MGH's Clinical Assessment Centre team stand outside the clinic on the day of its launch.
Team members from MGH and South East Toronto Family Health Team outside the MGH Clinical Assessment Centre on the day of the site's launch.

MGH enters next phase of healthcare recovery with closure of Clinical Assessment Centre

After three years of dedicated service to our community, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is closing its Clinical Assessment Centre located at 825 Coxwell Ave.

The site’s last day of operation is February 26, 2023. After this date, take-home COVID-19 PCR test kits from MGH will also no longer be distributed or accepted for processing at the MGH Clinical Assessment Centre and other community sites in East Toronto.

The closure of the MGH Clinical Assessment Centre is due to a significant decrease in volumes of COVID-19 patients in recent months, which is related to high levels of immunity to the virus in East Toronto. 

The move will allow MGH to dedicate additional staffing and resources to other healthcare recovery efforts in East Toronto, including those with the hospital’s Ontario Health Team, East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP).

This includes ensuring low-barrier access to health, social and community services through collaborative neighbourhood models like Health Access Taylor-Massey, which offers team-based primary care (family doctors, nurse practitioners and others), mental health counselling, preventative cancer screening, resource navigation and more in one place that is close to home.

COVID-19 tests and treatment assessments will continue to be available at Health Access Taylor-Massey, the Community Outreach Centre in Thorncliffe Park and the Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic. These services are also available at other Clinical Assessment Centres and testing sites in Toronto.

Preventing spread of COVID-19

Since March 2020, the MGH Clinical Assessment Centre administered more than 365,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on-site, and processed more than 113,000 PCR tests through take-home test kits and other off-site testing methods.

The site was one of the first COVID-19 Assessment Centres to open in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. East Toronto Family Practice Network (EasT-FPN) and other community partners supported the launch.

Over three years, the centre evolved to meet the changing needs of the community.

In January 2022, the site became known as a Clinical Assessment Centre that offers child-friendly PCR tests; prescriptions for COVID-19 treatment, including the Paxlovid pill; and cold, flu and COVID-19 assessments.

By providing local residents with safe, easy and convenient access to these resources throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the MGH Clinical Assessment Centre helped identify positive cases of COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

This helped prevent the spread of COVID-19 in East Toronto communities, protecting hundreds of thousands of individuals – including those most vulnerable – from the virus.

“While we understand and appreciate the positive impact the MGH Clinical Assessment Centre has had on local residents, the closure of this site represents another step in the right direction given where we are currently at with the pandemic,” says Dr. Jeff Powis, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control at MGH.

“To our staff, physicians and partners – including those who were redeployed or who selflessly volunteered to pitch in early in the pandemic – thank you for your tireless work in helping to ensure we could provide testing, treatment and other critical services at this site over an unprecedented three years.

“We look forward to continuing our work together to advance healthcare recovery in East Toronto.”

Next phase of healthcare recovery

As the needs of the East Toronto community continue to shift, MGH remains committed to working with ETHP and other community partners to help address health concerns that were caused by or worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes continuing to have a presence in priority neighbourhoods like Flemingdon Park, Thorncliffe Park and Taylor-Massey, where the hospital and partners are working to increase access to services such as mental health supports and preventative cancer screening.

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