Starting today, people who may have COVID-19 will be sent to an assessment centre in Sarnia.
Bluewater Health has been given permission to open the site by the Ministry of Health.
Officials say people who have been in contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and have symptoms or people who are in hospital or long-term care and retirement homes with severe respiratory illness will be tested.
Officials ask if you think you may have been exposed to novel coronavirus to call their family doctor first. They’re best able to determine if you need a test.
If you do, you’ll be given the location of the centre and a form for a test. Then you’ll be instructed to go home and self-quarantine. You’ll get a call with your appointment time.
If you are very ill, you should go to the emergency department.
Officials say the Assessment Centre is not a walk in clinic – both for infection prevention control reasons, and the need to ensure that the resources required to test and treat COVID-19 are used on the appropriate patients.
“This will keep symptomatic patients out of the Emergency Department so the hospital can remain focused on the highest acute care needs of this community. Only those meeting the testing criteria will be referred. Most with mild or moderate symptoms will continue to be able to self-isolate and recover at home,” says Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton ‘s Medical Officer of Health.Julia Oosterman, director of communications, says plans are in the works for a site in Petrolia as well.