Hospital Emergency Departments are busy this time of year. Increased cases of respiratory illnesses, COVID-19, and reduced operating hours of walk-in clinics over the holidays can lead to busy Emergency Departments and long wait times. Being prepared can help you avoid a visit to the Emergency Department this holiday season.
Here are some tips to help keep you healthy over the holidays and make accessing healthcare this time of year a bit smoother.
- Get the flu vaccine and your COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Check your medication supplies and refill as many prescriptions as possible before Christmas Eve.
- Call your primary care provider to ask about their holiday hours and after-hours coverage, so you know where to go if you need to see a doctor.
- Check holiday hours of walk-in clinics and urgent care centres in your area. A list of local walk-in and urgent care clinics can be found here.
If you do need care the following tips can help make your experience smoother.
- Southlake’s COVID-19, Cold and Flu Clinic is open daily and offers assessment and treatment from clinicians for those with cold and flu symptoms. To book an appointment and learn more, click here.
- The Southlake Community OHT also offers a COVID-19, Cold and Flu Care Clinic in Georgina. For more information about this clinic click here.
- Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to speak with a nurse from the comfort of your home if you are feeling unwell and are unsure whether to seek medical attention.
- Ensure you have your health card with you when you do seek medical attention.
- Bring all your medications, including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs with you should you visit a clinic or Emergency Department.
- If you feel that you need urgent attention, for example you are experiencing shortness of breath or chest pains, call 911.
- Call to confirm that the department or clinic that you wish to visit is open before coming to Southlake. If you require assistance with reaching a particular department or clinic at Southlake, call 905-895-4521. Patient Scheduling is closed on all statutory holidays. Please call-in advance to confirm your appointment.
As always, Southlake’s Emergency Department is open during the holiday season. Please visit if you or a loved one requires immediate attention.