Media Statement

December 20, 2020 – Today, on behalf of our patients, health care workers and staff, we are supporting the Ontario Hospital Association’s call for stronger lockdown measures from the Government of Ontario. Across the Greater Toronto Area, COVID-19 infections are continuing to rise, as are hospitalizations and intensive care cases. These trends show no sign of slowing – in fact, a surge in cases following the holiday season is expected to make the situation even worse.

Our staff are caring for increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and assisting in other settings such as long-term care homes. They are also keeping up with the care needs of patients without COVID-19 and trying to make progress in the significant backlog of scheduled surgeries and procedures cancelled during the first wave.

For many months now, these frontline health care workers have been devoting enormous energy and skill to caring for their patients, at the very epicenter of the pandemic. They are stressed and overstretched. This level of strain is simply not sustainable for much longer. We are seeing increasing numbers of staff becoming ill and not able to work – both with COVID-19 and other illnesses. While we are coping and planning for redeployment, we are seeing more illness and stress and hearing about the toll this is taking on people’s families.

We recognize that lockdown measures are challenging for many members of our communities, but we cannot afford to put patients and health care workers at further risk. To protect the health and wellbeing of hospital staff and to reduce postponing more scheduled care, community transmission of COVID-19 must be brought under control as quickly as possible.

Baycrest Health Sciences
Casey House
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Halton Healthcare
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Hospital for Sick Children
Humber River Hospital
Lakeridge Health
Mackenzie Health
Markham Stouffville Hospital
Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network
North York General Hospital
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
Scarborough Health Network
Sinai Health
Southlake Regional Health Centre
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Health Centre
Trillium Health Partners
Unity Health Toronto
University Health Network
West Park Healthcare Centre
William Osler Health System
Women’s College Hospital

In collaboration with the Ontario Hospital Association