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Toronto hospital to open coronavirus screening centre at medical office in East York

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WATCH: Ontario health officials say consistency among the public is key to slowing the new coronavirus’ spread.

A Toronto hospital says it is planning on opening a coronavirus screening centre to test for COVID-19 at a medical building in the city’s east end.

Michael Garron Hospital said it anticipates the COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre will open in mid-March. One site under review as a potential centre for coronavirus screening is a medical building at 840 Coxwell Ave., which is just across the street from the hospital.

The hospital said patients will be screened for symptoms as well as travel and contact history upon arrival at the centre. There will be a separate entrance for these screenings from the rest of the building, which will still be providing its regular medical services.

After screenings, the patient will be assessed by a doctor or nurse and tested for COVID-19, if the assessment indicates it’s needed, the hospital said.

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READ MORE: How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

“Only patients who meet certain criteria will be tested for COVID-19,” the hospital’s statement read. “The test is similar to that of other respiratory illnesses and involves taking a sample from the back of the nasal cavity with a swab.”

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Hospital officials added that Toronto Public Health will follow up with those who tested positive within two days.

The hospital is asking for patients who do not have symptoms not to visit the centre.

READ MORE: Do you think you have coronavirus symptoms? Here’s who to call first

“The centre will continue to explore other ways to provide rapid testing for COVID-19 as cases increase; at a later stage, this may include a drive-through component as seen in other areas of the world,” the statement added.

Hospital officials said the goal of the centre is to respond to individuals experiencing coronavirus symptoms and direct those infected to emergency departments for hospital care.

“The COVID-19 Assessment Centre in East Toronto is a demonstration of the East Toronto Health Partners Ontario Health Team in action with significant contributions from the East Toronto Family Practice Network and South East Toronto Family Health Team.”

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