaccine policy, both of which are extremely important to protect our patients and team members.

What can I expect when I come for my approved, scheduled, care partner visit?

You will be screened for symptoms when you arrive and asked to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (unless you are approved as an exemption) and government issued photo identification. Staff will ask you to sanitize your hands and provide you with a mask to wear. You must wear a hospital-issued mask at ALL times while in the hospital. At this time we do not allow visitors to eat at the bedside with the patient they are visiting or bring food into the hospital. We also ask that you stay in the patient's room for the duration of your visit, unless you have been provided with special permission to leave the unit. All of these precautions are to reduce the spread of illness to others.

What are acceptable pieces of ID?

Acceptable forms of identification must include name and date of birth, such as:

  • Birth certificate.
  • Citizenship card.
  • Driver’s licence.
  • Government (Ontario or other) issued identification card, including health card.
  • Indian status card /Indigenous membership card.
  • Passport.
  • Permanent resident card.

Will I need to show proof of vaccination and ID each time I visit the hospital?

Yes, proof of vaccination and ID is required each time you visit the hospital. This ensures we can accurately monitor our care partner vaccine guideline compliance as we continue to focus on protecting our patients, staff and the community.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Vaccine locations are available at Get a Vaccine - Region of Waterloo. You can also call your local pharmacy to book an appointment.

How can I download my proof of vaccination?

You can download or print your personal vaccination QR code at Proof of COVID-19 vaccination | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario. You will need to have your valid Ontario Health Card with you to access your vaccine QR code.

Why are you allowing unvaccinated patients come into the hospital if an unvaccinated care partner cannot?

Patients don’t have a choice in coming to the hospital; if they require care, we will provide care, regardless of their vaccination status. However, care partners do not require care and do not need to be in the hospital. We are asking that they be vaccinated as a requirement to access the hospital site.

I don’t plan to get vaccinated, does this mean I can’t visit as a care partner?

There will be exceptions to our care partner vaccination guidance. If you have any questions about your specific situation, please reach out to the area where your loved one is, or will receive care.

Can I just be tested at the door? Why or why not?

We are focusing on devoting our staff resources to providing and supporting patient care as much as possible. We will not have the resources to offer COVID-19 tests at the entrance.

What about my child, who is too young to be vaccinated?

Children are now approved to be vaccinated starting at age 5. Unvaccinated children will not be allowed in the hospital unless the visit meets the exemption guidelines (listed on our website) or your child is a patient requiring medical care.

If they change the age groups for vaccinations, will my child need to be vaccinated?

As the vaccine is released to additional age groups, we will review the guidance provided and update our process if necessary.

I’ve already had COVID and have natural immunity. Why can’t I visit?

In a healthcare setting, we deal with a number of individuals whose immunity levels don’t respond well to the COVID-19 vaccine. Natural immunity is only good for so long. Previously infected, unvaccinated individuals are getting COVID-19 at a higher rate than vaccinated individuals.

Does this process only apply to care partners? What about staff and doctors?

All staff, physicians, students, volunteers and contractors working at and with CMH were mandated to be vaccinated.

Why do I have to be vaccinated to visit a loved one when paramedics can be unvaccinated?

Each organization is implementing their own guidance around vaccines. For more information about paramedics and EMS services and vaccines, please contact the Region of Waterloo.

I only have one dose of the vaccine; will I be allowed in?

No, unless approved as an exceptional circumstance, care partners must be fully vaccinated by November 30, 2021

Who can I contact about this change?

If you would like to provide feedback about the process, please contact our patient relations team at patientrelations@cmh.org

If you would like to be considered as an exception, please call the hospital at 519-621-2333, ext. 0 and ask to be connected to the nurse working in the area where your loved one is receiving care.

Are any programs exempt from this guidance? For example, my unvaccinated spouse being present for the birth of my child?

We’ve always allowed for exceptions under exceptional circumstances. We know in most cases, these occasions occur at the beginning of life, the end of life, for the most serious of illness and injury, and when a patient isn’t cognitively or developmentally able to advocate for themselves. For more information on Emergency Department, Women & Children program guidelines please visit Visiting and COVID-19 | Cambridge Memorial Hospital (cmh.org).

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