ED providing emergency care for adult and pediatric patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week as seasonal surge continues across the province

(Peterborough, ON) – With patient volumes surging in hospitals across Ontario, including a dramatic increase in pediatric patients, PRHC would like to remind the community that our Emergency Department (ED) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide life-saving care and support.

Like hospitals across the province, PRHC continues to experience extremely high patient volumes – both adult and pediatric – as well as higher patient acuity and ongoing staffing shortages as we grapple with the additional pressures of this seasonal surge. The hospital is seeing a high number of pediatric patients with influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) specifically; community members are strongly encouraged to get their flu shot if they haven’t already done so.

Individuals who come to the ED for care should expect to wait longer than usual to be seen for all but the most serious illnesses and conditions. If you are considering coming to the ED, please assess your/your child’s illness and consider alternative options for care if your situation is not an emergency:

  • Individuals who are registered with a family physician/practitioner should seek non-urgent care through their office before coming to the hospital.
  • Health Connect Ontario is a free, confidential service that is available by calling 811 or visiting the website. This service will replace Telehealth Ontario, and provides 24/7 access to non-urgent health advice and information.

With pediatric hospitals across Ontario cancelling surgeries as their ICUs continue to operate above capacity, PRHC stands ready to respond to direction from Ontario’s Critical Care COVID-19 Command Centre in order to support the healthcare system response to this surge among patients under the age of 18. We encourage parents to access these helpful resources to support them in taking care of their children as the shortage of pediatric acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) products continues:

A reminder that masking continues to be required for anyone coming to PRHC, and is strongly encouraged in the community to protect all vulnerable people, including children, from the spread of illness. Masking will help keep you and those around you safe from viral respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, flu, and RSV. PRHC provides medical-grade masks for all patients and visitors at the main entrance and the Emergency Department entrance.


For more information: Michelene Ough | Director, Communications | mough@prhc.on.ca