Bluewater Health and Lambton Public Health Announce Three Options for Testing
SARNIA + PETROLIA – April 16, 2020 – Bluewater Health and Lambton Public Health are pleased to announce the creation of a new COVID-19 Assessment Clinic in Petrolia, along with increased testing at the Sarnia location and an enhanced mobile testing unit for those with limited mobility. This announcement is in direct response to the province’s commitment for increased testing, and the related increased availability to testing kits across Ontario.
The existing Sarnia testing site was opened on March 14, 2020, has seen 471 of patients to date and has been increasing services based on referral demand. The centre may double its operations as soon as next week. Also opening this week is a second clinic for Lambton County, in Petrolia. Thirdly, through a partnership with the Community Paramedic Program operated by Lambton County EMS, those patients who are unable to come to the more traditional clinics will be tested in home. This is an expansion of the existing support received by EMS for home-bound patients where, to date, 60 tests have been completed.
“We are delighted that we are able to quickly increase our ability to test the residents of Lambton County,” noted Dr. Sudit Ranade, Medical Officer of Health, Lambton County. “With more kits being made available, we are in a great position to further identify and track this virus locally. The province has worked to ensure that Ontario has sufficient test kits and we are appreciative.”
The Sarnia site has successfully operated out of a local primary care clinic, and is a referral-based service whereby patients contact their primary care provider first, then if they are appropriate for testing, they are referred to the clinic. The Petrolia clinic will work with the same process and guidelines. Primary care will have the opportunity to refer patients from the County to the Petrolia clinic as early as Monday. The EMS clinic will be utilized for those who can not travel.
“Bluewater Health was pleased to be among one of the first applicants granted permission to open a COVID-19 Assessment Clinic when this virus first hit,” said Mike Lapaine, President and CEO of Bluewater Health. “Now that we can ramp up our testing, we are happy to be rolling out two more sites. It’s important to note that the speed with which we are able to do this, to turn these around, is a testament to the bench strength of our community associates. We are very lucky to live in a community with such committed partners.”
Petrolia’s clinic will be located in the parking lot of the Central Lambton Family Health Team (CLFHT) on Glenview Road and will utilize some of their existing building infrastructure. The clinic will be staffed by members of the CLFHT.
Petrolia Fire Chief, Jay Arns commented, “The Bluewater Health team, along with the Central Lambton Family Health team, have been amazingly open to working with and I am delighted that we all have a “get-it-done” attitude.” He continued, “I am delighted by the work of the volunteer SORT team (Support Operations Response Team) who together with the Fire department are deploying the tent. This is a classic example of small-town pull-togetherness and I am proud to be playing a part to help fight this virus.”
Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
Chief, Communications & Public Affairs