Emergency and pediatric pressures

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Emergency Department and pediatric pressures

Information on Emergency Department and pediatric pressures at Mackenzie Health, options for non-emergent care and tips to help limit the risk of transmission.

Emergency Department pressures

Emergency Departments across Ontario are experiencing significant pressures. We’re facing a triple threat of COVID-19, respiratory illnesses and the flu. At Mackenzie Health, we’re operating over capacity and many of the people coming to us for care are very sick – including an increasing number of children.

While we continue to experience ongoing capacity challenges, we are doing everything we can to respond to community need. This includes increasing our capacity to care for pediatric patients to help respond to the current surge. While our pediatric unit is located at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, our Emergency Department at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital and Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital are open to care for your child.

Long wait times are not the experience we want for our patients, but they are a reality right now. We appreciate the community’s patience with us during this very challenging time. We’re doing all we can to provide the best care possible for everyone who comes through our doors.

Patients who need attention but may not need emergency care can book an appointment at the Cough, Cold and Flu Assessment Centre at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital.

At their appointment, patients will be assessed by a physician who will be able to provide a diagnosis and treatment options without the patient needing to wait in the Emergency Department waiting area. Appointments can be booked by: 

  • using an existing MyChart account
  • through Open Scheduling if you have never been at patient at Mackenzie Health. 

When booking an appointment online using MyChart or Open Scheduling, please select yes for Option 1 for a cough, cold or flu assessment or select no to be brought to Option 2 for a COVID-19 test.

In case of emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Department

  • Your family physician
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Urgent Care Centres
  • Health Connect Ontario

Following these simple steps can help prevent the spread of illness:

  • wear a mask in all indoor settings to prevent spread of illness
  • practice good hand hygiene
  • wipe down surface areas and other high-contact areas
  • get your flu shot and keep your COVID-19 vaccinations up-to-date
  • stay home if you’re sick to limit the risk of transmission
  • Read the flu fact sheet from Ontario Health