Cobourg, Lindsay hospitals expand COVID-19 assessment centres for flu, cold, RSV care

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This year's cold and flu season has come in with a punch, and the combination of medicine shortages and overwhelmed hospitals has led to parents and medical professionals taking on more than they could handle. In Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., cases of the flu are higher than they've been in decades. But is our immunity compromised, is it a lack of vaccines or a combination of both? Ross Lord gets some answers. – Dec 4, 2022

Hospitals in Lindsay and Cobourg have expanded their COVID-19 assessment centres to address illnesses such as the flu, the common cold and RSV or respiratory syncytial virus.

Ross Memorial Hospital is operating a Cold, COVID-19 and Flu Care Clinic, which launched Monday in a “transition” from its COVID-19 assessment centre.

The clinic features expanded clinical assessment eligibility for patients with a wider range of symptoms. The hospital says the clinic should also help reduce some pressure on its emergency department.

Appointments can be booked Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding statutory holidays, by calling 705-328-6217.

The clinic should be used if an individual is unable to book an appointment with their primary care provider, or if the individual does not have one. The hospital advises that you use the clinic if you are experiencing a worsening of any of the following symptoms:

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  • Fever/chills, decrease or loss of taste or smell, muscle aches/joint pain, extreme tiredness, sore throat, runny or congested nose, headache, decreased appetite (young children only), or cough, abdominal pain or pink eye that is not related to other causes.
  • You have been directed by your primary care provider, unable to book an appointment, or another health care professional has referred you.
  • You are unable to safely monitor your symptoms at home.
  • You will be visiting a long-term care home
  • You are eligible for COVID-19 testing in alignment with provincial eligibility criteria. Note that travel swabs are not available at this clinic.
  • You require COVID-19 testing prior to a medical procedure.
  • You are at higher risk of severe illness, including:
    1. immunocompromised individuals aged 18 and over regardless of vaccine status
    2. unvaccinated individuals aged 60 and over
    3. unvaccinated First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals aged 50 and over
    4. unvaccinated individuals aged 50 and over with one or more risk factors

Northumberland Hills Hospital

The Cobourg hospital says services in its portable trailer are expanding to become a Cough, Cold and COVID Assessment Centre.

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The services for all ages will be available until at least March 30, 2023.

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Appointments must be pre-booked by calling 905-377-7783 or 1-833-678-2435 to speak to a member of the assessment team. Walk-ins are not permitted.

“With respiratory viruses circulating so widely, NHH’s expanded Cough, Cold and COVID Assessment Centre aims to offer an easy-to-access alternate care option for residents,” said Susan Walsh, hospital president and CEO.

“The aim is that by offering focused care for respiratory illness to both adults and children in the Assessment Centre, we can offer an alternate option to local families while saving the emergency department for emergencies. We are grateful for every member of our team who has stepped up to support this Centre since the beginning of the pandemic, including the dedicated local primary care providers who continue to bring their expertise to the Centre to efficiently and effectively meet local need.”

Like Ross Memorial’s guidelines, Northumberland Hills Hospital says the centre will offer assessment and treatment options for those experiencing worsening symptoms associated with respiratory illnesses like RSV, influenza, and COVID-19.

Both hospitals say that if symptoms are severe, such as having difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion or loss of consciousness, call 911 or proceed to the emergency department.


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