Toronto (May 26, 2003) - The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute has heightened precautions at its University Centre after learning on Monday that a part-time employee has SARS-like symptoms and has been admitted to hospital.

The employee worked on May 22 and 23 in the Acquired Brain Injury unit (4 East) of the Neuro Rehabilitation Program at Toronto Rehab's University Centre. She also worked recently on the affected unit at North York General Hospital.

Four other staff members are now on home quarantine, as of today, because they spent a fair amount of time with this employee on May 22 and 23.

Toronto Rehab decided to voluntarily heighten precautions significantly to safeguard patients and staff. "We feel the following measures, while they may exceed what is technically required, are prudent," says Mark Rochon, President and CEO, Toronto Rehab. "At this time, we are working under the assumption that while we have not had confirmation of SARS infection in any employee or patient to date, these precautions will ensure that we've done everything possible to continue to protect patients and staff."

As of noon today, Toronto Rehab implemented the following protective measures at its University Centre, 550 University Avenue:

  • All staff working on clinical units are taking full infection control precautions, including wearing masks, gowns, goggles and gloves.
  • The third and fourth floors are operating under "working quarantine" conditions. (4 East has been closed since yesterday; 3 East as of today.)
  • Patients are confined to their units.
  • Staff in non-clinical areas are wearing surgical masks while in contact with others in the building, and are following other infection control measures.
  • All outpatient and day hospital services are closed. Dialysis is not affected.
  • All discharges, patient passes, transfers and admissions are stopped.
  • Volunteers, students, visitors and vendors are not permitted to enter.
  • Staff are not permitted to travel to Toronto Rehab's other sites and are asked not to work at other hospitals.

These precautions do not affect Toronto Rehab's four other centres. However, screening continues at all of our centres, and anyone who fails will not be permitted to enter our buildings. Universal infections control procedures remain in place at all centres to protect our staff, patients and visitors.

We are grateful for everyone's cooperation and help during this time.

About Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute is Canada's largest hospital that provides adult rehabilitation services and complex continuing care. As a fully affiliated teaching and research hospital of the University of Toronto, Toronto Rehab is advancing rehabilitation knowledge and practice.

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636

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