March 26, 2020
To our trusted patients of North York Medical Group and Dr. Sari Herman:
We hope you and your families are all doing well and staying healthy.
We are writing to update you with our updated office procedures in the current context of COVID-19. These recommendations are consistent with Public Health and Ontario Medical Association guidelines, which are meant to help keep everyone safe and healthy, and limit spread of COVID-19.
If you do have symptoms and wonder whether you should be screened, please use this self-assessment tool:
1) As usual, please call 911 in case of emergency. COVID screening is being conducted in assessment centres not the emergency department itself, therefore if you have a medical issue that requires emergency management, you can/should present to the emergency department.
2) If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, do not present to our office without clearance by phone from one of the physicians. In line with Public Health recommendations, we will not be assessing patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the office. We will do a telephone assessment for symptoms with you. COVID-19 Assessment Centres have opened – please see below link for current locations.
3) We will be screening all patients and caregivers for symptoms first by phone prior to coming to the clinic and again upon arrival to the clinic.
4) We will be rescheduling non-urgent appointments and converting many of the scheduled appointments to virtual appointment using telephone or tele-medicine.
5) Sick visits will be scheduled for the end of the day and will be by appointment only. We do have personal protective equipment that will be used for this purpose. You may be seen by another physician in the practice in order to preserve personal protective equipment and to limit the number of individuals in the office at one time.
6) All well child visits/check-ups requiring immunizations will be rescheduled to the morning or early afternoon.
7) We request that no more than one caregiver accompany any patient when coming into the clinic. The caregiver will be screened as well and will only be allowed into the office if symptom free. Please make sure that all contact information of any caregiver is included on the screening form.
8) Please note that we will no longer be offering online appointments (temporary).
9) We will temporarily be waiving any fees for prescription renewals by phone or fax. If you need a renewal, please have your pharmacy fax a request to us: (416) 497-2650.
10) We are available by phone and email during our usual office hours. All messages will be returned but may take 24-48 hours so we appreciate your patience. Phone is preferred for urgent health issues. If you choose to email us, please do not include any personal health information, just ask for a phone call in return to discuss your medical issue. Due to unprecedented demand on telecom services, all Canadian carriers may experience periodic issues connecting calls. If you call the office, and are unable to connect, please wait and try again shortly. Alternatively, as mentioned previously, you may also email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a call back. Again, please do not include any personal medical information in your email.
Guidelines from the Ontario Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario:
Proposed Realignment of Services During Pandemic:
Postpone routine and non-urgent assessments (e.g. annual assessment screening programs and non-urgent, elective consults, elective surgeries*).
Encourage self-care options to those who do not have urgent health-care needs.
Temporarily limit certain preventative care interventions (referrals to programs and consultations).
Controlled substances can be assessed through virtual care options whenever safely possible.
Decision-makers should streamline processes to limit the completion of non-essential forms and other administrative tasks during this time, such as school or camp or back to work forms.
Ontario Medical Association Recommendations:
Everyone is encouraged to practice the following hygiene principles:
• Wash your hands frequently (for 20 seconds)
• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (min. 60% alcohol content)
• Sneeze or cough into your sleeve or a tissue (wash clothes frequently)
• Stay at home when you are sick
• Disinfect spaces regularly, and pay attention to high-touch surfaces (such as printers,
desks, phones, kitchen appliances, door handles, etc.)
• No food sharing
• Social Distancing
• Self isolate for 14 days if you have traveled outside of Canada
General Information regarding COVID-19:
Toronto Public Health:
Government of Canada:
Thank you for your support.
Drs. Gelman, Manis, Merbaum, Small and Sonshine
Dr. Herman (Allergist)