Toronto hospital opens coronavirus Assessment Centre

Mar 13 2020, 12:34 pm

The Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) opened a COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Toronto on Friday.

The assessment centre was created in anticipation of an increase in coronavirus cases in the city.

The centre is accessible, located in an isolated clinic at the 825 Coxwell Avenue hospital site and has a designated, separate entrance off of Mortimer Avenue, west of the Emergency Department.

The goal of the centre is to increase capacity to respond to individuals who are experiencing symptoms that could be related to the coronavirus.

“Thanks to the exceptional dedication and efforts of our hospital team, East Toronto Family Practice Network and community partners, we are taking this next important step to expand our ability to assess and screen patients for COVID-19 in East Toronto,” Mark Fam, Vice President of Clinical Programs said.

The assessment centre is open daily from 12 – 8 pm and its patients are seen by appointment only.

Residents can call the centre, where they will be screened for travel and contact history and symptoms, and will then be guided to self-monitor, self-isolate at home, go to the Assessment Centre, or go to the Emergency Department.

Patients that go to the Assessment Centre will be offered a booked appointment, which enables the hospital to provide the right care for patients, support the important principle of social distancing, and prevent unnecessary visits to the Assessment Centre or Emergency Department.

“Following screening, patients will be assessed by a physician and/or nurse and tested for COVID-19 if the assessment indicates that it is required,” said the hospital.

“Only patients who meet certain criteria will be tested for COVID-19. The test is similar to that of other respiratory illnesses and involves taking a sample from the back of the nasal cavity with a swab.”

On March 2, MGH started the first phase of its plan to expand screening and testing capacity by establishing a dedicated COVID-19 Assessment Centre in its Emergency Deapartment.

According to the hospital, on average, the centre served about 5-10 patients each day for the first week, but now sees 20-25 patients per day, close to its maximum capacity of 30 patients at a time.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is monitoring 41 positive cases of COVID-19 in the city as of March 13.