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HQ Toronto to offer state of the art health care services for 2SLGBTQIA+ persons



HQ Toronto, a new medical centre situated at 790 Bay St, is set to open its doors on the 22nd of July 2022.

The medical center will serve cis men who have sex with men, trans people and non-binary individuals. Unlike other sexual health clinics in the city and province, HQ Toronto will offer physical and sexual health care, mental health care as well as community and social programming, all under one roof.

“In Ontario and Canada and probably the rest of the world, we are really bad at siloing off the various parts of health care. You go to a sexual health clinic and say you also want to talk about mental health and they say, that’s unfortunate, let me refer you to somebody else, and then you will wait six weeks and hopefully the other place will take care of you. That’s not what will happen at HQ Toronto,” said Dr. Kevin Woodward, HQ’s medical director.

In addition, Dr. Woodward said what makes the clinic truly innovative is the speed and efficiency with which it will offer sexual health testing and treatment, as well as mental health support citing that the aim is to get patients who are coming for HIV or STI testing in and out of the clinic within 15 or 20 minutes, with results back to the patient by text or email the same day or the next day and treatment if needed, would be offered that same day.


HQ Toronto is building its fast turnaround through a system of self-serve kiosks where individuals will swipe their health card when they arrive, fill in a questionnaire, receive printed labels, then proceed to a self-testing room, where they will collect their urine samples and do their own swabs.

Treatment will include Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV prevention, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for those with possible exposure, and HIV treatment for those who test positive for HIV, as well as medications for STIs such as syphilis and gonorrhea, but the kiosks will be more than a gateway to quick STI and HIV testing. The initial questionnaires will include screening for substance abuse, mental health risk factors and issues, including self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

“While COVID-19 has delayed us in some ways, it’s also given us opportunities to perfect some of the ways we want to do things and has challenged our thinking about how we could offer mental health and sexual health care in different ways.

The more efficient we can make it for people, the more likely that they will access services when they need them. Right at the kiosk, we will check for suicidality and self-harm and we will respond the same day, hopefully within minutes because HIV, other STIs, and syphilis those rates tend to travel with individuals who are suffering from untreated mental health and substance abuse problems. Using the same technology that texts patients their test results, the system will text our staff to say there’s someone here who is suicidal, please come out front and get them help,” said Dr. Tim Guimond, HQ’s mental health director.

Another service offered by HQ Toronto will be community and social programming for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, offered by the clinic itself or by its partner agencies who represent the Black, Two-Spirit, Latinx, Francophone, Asian and South Asian communities.

“We will have folks coming from all walks of life, representing different backgrounds. I am Black and Latino and many people in my community tend not to come out to be tested, but having social programming in a space that is already providing mental and sexual health care breaks down that barrier,” said Osmel Guerra Mayne, HQ’s director of organizational development, community and culture.

The clinic’s hours will be noon to 8 p.m, Monday to Friday, for STI testing and mental health care. Community and social programming will take place in the evenings and possibly on weekends. HQ’s core staff will start with 13 people, including five physicians, although there will be additional staff on-site from partner agencies.


Respiratory Outbreak Over: Jasper Place – Thunder Bay District Health Unit




March 27, 2023 – The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) and The City of Thunder Bay – Jasper Place confirm that the respiratory outbreak at Jasper Place, located at 1200 Jasper Drive, has been declared over. All outbreak restrictions have been lifted.

TBDHU recommends the public refrain from visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities and other high risk settings when feeling unwell to avoid spreading infections to those most vulnerable and at higher risk of severe outcomes.

The Health Unit reminds the public that they can prevent getting and spreading infections by:

  • Staying at home when sick.  Wearing a well-fitted mask in indoor spaces, especially when around vulnerable people or when recovering from illness.
  • Keeping up-to-date with influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Washing hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Covering coughs/sneezes with the upper sleeve if no tissue is available.
  • Being familiar with the Ontario screening tool, to self-assess and know what to do next.

For more information on current outbreaks, please visit the following link:


For more information – TBDHU Media:

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COVID cold and flu assessment centre to close Friday



It’s the end of an era of the pandemic.

The COVID Cold and Flu Care Clinic at 400 Southgate Dr. is closing at the end of the week.

The location will take patients until the end of day Friday.

Guelph General Hospital said in a news release the closure is because of the steady few months of low volumes and stable COVID hospital admissions.


“The COVID, Cold, Flu Care Clinic played a significant role in meeting the needs of the community during the pandemic by providing community residents a much-needed alternative to the emergency department and primary care,” Guelph General Hospital president and CEO Marianne Walker said in a release.

“As care transitions back to community providers, I’d like to thank the over 100 team members from Guelph General Hospital, Guelph Family Health Team and other partner organizations for their valuable service during some very difficult times.”

The clinic opened in September 2020, after moving over from the Victoria Road Recreation Centre. The clinic also used to operate on Delhi Street.

The Southgate Drive location expanded last December to include treatment for cold and flu symptoms.

Anyone looking for COVID-19, cold and flu treatment are now asked to go to family doctors, walk-in clinics, pharmacies and clinics led by Guelph Family Health Team physicians and nurse practitioners.

Severe COVID cases should still go to the emergency department.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said it will still offer COVID-19 and flu shots at its Chancellors Way building.

The hospital does caution that COVID-19 is still prevalent in the community, and to continue taking precautions if you’re not feeling well.

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Whooping cough on the rise in southern Ontario



Several public health units in southwestern Ontario say they’ve seen a spike in cases of whooping cough and are urging residents to get vaccinated against the respiratory illness that can be particularly severe in young children.

Southwestern Public Health – which serves Oxford County, Elgin County and St. Thomas, Ont. – said it recorded 82 cases of whooping cough from January 2022 to the end of this February.

“This was 40 per cent of the provincial total from that time period,” Dr. Ninh Tran, medical officer of health for Southwestern Public Health, said in an interview.

“It’s a significant increase … that is certainly striking.”


Previous years have seen annual caseloads in the single digits, Tran said.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, can see a person’s cough intensify to the point where a “whooping” sound is heard when they try to catch their breath, Tran said.

Lower rates of immunization against whooping cough could be a factor in the rise in cases, he said.

“In our region, we have relatively lower rates of immunization compared to others,” Tran said.

“We’ve had a few cases that were hospitalized. That’s why we just really need folks to get up-to-date on their immunization.”

Huron Perth Public Health, which serves Stratford, Wingham, Listowel and Clinton, said it has confirmed at least 21 cases of whooping cough so far this year. In 2022, there were only three cases.

“The illness can be serious for infants younger than 12 months of age who are not vaccinated, or who have not received all doses of the pertussis vaccine,” Dr. Miriam Klassen, the medical officer of health for Huron Perth, wrote in a statement.

“Young children have the highest risk for severe complications, such as hospitalization and death, if they get sick.”

Klassen said the COVID-19 pandemic might have put residents of southern Ontario behind on routine immunizations, and urged residents to catch up on their vaccines.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said there had been “a recent dramatic rise” in whooping cough cases in its region. It said last week that it counted 18 cases since November 2022.

“Cases have predominately been clustered in the Leamington and Kingsville communities, and exclusively in children who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated,” it wrote in a statement, urging residents to get vaccinated.

The health unit noted that the cough brought on by pertussis can be so severe that it can cause vomiting. If left untreated in infants, young children and the elderly, it “can lead to complications such as pneumonia, dehydration, brain damage, hospitalization and death.”

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said it recorded 12 cases over the fall and winter, which is “higher than normal for the region.”

“Many individuals may be behind in their vaccinations because they were unable to get them due to COVID-19,” it wrote in a statement. “Now is the time to get fully vaccinated as we engage in more community activities.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2023. 


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