KHSC prepares for unsanctioned Homecoming events

News / Emergency Care
By J Pereira

With a weekend of unsanctioned Homecoming celebrations expected in the city, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has put plans in place to support an increase in patient demand. However, due to extremely high patient volumes, KHSC is urging everyone who plans on attending these events to rethink their weekend plans.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic and we are the largest hospital in the region. We see the sickest and most critically ill-people come through or Emergency Department (ED) as a result of traumatic injuries, strokes and heart-attacks,” says Carol McIntosh, Director of Ambulatory Clinics and Emergency Care. “We are very concerned when we hear about the large unsanctioned parties that are planned and how they may impact our services. We are already currently seeing record numbers of patients in our ED and we need to ensure that everyone is able to access the care they require in the right place at the right time.”

KHSC has put a number of plans in place to increase the number of staff available in the ED as well as opening up extra space for patients by using the Same Day Admission Centre on Connell 2 at the KGH site. This space is normally used for surgical day-patients and closed on the weekends.

“We encourage everyone to follow public health guidelines and do not attend events with more than 25 people indoors or 100 people outdoors, and to keep the streets clear so that emergency vehicles can use these routes to bring patients to the hospital,” says McIntosh.

In addition, to ensure that Emergency teams can continue to provide the highest-level of care to the sickest individuals in our region, please see the information below to find out where to go if you do need to access health-care services. KHSC asks that people with less-serious illness or injuries seek medical attention in the appropriate place so that the sickest can continue to be seen quickly in the Emergency Department at KGH.

Walk-in clinics

Patients with a non-acute and non-life threatening illnesses or injuries that require access to a medical professional should first consider accessing care at a local walk-in clinic. A number of walk-in clinics are located across Kingston; you can find the closest one by visiting:

Campus Observation Room (COR) at Queen’s University

Queen's students can access COR, a medical detox service run by Student Wellness Services that offers a confidential, non-judgmental place where students who have had too much to drink can sleep it off. COR main site is located on the Queen’s University campus. For more information visit

Urgent Care Centre at Hotel Dieu Hospital

Located at our Hotel Dieu Hospital site (166 Brock Street), the Urgent Care Centre provides care for patients with injuries or illness that require urgent medical attention that cannot wait for a visit to a family physician. This could include deep cuts and wounds that require stitches, sprains and strains or deep bruises, mild to moderate asthma attacks, infections of the ear, respiratory system or urinary tract, severe diarrhea, insect bites or rashes. The Urgent Care Centre is open every day between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Emergency Department at Kingston General Hospital

The Emergency Department provides care for patients with life or limb-threatening illness or injuries or patients who have a high likelihood of requiring hospital admission. This could include severe bleeding, difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, trauma to the head, sudden dizziness or difficulty seeing and severe abdominal pain. The Emergency Department is open 24 hours-a-day.

Patients who are experiencing chest pain, severe respiratory distress, allergic reactions, or the symptoms of stroke (sudden onset of arm/leg weakness, facial droop or slurred speech) should call 911 immediately.

Not sure where to go?

Telehealth Ontario is available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week and gives you access to a registered nurse who will assess symptoms and help decide what kind of help is needed and where to get it. Phone 1-866-797-0000.