WEARING A MASK IS STILL REQUIRED TO ENTER SUNNYBROOK. VISITORS AND PATIENTS MUST ALSO BE ASYMPTOMATIC & SHOULD BE FULLY VACCINATED. »

Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team
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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) updates

The City of Toronto now has a call centre and web chat to support hospital vaccine sites. Agents are answering questions about eligibility and closest vaccine sites as well as helping folks pre-register and book appointments if eligible.

The COVID-19 Call Centre is at 1-888-385-1910 and is staffed 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The webpage www.vaccineto.ca also has information about a growing list of vaccination sites in the city, eligibility and how to book. Through the webpage, there’s a chat function as well.

- updated March 8, 2021

Select the below categories to read more:

Dear Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team patients and families,

As a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, we continue to make changes to the clinic flow as required in order to keep you, your healthcare providers and the community safe, whilst maintaining quality patient care.

Our clinic is now primarily virtual. Most of our staff are working remotely to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19. We are conducting virtual and phone visits with patients. Any essential in-person clinic visits will be triaged and booked into clinic on an individual basis.

We are receiving your calls by voicemail and your clinic office coordinators are checking these messages frequently, and will return your calls.

We thank you for your cooperation during this challenging time.

Appointments

  • As per public health recommendations, we continue to host the majority of our patient visits by phone or video whenever possible. We will book in-person clinic visits if needed for your particular healthcare needs.
    • Please call your physician’s office to leave a message. We will return your call to arrange the most appropriate delivery of care for your needs.
  • Do NOT come to the clinic if you do not have an appointment.
  • Restricted visitor policy – Sunnybrook hospital has a strict no visitor policy. Accompanying visitors will be turned away at the entrance. Please come to your appointment alone, unless planned otherwise with your healthcare team.
  • If you have a scheduled appointment in clinic, you will be required to answer COVID screening questions before every in-person appointment. These will be sent to you by email 1 -2 days before your scheduled appointment. If you screen positive, or have symptoms of COVID19, do not come to clinic until you have been contacted by us (If you do not have email or decline consent this MUST be done via phone PRIOR to coming to clinic).
  • Your healthcare team will be wearing personal protective equipment for your visit, and varies depending on your symptoms. After each patient, the exam room and equipment used is cleaned thoroughly with disinfectant.

Cancer screening update

REMINDERS:

  • Masks are required when visiting the hospital and clinic
  • No drop-ins to clinic – physician and nurse visits are by appointment only. Please call to make an appointment if needed. Do not come to the office if you do not have an appointment.

COVID-19 resource list: 

Toronto Public Health

Toronto Public Health COVID-19 resources »


If you are feeling unwell with any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever, new cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches (or a combination of these symptoms)

Please complete the self-assessment questionnaire to determine if you need to be assessed at one of the COVID-19 Assessment Centres, or contact Toronto Public Health.

After this, if you still have questions or concerns, please call to speak with your nurse.

If you were tested for COVID-19, please visit covid-19.ontario.ca and click on “check your lab results.” Results can take up to 4 days.

If you have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days, please see the resources below for guidance:

Ontario Ministry of Health

Public Health Agency of Canada

Self-isolation

Parents, caregivers and families

Mental health

Frequently asked questions

SAFHT COVID-19 resource list

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has impacted the lives of many different individuals. We at the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team would like to ensure our patients are supported and connected to appropriate resources during this difficult time.

Below is a list of various supports that include financial assistance programs, food resources, crisis lines, senior-specific supports, and other helpful resources. Information, website links, and contact numbers are listed in these resources.

Download the resource list (PDF) »

Please note that these resources are subject to change. Last updated: December 1, 2020.


COVID-19 testing and isolation

Family practice notice: January 2022

Dear Sunnybrook Family Practice patients,

Recently, the province announced some significant changes to self-isolation requirements and testing eligibility due to the Omicron surge. High case counts, limited testing capacity, and evolving guidance are changing our approach.

Key messages:

  • if you have symptoms, you can presume you have COVID-19.
  • Most people do not need a COVID-19 test to confirm their diagnosis. COVID-19 tests are now being reserved for high-risk settings and high-risk individuals.
  • There are important changes to isolation guidance that mean some people will only need to isolate for five days.
  • Household contacts of people who have symptoms also need to self-isolate.
  • Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine continue to provide excellent protection against severe disease for those with healthy immune systems. Most people with two COVID-19 vaccines and healthy immune symptoms will have milder symptoms if they get COVID-19.
  • Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide more protection from getting and transmitting the Omicron variant than two doses. All Ontarians 18+ are eligible for a 3rd dose 84 days after the 2nd dose.

Below is some more detailed information on what to do if you experience COVID-19 symptoms and when to reach out to us.

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 causes a range of symptoms that vary from person-to-person and include new or worsening:

  • Fever > 37.8 ̊ C and/or chills
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Decrease or loss of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Very tired, sore muscles and joints
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat

The number of people right now with COVID-19 infection is so high that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should assume you have COVID-19 infection even if you are fully vaccinated.

How long do I need to self-isolate?

Factors such as your age, your vaccination status, and your health status will determine how long you need to self-isolate. Please note all household members should also self-isolate if someone in the home has COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. See the table below or visit the Government of Ontario website for guidance.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and anyone you live with must isolate for five days if you are:

  • fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy
  • under 12 years of age

You can end isolation after five days only if your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours, and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed. If your symptoms are not in this list, stay home until you feel better for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if the symptoms affect the digestive system).

If you are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised, you and anyone you live with must isolate for 10 days.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19covid 19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should also tell your close contacts that they have been exposed. Informing your contact will help stop the spread of the virus.

High risk settings

If you work or live in a high risk-health care setting, including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, congregate living settings, you must:

  • notify your employer
  • isolate for 10 days from your exposure or symptom onset, or from your date of diagnosis.

To ensure sufficient staffing levels, workers in these settings will have the opportunity to return to work early on day seven of their isolation, with a negative PCR test, or two negative rapid antigen tests on day six and seven.

More information:

What about COVID-19 testing?

Provincial guidance on who is eligible for a PCR test has changed. Most people do not need a COVID test to confirm their diagnosis. COVID tests are now being reserved for high-risk settings (e.g. people who live or work in congregate settings, long-term care homes, hospitals etc) and high-risk individuals (e.g. those 70 and over, people who are immunocompromised, people who are very ill, people who are underhoused or homeless, Indigenous people).

If you have access to a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), you can use this to test yourself. However, if you have any of the above symptoms, a negative RAT does not mean that you do not have COVID. You should still isolate from the start of your symptoms.

Please note that we do not have any rapid antigen tests available in our clinics, and we are not scheduling appointments in the clinic for COVID-19 testing.

What should I do if I test positive on a home Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)?

If you test positive on a RAT, with or without symptoms, you should assume you have COVID-19 and self-isolate. A positive RAT at this time does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test, unless you meet the new provincial criteria for testing. Consider taking a picture of the positive RAT (labelled with your name and date) for your records.

What if I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

The table below and the Government of Ontario website can help you decide what to do if you have been exposed to someone has COVID-19 (e.g. because they tested positive on a RAT or PCR test OR because they have symptoms).

If you’ve been exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has received a positive test result:

If you are fully vaccinated, have no symptoms, do not live with the positive case and are otherwise healthy

  • self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days after your last exposure
  • wear a mask, practise physical distancing, and follow all other public health measures if leaving home
  • do not visit any high-risk settings or people who may be at higher risk of illness (such as seniors) for 10 days after your last exposure

If you are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised:

  • isolate for 10 days (or for five days if you are under 12) after your last exposure, regardless of whether you have any symptoms

If you live, work, attend, volunteer, or have been admitted in a high-risk setting such as:

  • hospitals and health care settings, including complex continuing care facilities and acute care facilities
  • congregate living settings, such as long-term care and retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, and correctional institutions
  • First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities

Notify them of the exposure and do not go there for 10 days from your last exposure, when the symptoms began, or when you were diagnosed. To ensure sufficient staffing levels, workers will have the opportunity to return to work early on day seven of their isolation with a negative PCR test, or two negative rapid antigen tests on day six and seven. If you live in a high-risk setting, you should isolate regardless of vaccination status.

If you develop any symptoms, you and your household must isolate for five days from the onset of your symptoms if you are fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy, or if you are under 12 years of age. If you are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised you must isolate for 10 days since your symptoms began.

If you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19covid 19 or has tested positive for the virus:

  • You must isolate for the same amount of time as the positive case, regardless of your vaccination status.

Am I eligible for treatment for COVID-19 if I have or get symptoms?

Most people will recover from COVID-19 using the same home remedies available for the common cold and/or influenza, including lots of rest, plenty of fluids and use over the counter medications for sore throats, body aches, headaches and fever. For resources on how to manage symptoms at home, please review Toronto Public Health’s website.

Selected higher-risk individuals with COVID-19 should be considered for early treatment options, in consultation with their health care team. Please call us to discuss potential need for treatment if you have a PCR confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, are over the age of 70 (50 yrs if First Nations, Inuit or Metis), and have any of the following conditions:

  • Obesity (BMI >= 30)
  • Dialysis or stage 5 kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Receiving active cancer treatment
  • Solid organ or stem cell transplant recipients

Feeling sick with COVID-19 can also make it difficult to manage pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma or mood symptoms. Please call us at any time if you need help managing any medical conditions while isolating at home with COVID-19.

If I have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 (either PCR test or RAT), when should I call my health care team?

Tracking your symptoms of COVID-19 can help you and your care team determine whether a clinic or hospital visit is needed. 

Please call us and specify that your concern is urgent if you:

  • Have new or worsening discomfort in your chest
  • Have new or worsening trouble breathing
  • Have increasing or significant fatigue
  • Start feeling better and then get worse again (especially 5-8 days after the start of your symptoms)
  • Are feeling lightheaded or dehydrated
  • If you have a pulse-oximeter at home and your oxygen level drops by 3 per cent from usual or is below 93 per cent at any time
  • If you are having challenges self-isolating because you cannot access food or other essential supports

Please go to your closest emergency room or dial 911 (or ask a family member/friend to dial 911) if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Continuous vomiting and inability to drink any fluids
  • Serious trauma or injuries (i.e., bleeding that won’t stop, deep cuts, broken bones)
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Sudden onset weakness of the face or arm/leg
  • Sudden inability to walk or talk

Due to the high volume of calls, please do not call to just to report a positive RAT or PCR if you are not at higher-risk (see above), have mild symptoms and can self-isolate. This will allow our team to be available to address other health care concerns and any urgent COVID related concerns for those who need it.

I’m worried with everything going on. How can I protect myself?

We know this is a challenging time for many. Now, more than ever, adhering to public health measures to reduce spread is important. Vaccination continues to provide excellent protection against severe disease.

All adults 18+ are eligible to receive a 3rd dose 84 days after their 2nd dose.

Children aged 5-11 can book their second vaccine after 28 days.

Please book the vaccine dose you are eligible for using the provincial booking system.


COVID-19 vaccine information

The COVID-19 vaccine program is being organized by the Government of Ontario. Up to date information on eligibility and how to access the vaccine is located on the Government of Ontario website and Toronto Public Health COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 vaccine updates (click the date to read more details)

April 8, 2022

Fourth-dose (second booster dose) COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

Eligibility for fourth doses (second booster dose) of COVID vaccine has been expanded to include individuals age 60 years and over, as well as Indigenous individuals and their non-Indigenous household members age 18 and over.

  • Dosing interval: A fourth dose is recommended five months (140 days) after third dose (first booster dose). The minimum interval for the fourth dose (second booster dose) is three months (84 days).
  • After COVID infection: Wait three months (84 days) after they tested positive for COVID or their symptoms started, to maximize the immune response of the vaccine after a COVID-19 infection.
  • At this time, it is not recommended to administer a fifth dose to immunocompromised people.

Booking:

More information:

Reminder: Sunnybrook Family Practice is not administering COVID-19 vaccines.

November 30, 2021

COVID vaccine update: Out of Ontario COVID vaccination

Reminder: Sunnybrook Family Practice is not administering COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccine resources


For more information on COVID-19 and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, please visit sunnybrook.ca/COVID19 »

For more general information about Sunnybrook and COVID-19, please visit sunnybrook.ca/COVID19