With respiratory illnesses surging in hospitals and communities across the province, Peterborough Family Health team (PFHT), Peterborough Public Health (PPH) and Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) continue to advise community members to consider their healthcare options in the community before coming to the Emergency Department (ED) this surge season.

PRHC continues to experience extremely high patient volumes – both adult and pediatric – as well as higher patient acuity and ongoing staffing shortages. 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.

Community members are urged to consider the following alternative options for healthcare before making a trip to the ED:

Primary care
If you are registered with a family physician or nurse practitioner, please contact them first. Same-day access instructions will be offered via the office voicemail message.

Throughout the surge season, PFHT will offer extended hours to serve patients with non-urgent concerns. Learn more about extended holiday coverage for each clinic here: https://www.peterboroughfht.com/extended-hours-service 

PRHC’s COVID, Cold and Flu Clinic
Previously called the COVID-19 Assessment Centre, this clinic has expanded to include assessment, testing and treatment for patients with symptoms of COVID, cold and flu, providing a faster, more convenient option for patients to be seen by a physician. Regular clinic hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and weekends from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The clinic is closed on Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1).

Health Connect Ontario
Speak with a nurse day or night about any non-urgent health concerns by calling 811. This is a free, confidential service that is available 24/7.

Alternative care options
Consider this list of alternative options for healthcare in our community, including walk-in clinics and virtual clinics, before making a trip to the ED.

Pediatric care resources
If you are caring for a child with respiratory symptoms, please refer to these helpful resources:

The flu shot is free and widely available at many local pharmacies and your doctor’s office. Call your doctor to make an appointment for a flu shot for yourself or a member of your family and ask about your doctor’s flu clinic schedule. Community members can easily find out where the flu shot is available by visiting: http://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/flu. Additional tips and information are available at www.ontario.ca/flu

Residents are advised to use Peterborough Public Health’s COVID-19 and Respiratory Virus Risk Index and Guidance over the holidays. PPH continues to host mass COVID-19 vaccine clinics. Eligibility criteria and the clinic calendar can be found at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/covid-19-vaccine-clinic. Appointments can be booked via the provincial vaccine booking centre call line at 1-833-943-3900 or online at covid-19.ontario.ca/getting-covid-19-vaccine. Walk-ins will be accepted at this time.


For more information:
Michelene Ough | Director, Communications | PRHC | mough@prhc.on.ca
Sarah Gill | Communications Manager | Peterborough Public Health | sgill@peterboroughpublichealth.ca
Duff Sprague | CEO | Peterborough Family Health Team | duff.sprague@peterboroughfht.com