Toronto (April 1, 2003) - University Health Network President & CEO Tom Closson today said essential staff members continue to work hard to contain SARS. Hospital staff are saddened by the deaths of two SARS patients at UHN this week.

"On behalf of our staff, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of these two patients," said Mr. Closson.

Mr. Closson notified staff at the network's three downtown acute care teaching hospitals shortly after the announcement through a communiqué to all three UHN hospitals – Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospital.

"The news of these deaths has certainly saddened many people in our hospital community," said Mr. Closson. "Our staff continues to make a heroic effort to ensure everything possible is done to protect our patients and UHN is doing everything it can to ensure that our staff are working with all protective measures in place so that they remain safe and healthy."

UHN continues to treat SARS patients in appropriate isolation. An estimated 100 staff have been sent home in quarantine because they may have one or more risk factors, or have worked at one of the several other hospitals sites where they may have potentially been exposed to SARS.

Access continues to be restricted to only staff essential to providing service and patients requiring emergency or urgent care. Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals are continuing to treat Hemodialysis patients, Emergency patients and providing emergency surgery. At Princess Margaret Hospital, chemotherapy and radiation treatment continue.

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