Telehealth Ontario resources expanded

To cut down on wait times for callers, the province said Monday they have brought in 130 nurses to help staff the phone line.

“By immediately expanding Telehealth’s resources, we can significantly reduce the time it takes for Ontarians to receive the information they need to stay safe and healthy,” said Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.

Ontario is also working with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and its 44,000 members to find more support for Telehealth.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says unless people have severe symptoms or a medical emergency, simply stay at home while waiting for a Telehealth response.

“We understand that people are anxious to get the advice about next steps as soon as possible, which is why the capacity of Telehealth is being enhanced,” Dr. David Williams said in a statement.

“But unless you are experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency, the best place for you to stay is at home until you receive advice, which will often be to stay home and self-monitor.”

Elliott also announced that youth justice facilities have been told to suspend all personal visits and volunteer activities. All “non-essential” leaves for helping youth in custody reintegrate into the community are being restricted.

New closures and warnings

More businesses are opting to voluntarily close down for the time being.

Some Starbucks locations will be closed, as will all GoodLife and Fit4Less fitness centres.

As of today, Cadillac Fairview malls — including Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, and Fairview Mall — are among those limiting their hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario is also strongly recommending that non-essential and elective dental services be suspended.