COVID-19 Update to the Bernard Betel Centre Community (March 24)

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Dear Bernard Betel Centre Community,

As you know, the Bernard Betel Centre made the difficult decision last Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to temporarily cancel all our on and off-site programs and services, but to continue to offer our critical Meals on Wheels program. We will continue to follow the guidance from and in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Health and the Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto. Despite our tentative and optimistic date of reopening is April 6, no one can predict at this point with any certainty when this will happen. This situation continues to be fluid, so that the end of our tentative closure could change. We will keep you informed as decisions are made.

To date, there are no known cases or potential exposure to COVID-19 at the Bernard Betel Centre.


The Bernard Betel Centre is a life-line for many seniors in our community and typically a great hub of activity serving hundreds of seniors every day. Our organizational values of community, compassion, respect, dignity and creativity highlight the need at all times for community and compassion. These values are more important now than ever.

The majority of our staff are working remotely calling all members including Healthy at Home and Door-to-Door participants to let them know they are not forgotten and that Betel is there for them. Our calls are being made in both English and Russian. Our chefs and cooks are actively cooking, while other staff are re-deployed labelling, packaging and delivering our Meals on Wheels. In addition this week we investigated the feasibility of offering several online (via Zoom) classes and discussion groups in the near future. We will offer these online programs and check-in phone calls for as long as possible because we need each other now more than ever. Check out our full list of Virtual Programs HERE. We hope you’ll take advantage of some or all of these programs. We will let you know as soon as possible when these programs will begin. Please check our website at for the latest updates, announcements and information.

We will continue to follow the guidance from and in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Health, and the Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto. At this time, no one can predict with any certainty when we will reopen.

I am continuing to communicate with our different stakeholder groups regularly updating them what services and programs we are providing and our commitment to continue to offer Meals on Wheels to the most vulnerable seniors in our community.

Our administration offices are officially closed, although some staff are practicing social distancing and working from the Centre while others are working remotely to keep you updated and connected. It is our way of staying in touch with you – our important Betel community.

We are hopeful that the Betel community and our donors will continue to support the Bernard Betel Centre in all ways possible during this difficult period; in this way, we can ensure that our organization will be able to serve our seniors’ community for years to come. If you are interested in donating, please click HERE.

Together, let’s commit to doing all that we can to reach out and support one another. That is the reason why our Toronto community is so special. Please let us know how we can be of help to you. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and help ensure our community’s health by practicing social distancing and quarantine protocols as indicated by all levels of government – now and in the near future.

We thank you for your support and look forward to welcoming you back to the Bernard Betel Centre.

In good health and safety.


Gail Gould
Executive Director
Bernard Betel Centre

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 Update to the Bernard Betel Centre Community (March 24)”

    1. Hi, the tax clinic is cancelled, but we are hoping to reschedule all appointments for a later date as the tax deadline has been extended. We will call everyone to reschedule once the centre reopens. At this time, many other tax clinics at other locations are cancelled too.

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