Physician in the Emergency Department helping a child
Dr. Angela Marrocco, Emergency Physician at MGH, examines a paediatric patient in the Emergency Department’s Child and Youth Emergency Zone.

How to help keep your family safe this cold and flu season

Last updated: April 4, 2023

Like many other hospitals and healthcare organizations across Ontario, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is experiencing a very high demand for urgent, acute health services resulting in an increase in hospital admissions and longer than usual wait times for patients.

Much of the demand we are seeing is from children who are sick with cold, flu and other respiratory viruses. Combined with the current nation-wide shortage of over-the-counter liquid acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) for children, this is creating an especially challenging respiratory season for families.

To help keep your family safe and healthy this fall and winter, we’ve put together the following tips that will help protect your loved ones and, in the event that you need care, ensure you get it in the right place at the right time.

How to protect yourself from cold, flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses

  • Wear a quality, well-fitted mask. At MGH, we continue to require masking for all staff, physicians, learners, volunteers, patients, caregivers and visitors. We encourage everyone to consider masking in other indoor settings for increased protection against cold, flu and other viruses.
  • Continue following other safety measures we know are effective for preventing the spread of viruses. This includes washing your hands and staying home when you’re sick.

Where to find care for urgent but non-life threatening health issues

Where to find care for urgent, severe and potentially life-threatening health issues

  • MGH Emergency Department
    • Given current health system pressures, please note patients may experience longer than usual wait times for various services at MGH, including in the Stavro Emergency Department.
    • If you need in-person urgent care in our Emergency Department, including in our Child and Youth Emergency Zone, we encourage you to read these frequently asked questions to help ensure you come prepared and that our teams are able to support you as safely and quickly as possible.
    • If your child has a fever, please read the information available here to help determine if they need emergency care.

We appreciate your kindness and patience as our team does their best to provide urgent care for patients as safely and quickly as possible.

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