By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
There are now seven temporary COVID-19 testing sites open in East Toronto, as cases continue to rise in the city.
A community-based initiative led by East Toronto Health Partners, the seven pop-up testing sites are located in six priority neighbourhoods from roughly Nov. 2 to 30.
ETHP, an Ontario Health Team, operates the seven sites. It includes two existing sites at Taylor-Massey (Crescent Town) and Thorncliffe Park, which have been extended, the East York Community Centre clinic, and four other sites.
The testing clinics offer drop-in and same-day appointments for local residents in priority neighbourhoods. Residents without internet access or people experiencing homelessness are also able to get tested.
The sites popped up after neighbourhood-level data from Michael Garron Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre identified neighbourhoods in East Toronto that are seeing higher cases of COVID-19 or low testing rates.
“Throughout our long history of partnership with ETHP, we understand that a localized, integrated model of care is most effective when it comes to addressing the healthcare needs of our East Toronto communities,” said medical director of infection prevention and control at MGH Dr. Jeff Powis, also a member of ETHP.
“During the pandemic, we’ve relied on the strong partnerships that exist among ETHP members to organize pop-up COVID-19 testing sites in East Toronto since May. We’ve also worked with our partners to provide follow-up care in the community for those who have been infected with COVID-19, to support long-term care homes and local schools and to ensure access to non-COVID-19 related primary care,” he added.
Organizations that are part of the East Toronto Health Partners include the East Toronto Family Practice Network, Flemingdon Health Centre, Health Access Thorncliffe Park, Michael Garron Hospital, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization, Warden Woods Community Centre, and WoodGreen Community Services
The initiative is funded by Ontario Health.
Toronto saw 408 new cases on Nov. 3, after weeks of reporting several hundred cases daily, bringing the total number of active cases to 3,194 as of today’s date.
In the last 21 days, East Toronto neighbourhoods have also spiked in their positive cases. Thorncliffe Park, East End Danforth, and Oakridge, have had dozens of positive COVID-19 cases in just three weeks, with neighbouring communities also seeing smaller spikes.
The seven East Toronto COVID-19 pop-up testing site are as follows:
East York – East York Community Centre (1081 ½ Pape Ave.)
Open Nov. 2 to 30
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Scarborough – The Hub at Warden Woods Community Centre (76 Firvalley Crt.)
Open Nov. 5 to 30
Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Flemingdon Park – Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre (29 St. Dennis Dr.)
Open Nov. 3 to 30
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Flemingdon Park – Angela James Arena (165 Grenoble Dr.)
Open Nov. 9 to 30
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Riverdale – South Riverdale Community Health Centre (955 Queen St. E.)
Open Nov. 7, 10, 16, and 17
Hours: Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Taylor-Massey-Crescent Town – Crescent Town Health Centre (4 The Market Place)
Opens Nov. 2 to 30
Hours: Daily except Sunday from 12 to 5:30 p.m.
Thorncliffe Park – TNO Youth Centre (45 Overlea Blvd., Unit 108A)
Opens Nov. 1 to 30
Hours: Daily from 12 to 5:30 p.m.
For more information on COVID-19 in the City of Toronto, visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/
Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.