Inside Sunnybrook’s Pandemic Response: A photo essay


**All photos were taken by Kevin van Paassen

When Canada’s first case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was confirmed in a patient at Sunnybrook on January 25, 2020, the hospital was preparing for a potential pandemic.

In the past year, Sunnybrook’s teams have worked tirelessly through stress, fear, uncertainty and a fundamental shift in the way health care is delivered.

To recognize the strength and resiliency of our staff, physicians, researchers, students, volunteers, and patients and their loved ones, these photos offer just a brief glimpse into the hospital since January 2020. View the full gallery here.

January 23, 2020 had already been a busy day in the Emergency Department at Sunnybrook. The team, including registered nurses Natacha Hainzelin and Shauna Tavernier, received a heads-up from paramedics that a patient with symptoms and recent travel to Wuhan was en-route to the hospital. Two days later, that patient’s COVID-19 result was confirmed as positive, the first known case in Canada of what was then known as the novel coronavirus.


Two dedicated COVID-19 units opened in anticipation of a potential influx of patientsrequiring intensive care and respiratory support. Shown right is Julie Nardi, clinical and professional leader for respiratory therapy.





Environmental services team member Angela Corsaro sterilizes a patient room in the critical care unit in March 2020.





Jenny Jones, a registered nurse in one of our dedicated COVID-19 units, takes a moment to rest as patient volumes increased in April 2020.




The medical team on one of the COVID units prepares to reposition a patient with COVID-19 onto their stomach. The technique, known as proning, helps critically ill patients breathe by allowing more oxygen to enter the blood.







Physiotherapist Karen Montgomery is shown holding a patient’s hand in the critical care unit.




On January 9, 2021, the Shared Hospital Lab (SHL), located at Sunnybrook’s Bayview Campus, processed its one millionth COVID-19 test. SHL is a partnership between Sunnybrook, North York General Hospital, Scarborough Health Network, and Michael Garron Hospital.