Mackenzie Health and Southlake Regional Health Centre have each opened an assessment centre to help screen patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms – a move that will rapidly expand screening and ease pressures on hospital emergency departments. Markham-Stouffville Hospital will open a centre on Wednesday, March 18.
You should attend a centre if you’re experiencing symptoms – which include fever of more than 38°C or 100°F combined with a new or worsening cough and/or new or worsening shortness of breath symptoms – and have returned from travel outside Canada within the last 14 days, been in close contact with someone who is a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19, and/or been in close contact with someone who has flu-like symptoms who has travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days.
Each centre is managed by hospital staff and is located close to an emergency department in case any patients being assessed need urgent care. Patients who are sick but don’t require hospitalization may be asked to self-isolate or self-monitor at home. Not everyone who attends an assessment centre will be tested for COVID-19.
Each hospital will manage its assessment centre on its operational capacity. You’re advised to check your local hospital’s website for hours of operation and procedures. York Region Public Health is working with local hospitals, emergency services and other health agencies to connect with anyone who may require COVID-19 testing and will also contact anyone who completes a test with their results.
If you have concerns about symptoms, contact your primary care provider or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, which is available around the clock. The federal government encourages everyone to follow community-based measures to help mitigate the spread of the disease, such as good hand hygiene, coughing into the elbow and social distancing, which means deliberately creating more space between people.
Mackenzie Health (www.mackenziehealth.ca) is located at 10 Trench St. in Richmond Hill. Southlake Regional Health Centre (www.southlake.ca) is at 596 Davis Dr. in Newmarket and Markham-Stouffville Hospital (www.msh.on.ca) is at 381 Church St. in Markham. Visit york.ca/covid19 for more information.