Terry Pursell, President and CEO, North York General Foundation

COVID-19 Updates: Message from the President – September 2, 2020

Dear Friends,

With our thoughts turned to the end of summer, many of us are facing issues associated with resuming education, re-entering our places of work, managing the impact on family members as our “bubbles” open up and the looming likelihood of a second wave of COVID-19.

I’m adjusting to 3 days in the office and 2 days working from home after 5 months of working remotely. It was no small feat the first week as I struggled with what to focus on and how and when to interact “live” with my own team and the staff in the hospital. I am falling into a more familiar rhythm and don’t think twice about wearing a mask when I leave the confines of my own office.

Although I am past the stage of return to school with my own children, I can’t help but empathize with families who are wrestling with an atypical “back to school” mission in a COVID-19 world. This includes my own daughter in the UK, tussling with nursery school for her daughter (especially after an amazing summer holiday in Canada!).

As a community, we are likely dealing with stress among our family and friends unlike anything we have encountered. Coping and managing mental health issues has grown in complexity and numbers, which is why we dedicated our next House Calls – a virtual conversation with our community to a dialogue on mental health care with North York General subject matter experts.

House Calls: a virtual conversation with our community - September 16, 2020

I am pleased to share that our MaskUp education campaign was a big success. We sold out of the polka dots masks twice, with over 14,000 in circulation. We are grateful to our community and many others across Ontario and other parts of Canada for supporting this effort and helping keep the virus in-check.

North York General has administered over 61,000 COVID-19 tests during the last six months. Please note the below updates related to our COVID-19 Assessment Centres:

Branson Site
555 Finch Ave. (North Entrance immediately after Finch)
8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

This site is for those who are asymptomatic and feel well but would still like a test. You can also go here if you have COVID-19-related symptoms. All ages are welcome, including children.

Main Site
4001 Leslie Street (by the Emergency entrance)
8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
This testing site is only for those who are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms.

North York General has gone to extensive efforts to make sure the hospital is safe for patients and staff. If you require emergency services, please don’t hesitate to go to our Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency. You must wear a mask and respect the rules detailed upon arrival. We absolutely want you to come and see us when you need medical care.

I will end my update with a hope that we all stay vigilant as we re-open parts of our institutions, businesses and our lives. COVID-19 is still present, and the health and safety of our families, friends, co-workers and community remain paramount.

With my best to you and yours, and #stay safe,

Terry Pursell
Terry Pursell
President & CEO

P.S. As always, if you are interested in learning more about COVID-19-related issues, please go to the hospital’s website at nygh.on.ca/covid-19-updates and remember to access our self-assessment tool at covid19toronto.ca to help guide you if you or a family member are feeling unwell.