News and Events

South Georgian Bay OHT News 

South Georgian Bay COVID-19, Cold and Flu Care Clinic Now Open


South Georgian Bay – The South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT) is pleased to announce the opening of the South Georgian Bay COVID-19, Cold and Flu Care Clinic. The clinic provides assessment and care, by appointment, for people experiencing COVID-19, cold or flu symptoms and helps offset pressures facing the hospital emergency department. The clinic is an initiative that supports the shared purpose of the SGB OHT to keep residents in the South Georgian Bay community safe and was made possible thanks to the longstanding and trusting relationships across the community.


“The COVID-19, Cold and Flu Care Clinic is for those experiencing COVID-19, cold or flu symptoms who feel they need to see a doctor or nurse practitioner,” says Dr. Carola Elkhuizen, Physician with the Georgian Bay Family Health Organization. “We suggest that patients first access their family doctor or nurse practitioner if possible. The clinic offers quick and safe access to care to support our community and ease the burden on our local emergency department. Patients should know that the clinic will not be providing COVID-19 testing, or sick notes.”


As part of this collaborative effort to keep the community safe during COVID-19 and to help reduce the burden on our local emergency room, OHT Partners and primary care physicians are supporting the clinic’s daily operations. It is staffed by local nurse practitioners from the Georgian Bay Family Health Team (GBFHT) and local primary care and hospital physicians. In addition to these dedicated clinical contributions, the clinic is supported by many SGB OHT partners and staff. This includes clinic operational support through the GBFHT management staff, and resources from the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital in supplying essential infrastructure and Personal Protective Equipment, to keep clinic staff and patients safe.


New Booking Process for the South Georgian Bay COVID-19 Assessment Centres


South Georgian Bay – For nearly two years, as part of our South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT) efforts to keep our community safe and protected during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Georgian Bay Family Health Team (GBFHT) has collaborated with our OHT partners to support the daily operations of our local South Georgian Bay COVID-19 Assessment Centres.


Today, the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team is pleased to announce that as part of our efforts to support COVID-19 recovery and primary care, the leadership of the regional COVID-19 Assessment Centres will be transferred from the GBFHT to Canadian Health Labs.


Dr. Harry O’Halloran, Lead Physician of the Georgian Bay Family Health Organization and Co-Chair of the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team, extends a heartfelt “thank you” to the GBFHT and to all the healthcare and community partners who have helped us in delivering this service. He shares that “the drive through COVID-19 Assessment Centres have been a shining example of how a community can collaborate during the most challenging of times. We have great faith that Canadian Health Labs will continue to provide an efficient service, until the longed-for day when it is no longer required!”


COVID-19 testing clinics will continue to be held at the drive-through locations at Wasaga Beach RecPlex and Collingwood Legion. Beginning today, Thursday December 9th, 2021, you can visit our website at to access the booking instructions.

For a short period, the GBFHT will work closely with Canadian Health Labs to ensure a smooth and seamless transition of service, that will continue to provide prompt access to COVID-19 testing appointments and results, for all residents in the South Georgian Bay. All results will be available on the government portal 

Those patients without a heath card will be contacted by CHL with their results. We are pleased to report that we will continue to provide the invaluable COVID-19 Home Monitoring Program for appropriate patients who test positive for COVID-19 to keep them safe and healthy at home.

Local Organizations Invited to Add to Activity Calendar for Free

Local organizations are invited to add activities to the South Georgian Bay Recreation and Social Activities Calendar for Older Adults. The calendar connects older adults to local recreation or social activities to enhance social connections in their community.  


“What we’re hearing from older adults is that there are so many different organizational websites, each with their activities on them. This makes it overwhelming and difficult for them to figure out what is available in their community,” says Pam Hillier, Executive Director, 211 Community Connection. “We’re asking organizations to come together to make it really easy for older adults to find the activities they’re looking for.” 


In a recent survey conducted by 211 Community Connection, to help inform projects across Simcoe County aimed at connecting seniors to resources and supports, almost 80% of survey participants indicated that they are not as socially active as they would like to be. The majority of respondents wanted to see more opportunities for social/entertainment/games (58.7%), education/learning (58.6%), and exercise/sports (52.9%), but 43% felt they didn’t know where to find out about them. 


“Posting an activity or resource for older adults on the recreation and social activities calendar is a great way for organizations to get the information out into the community. It’s free, easy to use, and encourages older adults to get involved and active in their community,” says Sherry Teeter, Community Connection Project Lead, Reducing Senior Isolation. “This calendar makes it easy for older adults to find what they’re looking for because they can find a variety of activities happening in their local community both virtually and in-person all in one place.” 


Seniors Survey First Step in Project Connecting Seniors to Social and Community Supports


Seniors and their caregivers are encouraged to take part in a survey to help inform a project across the county that aims to connect people to resources and supports to combat social isolation and allow them to become or stay involved in their communities in meaningful ways.


Community Connection, a Collingwood-based charity, is overseeing a five-year project, aimed at connecting isolated seniors with social activities and/or volunteer opportunities in their community enabling them to become or stay involved in their community in meaningful ways. The project is guided by a cross-sector leadership table of community members and service providers, including the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT).


Seniors (55+) or their caregivers can access the survey by going to or by calling 705-444-0040 extension 246 to complete it over the phone. The survey will also be distributed through community organizations.


Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics in Collingwood Make COVID-19 Vaccine Accessible to Residents


With vaccine coverage increasing and mass-immunization clinics ramping down, partners and supporters of the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT), including the County of Simcoe, South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and the Collingwood Fire Department went door-to-door in Collingwood in the past week to make the COVID-19 vaccine as accessible as possible to those not yet vaccinated and those needing their second dose.


“We’re all working together to make it as easy as possible for those few remaining unvaccinated people to have access to the vaccine,” says Dr. Harry O’Halloran, SGB OHT Chair. “The COVID vaccines are safe and extremely effective. They are the best way to keep our community safe, especially as children (who can’t yet be vaccinated) return to school.”


Fire trucks were parked on County of Simcoe managed properties and the Collingwood Fire department went door-to-door offering the vaccine and providing additional information to those who had questions. The pop-up clinics were possible thanks to the generators on those trucks, which kept the vaccines at the right temperature.


A Collaboration between Service Providers in the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team Aims to Reduce the Impact of Poverty 


Thanks to a 3-year, $233,742 grant from United Way Simcoe Muskoka, the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT) is beginning the work on a collaborative project to expand the community’s ability to more easily connect people who are struggling to meet their basic needs, to the services and supports they need.


“In the first year of the project, we are working on developing a shared technology platform to allow physicians, health care providers and also community service organizations to make electronic referrals to 2-1-1 for people who are impacted by the social determinants of health,” says Pamela Hillier, Executive Director of Community Connection.  “Like a physician prescribing medicine, this is social prescribing, a structured way of referring people to the broad range of local, non-clinical services such as food resources, transportation services, income supports or even social activities for those who are alone. With their basic needs supported, people can be more focused on their health and wellbeing. We are so thankful to donors in our communities who support the United Way Simcoe Muskoka, for making this work possible.” 













Activity Calendar Connecting Seniors to Local Social Activities and Resources


To celebrate Seniors’ Month in Ontario, the South Georgian Bay Recreation and Social Activities Calendar for Older Adults has just launched. The calendar aims to connect older adults and seniors to local recreation or social activities and resources to enhance social connections in our community. COVID-19 restrictions have taken a significant toll on many, and older adults and seniors are particularly vulnerable to isolation during these unprecedented times. This online resource connects older adults and seniors with others in the community to reduce this isolation and promote health and wellness.


Cynthia Strandholt, Human Resources and Information Technology Manager at Bay Haven Care Community

Volunteer Opportunities in the Community

Looking for volunteer opportunities in South Georgian Bay?


Volunteer opportunities in the community


Our Development and Approval:

Area health organizations submit application to become Ontario Health team.


On Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT) planning table submitted its full application to the Ministry of Health towards becoming an Ontario Health Team.


Area health organizations submit application to become Ontario Health team


‘Greater connectivity for patients’: Collingwood, Wasaga Beach area pegged for Ontario Health Team.



South Georgian Bay has been selected by the province as a region for one of 13 new Ontario Health Teams announced Nov. 18.

The South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team is comprised of health and social-service organizations in Collingwood, the Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach and Clearview Township.



News Release (French and English)


Testing and information

COVID-19 Assessment centres and testing.


Simcoe Muskoka District Health Uniti



COVID-19 test and testing location information






‘History in the making,’ several mass vaccination clinics open in Simcoe County.


March 1, 2021

BARRIE — Up to now, the only location able to deliver the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine was at the clinic on Sperling Drive, but on Monday, that all changed.

The mass vaccination clinic at the Holly Recreation Centre on Mapleton Avenue in Barrie officially opened its doors, one of several clinics now ready to offer the vaccine.

Simcoe Muskoka’s top doctor, Dr. Charles Gardner, calls the opening “a piece of history in the making.”



COVID vaccine clinic opening at Collingwood Legion next week.


Feb 25, 2021

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is opening up community vaccination clinics starting next week for a limited number of residents and by appointment only. 



Health unit plans launch of community vaccine clinics March 1.


Feb 23, 2021

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit will be opening several clinics to offer the vaccines against COVID-19 to more groups in the community starting March 1. 



COVID-19 vaccine clinics open across Simcoe Muskoka as lockdown takes effect.


March 1, 2021

Mass COVID-19 immunization clinics are opening across Simcoe County and Muskoka on Monday as the region locks down for the third time since the start of the pandemic.



About 700 doses of COVID vaccine given in Collingwood this week.


Mar 5, 2021 

By end of day tomorrow, Collingwood’s drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic will have given about 700 doses of vaccine to area residents.

The first 222 of those were given during a snowstorm.

The local clinic, which already operates as a COVID-19 assessment site, started administering vaccines on Monday, March 1 in blizzard conditions.



Ontario Pharmacies and Primary Care Settings to Begin Offering COVID-19 Vaccinations.


Mar 10, 2021 

Phased Expansion Continues as the Province Approaches One Million Vaccines Administered



Province sending AstraZeneca to primary care providers in Simcoe Muskoka.


Mar 10, 2021 

Simcoe-Muskoka region will be getting some of the province’s 194,500 doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHEILD vaccine against COVID-19 by Saturday. 

The Ontario government announced today the local region is one of six regions in the province that will be part of a pilot project involving primary care professionals administering the AstraZeneca vaccine. 



Ontario unveils details of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine pharmacy pilot.


Mar 10, 2021 

Eligible Ontarians aged 60 to 64 in three public health units will be able to book an appointment for the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy starting on Friday.

The Ministry of Health says more than 325 pharmacies in Toronto, Windsor-Essex and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFLA) are participating in a pilot program to administer 194,500 doses of the vaccine.



Eligible residents receive first doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in Collingwood.


March 12, 2021

Residents between 60 and 64 rolled up in their vehicles and rolled up their sleeves for their shot at the Collingwood Legion drive-thru clinic.

Health Canada authorized the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for people over 18, and Ontario approved the vaccine to be given to residents 60 to 64.



Here’s a video tour of the Collingwood and Wasaga drive-thru vaccine clinics.


Mar 14, 2021 

Appointment holders never have to leave their car to get their COVID-19 vaccines at these two local clinic locations



COVID Home Monitoring Program

South Georgian Bay’s COVID -19 Home Monitoring Program Enables Patients to Safely Recover at Home.

Jan 29, 2021

Home Monitoring Program is an important tool to prevent “silent hypoxia” and enable quick medical intervention

To better support residents in South Georgian Bay who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are recovering at home, the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT) has launched a Home Monitoring Program to care for high-risk patients with suspect or confirmed COVID-19.



New monitoring program keeps close tabs on COVID patients at home.


Feb 2, 2021

COLLINGWOOD, ONT. — Health care teams in South Georgian Bay use a new monitoring program to keep close tabs on high-risk COVID-19 patients who have gone home.

The program is a cooperative effort between the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, the Georgian Bay Family Health Team and the London Health Sciences Centre to prevent the dangers of silent hypoxia in patients who tested positive for the virus.



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