SARNIA & PETROLIA – March 13, 2020 – Beginning Saturday, March 14, Sarnia-Lambton residents who meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing will have a dedicated assessment centre. The criteria for testing has been established by Ontario Health and includes individuals who have been in contact with confirmed cases and are symptomatic and individuals who are hospitalized or in long term care and retirement homes with severe respiratory illness.
People who are concerned about potential exposure are asked to continue with the existing protocol of calling their primary care providers first. These family doctors and Nurse Practitioners are in touch with Lambton Public Health and are best able to determine if individuals require a test and meet the criteria. If it is determined that a test is required, primary care providers will be providing patients with a referral form and direct the patient to return home to self-quarantine. If individuals are acutely ill they should proceed to the emergency department. Each person who will be assessed will receive a call with an appointment time from the Assessment Clinic. 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 is consistent with Ministry guidelines.
“The Sarnia Lambton Assessment Clinic is welcome news to our community,” says Dr. Sudit Ranade, Medical Officer of Health, Lambton Public Health. “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.”
Once the clinic, which is based outside of the hospital, receives the referral they will contact the patient to set the appointment and provide detailed instructions.
“Having one location in Sarnia Lambton so early on is amazing. That said, Bluewater Health and Public Health are working together to establish a second, rural assessment centre, close to the hospital in Petrolia,” stated Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff, Bluewater Health.
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.