Coronavirus: COVID-19 assessment centre opens in Barrie

Barrie is opening its own COVID-19 assessment centre on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A COVID-19 assessment centre has opened in Barrie, Ont.

Local health officials say there may be lengthy waits at the facility and that bringing a valid Ontario health card will expedite residents’ visits. Officials advise the assessment centre is not a walk-in clinic.

“At the assessment centre, you will be seen by a health-care professional who will provide you with the necessary care and instructions for followup,” officials say.

“The swab test for COVID-19 is not being provided at the assessment centre, however should the health-care team determine that you require a swab, you will receive further information.”

According to officials, the swab test isn’t needed for those with mild symptoms, which is the majority of people seeking treatment and assessment at this time.

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Patients who are assessed and deemed at high risk for COVID-19 will be re-directed to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s  emergency department for the next assessment, which would likely include a swab. Officials say this is expedited in an isolated area.

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“Physicians at the assessment centre will not be providing ‘return to work’ notes,” local officials say. “They will provide instructions to patients to either self-monitor or self-isolate based on that assessment.”

Officials say people with COVID-19 symptoms, for the most part, can and will safely recover at home. “The self isolation period is so they don’t pass it along to others,” officials add.

Physicians at the centre will not be writing prescriptions.

Officials say people should not go to an assessment centre unless they have symptoms of COVID-19. Before visiting a centre, individuals should look at whether it’s appropriate to do so by using a new online self-assessment tool, calling Telehealth Ontario or the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

The Barrie, Ont. assessment centre is located at 490 Huronia Rd. near the back building of the Eagle Ridge complex. It will be open on Monday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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