facebook pixel Skip to main content


Tips for accessing healthcare this holiday season

Tuesday December 13, 2022

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.

Plan ahead

  • 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.

Happy Holidays!