Chatham-Kent Health Alliance to Open COVID-19 Assessment Centre on March 19, 2020

CHATHAM-KENT: March 19, 2020– Ontario Health, West Region, has directed Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) to open a COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 47 Emma Street in Chatham in partnership with the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit.  Hours of operation will be between 9 a.m to 5 p.m., seven days a week with potential to expand based on need.

The goal of the COVID-19 Assessment Centre is to build capacity to respond to individuals experiencing symptoms which could be caused by COVID-19 in the municipality of Chatham-Kent, and to separate testing away from the hospital.  The community is advised that this is not a walk-in clinic nor a walk-in for random testing.  The clinic will not be providing “doctor notes” in regards to individuals requiring sick notes for their place of employment.  Persons who are concerned about COVID-19, experiencing respiratory symptoms, or potential exposure to another person with COVID-19 should first contact their primary care provider, the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit or Telehealth at 1.866.797.0000 (24 hours, 7 days a week) to discuss the need for testing at the assessment centre. A self-assessment provided by the Ministry of Health can be completed online here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus. The Ontario Ministry of Health has advised that not all individuals require testing for COVID-19.   

The clinical team at the assessment centre will conduct a health assessment, provide an examination, and determine if individuals meet the clinical case definition for testing.  Only those who meet the case definition for COVD-19 will be tested. Right now, that includes:

  • people with symptoms including a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath
  • people who have travelled to an area that has been affected and are experiencing symptoms
  • people who have come into contact with a probable or confirmed case of the COVID-19

Patients who meet the clinical case definition for testing will receive a swab and results will be received within a few days from the public health unit.  CK Public Health will contact all patients tested whether results are positive or negative.  Acutely ill patients who present to the assessment centre will be transferred to CKHA’s Emergency Department.  Patients who do not fit the criteria for testing after consultation, will be sent home with education on hand hygiene, cough etiquette and flu facts.  

For individuals who are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, please call 9-1-1 immediately and advise them of symptoms and travel history.

Access to the assessment centre will be through the west entrance door. Free parking will be available in the parking lot directly adjacent to the building. Patients are advised to continue using social distancing when accessing the centre, such as keeping a 2-meter separation between people for example a chair apart.

To accommodate CKHA’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 47 Emma Street, the Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic has been temporarily moved to CKHA’s outpatient mental health services located at 240 Grand Avenue West. Patients who wish to attend the walk-in RAAM clinic must go to 240 Grand Ave. to receive these services until further notice. The Diabetes Education Centre, also located at 47 Emma Street, will be conducting all scheduled appointments through phone consultations until further notice. There is no COVID-19 Assessment Centre at CKHA's Wallaceburg site. Individuals requiring the assessment centre's services must present to 47 Emma Street in Chatham.

CKHA is taking every effort to protect its patients, visitors, staff, physicians and the broader community during this pandemic. The operation of CKHA’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre will ensure patients presenting with symptoms that meet the criteria for testing receive results as efficiently as possible. CKHA will continue to update the public regarding any changes to the status of the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

 Please follow the link to view a video on CKHA'S COVID-19 Assessment Centre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gumsqzwk7cs

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