COVID-19

In this section you will find the latest news on COVID-19 at our Unity Health locations, including information about protecting yourself and our patients, clients and residents, outbreaks and more. 

To help keep patients and visitors informed, Unity Health has developed this page to track and consolidate all COVID-19 outbreak-related information at St. Joseph’s, St. Michael’s and Providence.

The unit(s) listed below are currently in outbreak, which means they have had two COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period, where both cases could reasonably have been acquired in hospital.

When an outbreak is declared, our teams reach out to any patients, staff, physicians and learners who had direct contact with a positive case to advise of next steps. Our hospitals remain safe places to receive care. Each outbreak is assigned an outbreak management team that ensures infection prevention and control practices are followed.

We also take many measures to ensure the outbreak(s) are contained, including closing the affected unit to admissions, additional testing of patients and staff physicians and learners, enhanced cleaning and infection control procedures and additional safety precautions for our staff, physicians, learners, as well as patients and visitors.

In an outbreak situation, visitors are not permitted to protect the safety of our patients, their loved ones and our communities. If the patient you hope to visit is on a unit on outbreak, contact the unit the patient is on before visiting. You can find a unit by visiting our Clinic and Unit Contact Information page.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre

  • Influenza outbreak on 4M (Medicine) – declared Nov. 29, 2022

St. Michael’s Hospital

  • None

Providence Healthcare

  • A3 (Stroke and Neuro Rehab) – declared Nov 27, 2022

Recently resolved

  • HOP3W (Walnut House) – resolved Dec. 1, 2022
  • A4 (Geriatric Rehabilitation) – resolved Nov. 30, 2022
  • HOP2E (Spruce House) at Providence Healthcare – resolved Nov. 29, 2022

FAQ

What is an outbreak?

The definition of a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital is set by the province of Ontario. Outbreak status means the unit has had two COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period, where both cases could reasonably have been acquired in hospital.

Who declares an outbreak?

It is a joint decision made by Unity Health Toronto – with our Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team – and Toronto Public Health. IPAC works collaboratively with Occupational Health to obtain essential information to understand if there is an outbreak.

What is Unity Health Toronto doing to address the outbreaks?

Unity Health has precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the continued safety of our patients and staff.

When an outbreak occurs in a hospital, additional measures are taken to mitigate further infections, including:

  • Formation of an outbreak management team which includes representation from:
    • Unit/clinical leadership
    • Infection Prevention and Control
    • Occupational Health
    • Toronto Public Health
    • Environmental Services
    • Laboratory leadership
    • Other partners as needed to effectively manage the outbreak and limit further transmission
  • Follow-up of patients and staff who may have been exposed to the source of the outbreak, including appropriate testing and isolation as needed
  • Enhanced cleaning in the unit
  • Additional precautions as identified by the outbreak management team

Can I visit a patient when their unit is on outbreak?

In an outbreak situation, visitors are no permitted to protect the safety of our patients, their loved ones and our communities. If the patient you hope to visit is on a unit on outbreak, contact the unit the patient is on before visiting. You can find a unit by visiting our Clinic and Unit Contact Information page.

Should I be worried about coming to the hospital?

Our hospitals remain open and there is no reason to be worried about coming to any Unity Health Toronto location or our Emergency Departments. All Unity Health Toronto locations remain safe places to receive care.

Location Intensive care units Inpatient units Total
St. Joseph’s 0 9 9
St. Michael’s 0 12 12
Location Hospital Houses of Providence* Total
Providence 13 1 14

Total number of COVID-19 cases at Unity Health Toronto sites: 35

* Long-term care house at Providence Healthcare

Last updated: December 2, 2022 @ 3:03 p.m.

Taking precautionary measures is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To protect yourself and others, we encourage everyone to:

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Clean your hands often using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Here are instructions on how to clean your hands properly.
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering, especially when physical distancing may be a challenge. Learn how to wear one safely.
  • Maintain physical distancing by staying at least two metres or six feet from those outside your household.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Avoid touching your face, including when you are wearing a mask.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

At Unity Health, the safety of our patients and care teams is our first priority and we have many precautions in place to help with this at our sites and clinics. Click here to learn more about how we are keeping you safe.

What is a coronavirus?

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.

What are the symptoms?

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.

What if I come to the hospital and I might have a COVID-19?

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.

What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?

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.

If I have been tested, where can I see my results?

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

Do I need to wear a mask?

We are maintaining masking requirements in all Unity Health locations past June 11, 2022, as many of our patients and residents are, or may be, at increased risk of severe outcomes. These measures will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Continuing to follow masking is an effective way for us to ensure a safe environment for healing, as well as limit the risk of transmission and outbreaks.

How can I protect myself and those around me?

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

Where can I find more information?

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.

Please note: As the number of patients we serve increases, we want to ensure all patients receive excellent and timely care. This may mean your care could be transferred to another hospital. Delivering safe, high quality care is our top priority and a transfer would occur only when we are confident care needs could be met equally as well by another hospital. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during these unprecedented times.

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Visit the Directions and Parking page for more information about how to get to our sites.

Before you can come inside our buildings, you must self-screen yourself at the entrances. Note: Screeners will continue to ask screening questions to those entering the Houses of Providence, as long-term care requirements for active screening remain in place.

We continue to have limited access to our buildings. Members of the public should only enter our buildings if they are a patient, are visiting/accompanying a patient or are a contractor or vendor. Learn more on our Visitor Information page.

Masking is mandatory at all Unity Health Toronto locations. Patients, visitors/ECPs, contractors and vendors should wear their own mask and exchange it for at Unity Health mask at the entrance to the hospital or when they arrive to their appointment or unit.

Self-screening

At the entrance, you must self-screen with the following questions:

Do you have ANY of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • New or worsening cough
  • New or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Decrease or loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Unexplained headache
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Unexplained muscle aches/joint pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • New, unexplained rash

OR

Have you had close, unprotected contact with a person with symptoms consistent with  COVID-19 in the last 10 days?

OR

Have you tested positive for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid test in the last 10 days?

OR

Are you currently required to quarantine due to travel outside of Canada:

  • Are you currently required to quarantine or self-isolate?
  • Are you awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?

If you have answered NO TO ALL OF THE ABOVE questions, you may proceed with your visit or appointment.

If you have answered YES TO ANY OF THE ABOVE questions:

Click to view full PDF.

    • PATIENTS: Inform your care team of your situation immediately. If possible, please call your care team for specific instructions.
    • VISITOR, CONTRACTOR OR VENDOR: You are not permitted to enter the building at this time

This infographic outlines the steps to take when you come into one of our buildings.

Below are all open entrances at Unity Health’s hospitals. These are the only entrances where patients and visitors can enter our main hospital buildings. If your appointment is in one of our other buildings such as one of our Family Health Team sites or 61 Queen St., you will also need to self-screen at these entrances.

Site Building Entrance/Exit Hours
St. Michael’s 30 Bond St. – main hospital Donnelly entrance (Queen Street) 24 hours, daily
Gilgan entrance (rotating doors) 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays
Site Building Entrance/Exit Hours
St. Joseph’s 30 The Queensway – main hospital Melnyk Entrance 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily
Gilgan Family Wing entrance (formerly Tranquility entrance) 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday
East Entrance 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays
Garron Our Lady of Mercy entrance (formerly Our Lady of Mercy entrance) 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily
Garron Our Lady of Mercy parking garage 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., daily
Sunnyside parking garage bridge 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily
Sunnyside building Sunnyside West 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays
Site Building Entrance/Exit Hours
Providence 3276 St. Clair Ave. East – main hospital Main doors 24 hours, daily
D Wing entrance 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays
Outpatient entrance Pre-scheduled appointments only 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays
Houses of Providence

Note: Screeners will continue to ask screening questions to those entering the Houses of Providence, as long-term care requirements for active screening remain in place.

Main doors 6 a.m. to midnight, daily

Last updated December 02, 2022