It has become very clear that we are facing another significant surge of COVID-19 in Toronto and across Ontario. This new variant, Omicron is presenting all of us with a number of challenges and uncertainties. We are still learning about this new variant, however, one thing that we have all seen is the extremely rapid pace of transmission between people. This variant is moving fast. 

We are taking steps at Unity Health Toronto to protect your healthcare services so we can make sure we are able to provide care to those most in need during this wave of the pandemic.

Starting December 20, we’ve made the difficult decision to put all non-essential ambulatory care and surgical procedures temporarily on hold with the exception of urgent and emergent cases. We’ve also moved all non-essential ambulatory visits from in person in our clinic spaces to virtual where possible.

Any patient who is impacted will be notified directly by their care team. We are prioritizing surgeries to ensure patients with urgent conditions, or whose prognosis would be impacted if the surgery was delayed, receive the care they need. We will continue to monitor the status of our patients so should anything change, we can ensure that we appropriately reschedule their surgery.

We know that any change we make to our services is distressing and challenging for our staff, patients and loved ones, and we will ramp up as soon as it’s safe to do so. Right now we need to focus all of our efforts, our people and resources on caring for our patients and assuring that we have the capacity to meet the demands of the pandemic.

You can help us in this effort. It is paramount that everyone get their third dose of COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you are eligible, and that the most vulnerable in the community – our seniors and those with high-risk medical conditions – get vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccination is the single best protection we all have against this deadly virus. By getting vaccinated, you play an important role in protecting our healthcare system and each other.

Please take care yourselves and be kind to each other. We will get through this together.

Tim Rutledge
President and CEO
Unity Health Toronto