MGH’s campus transformation continues with major renovation work this spring. Patients and visitors can expect to experience noise, hallway closures and detours around the hospital. Read more about our campus transformation.
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
- Get your bivalent COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated is a safe, effective way to help reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and influenza, respectively. It is safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as, or any time before or after, the flu vaccine.
- Find a walk-in vaccine clinic near you in East Toronto.
- You can also get the bivalent COVID-19 booster at a clinic near you and the flu vaccine through family doctors, participating pharmacies or public clinics
- 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
- Your family doctor, nurse practitioner or other primary care provider
- Some primary care offices in East Toronto have extended hours and services to better support patients during cold and flu season.
- Urgent care centres and walk-in clinics in East Toronto
- Health Connect Ontario
- Call 8-1-1 or go online to talk to a registered nurse, get health advice and find health services.
- MGH’s E-Booking Tool for Minor Injuries
- If you have a minor injury like a sprain, fracture or small broken bone, you can book a same-day or next-door in-person appointment in our Emergency Department to minimize your wait time. Learn more or book an appointment.
- East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) Service Directory and IamSick website
- Use these online resources to find health, social and community services near you.
- Health Access Taylor-Massey
- If you live in and around Taylor-Massey, you can see a family doctor, nurse practitioner, resource navigator and other care providers by walk-in. Learn more about Health Access Taylor-Massey, including hours and services.
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.