HCC COVID-19 FAQs

General HCC Service Questions:

Questions related to COVID-19:

Physical Health Appointments:

Mental Health Appointments and Supports:

Questions about Virtual Care:

Questions about Prescription Renewal Process:

Document Questions:


Is the Health & Counselling Centre still open?

Yes, the HCC is continuing operations and providing physical and mental health care for U of T students. Please call first to make an appointment 905-828-5255.

The HCC is aware of the unique and important role we play in the well-being of all students. Like the rest of the health-care system in Ontario, our team has been adapting to the changing landscape related to COVID-19 and we’re accessible if you need care.

Like all departments, we’re taking steps to safeguard everyone: students, staff and community members. This includes:

  • Extra precautions at our clinic, including screening for symptoms (e.g. checking your temperature), contacts, and travel history
  • Scheduling all initial appointments via virtual care (via telephone and videoconferencing)

What are your hours of operation?

We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. The HCC continues usual operating hours for this time of the academic year

How can I make an appointment?

Call 905-828-5255. Our call volume is high at times and we appreciate your patience.

Can't wait? Leave a detailed voicemail and we’ll return your call ASAP between 9am and 5pm.

Are drop-in appointments currently available?

No. At this time it is important for everyone’s safety that you call first to book a virtual appointment.  This allows our dedicated nursing team to triage appointment needs.  Please call to make an appointment at 905-828-5255.

Please note:  Same-day appointments are available every day for time-sensitive medical issues, and counselling appointments. 

Are appointments occurring in the HCC clinic?

If you have an appointment, please assume the appointment will be over the phone. Your health-care provider will contact you with instructions (via phone or email) if they’re able to meet with you through virtual means, including videoconferencing.

We continue to build our virtual care delivery model through secure and proven technology such as OTN, and MS Teams.

*If you had already received instructions from your care provider about your appointment, please follow those instructions.

Our clinic phone number may display as “blocked number” or “private number” or “University of Toronto”.  If you’re using a mobile device, please make sure your phone settings allow unknown callers.

Check your U of T email account regularly. Check your junk mail folder too, as emails may mistakenly be filed as junk.

If you experience difficulties with an over-the-phone appointment, please contact us as soon as you can to make an alternative arrangement.  Occasionally the telephone networks appear to be overloaded and if you have not heard from your health care provider by 10 minutes into the scheduled appointment time, please contact the HCC at 905-828-5255 and report this to reception so we can assist you with connecting the call.

To learn more about secure virtual care platforms:

OTN for Patients: https://otn.ca/patients/

 

Questions related to COVID-19:

Can I be tested for COVID-19 at the HCC?

No. HCC is not providing testing for COVID-19. For information about Peel Region COVID-19 Assessment Centres, visit http://peelregion.ca/coronavirus/testing/.

What should I do if I have COVID-like symptoms that are worsening?

If you develop symptoms that you’re concerned about, please call Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) or your regular care provider (i.e. your family physician) to advise them that you have COVID-19 symptoms that are worsening. They can provide you with advice on next steps.  If you do not have a family doctor and you reside in Ontario, you can call us at the HCC between 9:00 am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday to talk to a nurse.

Seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to rouse, or bluish lips or face.

Get fast, free medical advice through Telehealth Ontario: Call 1-866-797-0000 or visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-medical-advice-telehealth-ontario.

What should I do if I am a confirmed case?

If you’ve been advised by a public health authority that you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 please contact ess.occhealth@utoronto.ca immediately.

If you live in Residence, please also call us at the HCC at 905-828-5255 to talk to a nurse. 

If you have moved back home, please contact your regular care provider as well to inform them. 

What should I do if I live in residence and I have been told to self-isolate?

Please ensure you have completed the online residence form to report an illness.  Please also call the HCC at 905-828-5255 to speak to a nurse.

If you have been told to self-isolate by a health practitioner, public health authority, or other, please ensure that you are staying in your residence room for the duration of the self-isolation period (14 days from onset of symptoms; or until 48 hours after symptoms resolve if you are unwell for more than 14 days).  Completion of the online residence form will allow Student Housing and Residence Life staff to assist you with obtaining food, medications, and any other essentials during this period of time.

 

Physical Health Appointments:

What types of services are available?

The majority of primary care services (the services related to your basic, everyday health needs) are being offered through phone and/or virtual assessments. These services typically include non-Coronavirus related physical issues, follow-up discussions about test results and prescription renewal.

Ongoing mental health care will be delivered primarily via phone and video teleconference meetings. Determined on an individual basis, this includes new mental health assessments.

If we determine the need for in-person assessment or treatment, we’ll discuss options with you that will allow for a safe assessment for both students and our HCC staff.  For in-person assessments, please be prepared to see staff wearing personal protective equipment (at minimum mask and protective glasses/faceshield); you will be asked to wear a patient mask during in-person assessments as well.

What types of services are not available at this time?

If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, or have been directed to self-isolate, we’re unable to provide in-person care at this time.  We will be able to speak with you virtually to determine appropriate next steps for your care.

Non-essential services such as periodic health visits, wart treatments, form completions that require a physical exam or PAP smears are not provided right now. We don’t provide COVID-19 screening or tests. Non-essential services also include the following:

  • Gardasil injection: Gardasil 9 injections aren’t available at this time.
  • Immunization forms/TB test: Immunization forms and TB test appointments are deferred and not being booked unless a student’s school placement in a health-care setting will start within the next four weeks. To book, call to make an appointment with a nurse. If a TB test isn’t required, you’ll be asked to have a phone appointment with the nurse. Some clinical placements have been cancelled. Before calling to book, please confirm that your placement will still be going ahead as scheduled.
  • Other routine vaccinations: We are not administering routine vaccinations at this time. If you require a vaccine in order to attend a school placement starting within the next four weeks, please call the HCC to book an appointment.
  • Other injections: If you require an injection as part of your ongoing medical care, such as testosterone or allergy injections, please call the HCC and request to speak to a nurse to discuss options.
  • Emergency mental health visits are not available. If you’re experiencing a mental health emergency, please go to your nearest hospital emergency department or call 911
  • Walk-in, in-person mental health visits are not available at this time.

Are you still accepting new patients?

Yes

I’m still in Canada, but not in Ontario anymore.  Can I still call to book an appointment?

If you’ve travelled back home, you should seek care from a health-care provider in the province you’re in. Call your health-care provider first to make an appointment.  If you are a regular patient of the HCC, and are having trouble connecting with a physician office local to your current residence, please contact HCC to see how we may be able to assist.

I have questions about food and food safety. Where can I get more information?

For information about food and food safety during COVID-19, please refer to this document.

For additional support, students can still make an appointment with the UTM Dietitian, a free service for UTM students.  To schedule an appointment, call the Health & Counselling Centre at (905) 828-5255. 

 

Mental Health Appointments and Supports:

Can I still receive mental health careCan I speak to a counsellor?

Yes. All mental health counselling appointments are primarily being offered over-the-phone or through video counselling. Some mental health appointments with a physician may still occur in-person, but will be determined on a case-by-case basis with your clinician.

I’m feeling distressed.  What 24/7 resources are available?

  1.  U of T MySSP:  Call, text or chat with a counsellor at U of T MySSP.  The service is available in multiple languages, 24 hours per day.  

Within North America: 1-844-451-9700

Outside North America: 001-416-380-6578

Download the My SSP app to chat with a counsellor

  1.  Call the Good2Talk helpline for post-secondary students at 1-866-925-5454
  2. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

 

Questions about Virtual Care:

What can I expect from a virtual appointment?

A virtual appointment is an appointment over the phone, or using a secure videoconferencing platform such as OTN, or MS Teams. If your phone number has changed in the last six months, please contact us to update your phone number

Phone appointments

Your care provider will call you on the phone number you provide.

Find a quiet place where you can have a private conversation about your care.

Be ready for your appointment 10 minutes prior to anticipated start time.

Our phone number may display as “blocked number” or “private number” or “University of Toronto” If you’re using a cellphone, make sure your phone settings allow unknown callers.

If you’ve waited for 10 minutes after your anticipated start time and haven’t received a phone call, call our office at 905-828-5255. Email health.utm@utoronto.ca if the phone line is busy and you can't get through.

Appointments using videoconferencing

You’ll receive an invitation from your care provider.

Through virtual appointments, you can talk over secure video and share files and messages from anywhere (as long as you have high-speed internet) on your phone, tablet or computer.

To learn more about virtual care platforms:

Please see our privacy statement around virtual care platforms here: 

https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/health/sites/files/health/public/shared/pdfs/Alternative%20Health%20Care.pdf

 

Questions about Prescription Renewal Process:

I need a Prescription Renewal.  What should I do?

The best option is to book a phone or video appointment with your regular physician at the HCC. We can send your prescription to your pharmacy.

Please have your pharmacy information including address, fax number and phone number available prior to your appointment.

The other option is to ask your pharmacy to fax a refill request to us. We’ll call you or work directly with the pharmacy. We can only approve prescription refills within Canada. If you’re out of the country, you’ll need to seek a prescription from a local physician.

 

Document Questions:

Do I need a Verification of Illness form for my medical concern?

No. At this time you don’t need a verification of illness from a health-care provider if you are unable to write an exam or complete an assignment by the due date.

The University has advised all students to record all absences, including self-isolation absences, through the Absence Declaration tool on ACORN.

I need a medical form completed for Accessibility Services in order to receive accommodations.  How can I get this form completed?

If you have a physician who maintains your care, please contact their office to find out how you can have your form completed.

If you are currently residing in Ontario and do not have a family physician, please contact the HCC at 905-828-5255 in order to book a virtual appointment with a physician for an assessment and discussion of your documentation questions.