This weekly report is posted each Thursday. The intent of the report is to provide an updated list of outbreaks in Toronto healthcare institutions – including hospitals, long-term care homes, and retirement homes - which are currently active, and those that have been declared over in the previous seven days.
Responsibilities of Healthcare Institutions
Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), healthcare institutions (hospitals, long-term care homes and retirement homes) are required to monitor staff and patients/residents for signs and symptoms of gastroenteric (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever) and respiratory (e.g., cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever) infections. Healthcare institutions must also actively look for, detect and report suspected and/or confirmed outbreaks to their local public health unit.
Toronto Public Health's Mandate
Under the HPPA, Toronto Public Health is required to respond to reports of suspected and confirmed outbreaks of gastroenteric and respiratory illness. Toronto Public Health works with healthcare institutions to prevent and control institutional outbreaks, including the use of best practices in infection prevention and control.
Information for Visitors to Healthcare Institutions
- Don't visit if you are not feeling well.
- Clean your hands frequently.
- Get your influenza immunization each year.
- If you visit an institution which is experiencing an outbreak, follow all instructions provided by the institution.
- If you have questions regarding a current or recent outbreak at a specific institution, please call the institution directly.
Definitions and Further Information:
Outbreak: A localized increase (e.g. in an institution, or a specific ward or floor within an institution) in the rate of infection or illness, above that which is expected.
Case definitions for institutional outbreaks are provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in the Ontario Public Health Standards:
Technical Notes (PDF)