COVID-19 general information and precautions

Taking precautionary measures is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We encourage everyone to:

  1. Practice good hand hygiene. Clean your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Instructions on how to clean your hands properly can be found here.
  2. Wear a non-medical mask or face covering, especially when physical distancing may be a challenge. Learn how to wear one safely.
  3. Maintain physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres or 6 feet from those outside your household or social circle. Learn how you can create a social circle.
  4. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  5. Avoid touching your face, including when you are wearing a mask.
  6. Stay home when you are sick.


 Intensive care unitsInpatient unitsTotal
St. Joseph’s011
St. Michael’s022
 HospitalHouses of Providence*Total

Total number of COVID-19 cases at Unity Health Toronto sites: 3

* Long-term care house at Providence Healthcare

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 @ 10:46 am

Video: How to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 outbreak


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.

On Dec. 31, 2019, Chinese health authorities identified a new (or novel) coronavirus (referred to as COVID-19) through a series of reported cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever 
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath

A full list of symptoms and signs of COVID-19, as defined by the provincial Ministry of Health, can be found here.

If you have the correct risk factors, your care team will wear protective equipment and place you in a room separate from other patients. After a careful review, a decision will be made as to whether you need testing, where this should be done, and whether you need to go to the emergency department (if you are not already there) and whether you need to be admitted to hospital. Patients that have very mild symptoms may be sent home with instructions to isolate at home while awaiting test results and will be followed by public health. is an online questionnaire designed to assess risk for COVID-19 based on symptoms. When individuals meet the geographic and symptom criteria, they will have the option to conduct a live virtual triage with a Registered Nurse. If necessary, individuals would be directed to their local emergency department or local assessment centre.

The screening tool is designed to help individuals gain access to information and support quickly and can help avoid unnecessary visits to assessment centres and supports people’s efforts to stay home as much as possible. 

Click here to start your self-assessment now:


  1. Who can utilize the new screening tool?

Anyone can use the screening questionnaire. However, only individuals living in Toronto Region will have access to the live virtual consults with a Registered Nurse.

2) What is the role of the triage nurse?

After completing the online self-assessment tool, if the individual meets the clinical criteria, they can participate in a virtual consult with a Registered Nurse through Akira by TELUS Health. If necessary, they can escalate and triage for further consultation via video or refer the patient to other clinical services.

3) Who will see the results of my self-assessment?

The application is secure and results will only be seen by the virtual triage nurses. Aggregate data for the questionnaire will be shared with Ontario Health Toronto Region and participating hospitals for data analytics and prediction purposes.

4) Who was part of developing this new tool? Who is Akira?

This online self-assessment tool was initiated by Humber River Hospital, North York General Hospital and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and is funded by Ontario Health (Toronto) for all Torontonians to use. The clinical guidelines for the assessment tool are developed and aligned with the Toronto Region Hospital Operations Table.

Akira by TELUS Health is a privately owned company that provides 24/7 virtual health care by video and text.

5) What if I am sure I have COVID-19, should I still complete the questionnaire?

Yes, please complete the self-assessment tool.

Once you do complete a test for COVID-19, you will receive a phone call from a Toronto Public Health Nurse if you test positive for COVID-19.

6) Will my family physician see the notes from my Registered Nurse triage?

You and your physician can view your test results from

If you are concerned about your symptoms and/or worried about potential exposure to COVID-19, we encourage you to take the Ministry of Health’s self-assessment to determine if you need to visit an assessment centre or self-isolate at home

There is a new user-friendly online portal where the public can easily access their COVID-19 lab test results.

At Unity Health, masks are given to all patients when they come in through our entrances. Please speak with someone at the entrance if you have any concerns.

To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including coronaviruses, you should follow usual health precautions such as:

  • washing your hands often using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • keeping a safe distance of 2 metres or 6 feet from other individuals
  • covering your cough with a tissue or sneeze in your elbow
  • staying home when you are sick
  • frequently cleaning and disinfecting touched objects and surfaces

For detailed information on the status of the virus and risk to Canadians, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada or Ontario Ministry of Health websites.