The Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) and Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are announcing the opening of a respiratory illness clinical assessment centre in Alexandria to test, assess, and provide treatment to children and adults with symptoms of respiratory illnesses like a cold, flu, COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other viral respiratory illnesses.
Individuals should visit the clinical assessment centre if they or children in their care:
- don’t have a primary care provider
- have symptoms that are getting worse or are not improving, and medical care is needed
- have been told by a health professional to go to a clinical assessment centre
- are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 and qualify for COVID-19 testing and treatment
The clinical assessment centre at HGMH will open its doors on Thursday, December 15 and operate by appointment on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Appointments can be booked online at www.hgmh.on.ca/clinic, or by calling 613-525-2222, extension 4177 if you’re having difficulty using the online booking system. Appointments will be available within 24 hours of booking the consultation, and the assessment centre will run through the holidays and until the current surge in respiratory illnesses subsides.
In order to leave appointments available for those most in need, individuals who have a primary care provider are encouraged to contact them first. Your family doctor or nurse practitioner will provide you with advice about how to care for yourself or your child at home and will see you in-person or virtually if needed. Depending on your symptoms, your primary care provider may also ask you to head to a clinical assessment centre.
When to head to the emergency department instead of the clinical assessment centre
The clinical assessment centre’s purpose is to alleviate the strain on hospital emergency departments and allow individuals with respiratory illness symptoms to be seen faster. However, if you or your child have any of the following severe symptoms, you must call 911 immediately or head to the emergency department:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Working hard to breathe (the lower chest is moving in more than normal when the child breathes, nostrils are flaring, child is grunting)
- Bluish skin
- Unable to breastfeed or drink
- Very sleepy or difficult to wake
- Peeing less than usual
- Fever with rash
- Seizures or convulsions
- Fever in an infant younger than 3 months
A service that will address the needs stemming from the current surge in respiratory illnesses
“The current surge in the number of individuals with the cold, flu, COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other viral respiratory illnesses is putting an unprecedented strain on our healthcare system,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “I’m confident the clinical assessment centre at HGMH will allow residents of Cornwall and the five counties to get the care they need faster, while reducing the pressure on emergency departments in our area.”
“Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital has been experiencing an increase of patients visiting our emergency department with respiratory illnesses, just as many other hospitals across the province. Patients’ symptoms often include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat, to name a few. This leads to higher wait times in emergency departments throughout the region. To help support emergency department volumes in the region, HGMH will open a clinic specifically for patients with mild to moderate symptoms of a cough, cold, flu, or COVID,” says Robert Alldred-Hughes, President and CEO of HGMH. “Patients can schedule themselves or even their entire family an appointment through the online booking portal to be assessed by a nurse and a doctor. Our staff continue to work diligently at the front lines of the ongoing health challenges and this clinic is just one more way our team is stepping up to fill a need for our communities and health system partners,” Alldred-Hughes further added.
For more information about the clinical assessment centre, call 613-525-2222, extension 4177. Appointments can be booked online at www.hgmh.on.ca/clinic.