The group in charge of health-care delivery in Elgin County has launched three new COVID-19, cold and flu assessment clinics to help ease pressure the respiratory virus season is putting on emergency rooms.
The new clinics — in St. Thomas, Straffordville and West Lorne — will assess patients with respiratory symptoms and provide guidance and treatment for people with COVID-19, colds and flu.
“With high numbers of respiratory illnesses circulating in our region, we know this cold and flu season has been very challenging for many local residents,” Elgin Ontario Health Team executive director Deanna Huggett said in a news release.
“The establishment of these clinics is the result of several of our Elgin health-care partners working together to provide alternative accessible care options for residents experiencing respiratory illness.”
St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital is collaborating with the health team to get these clinics running.
Elgin residents should contact their family doctor or primary-care provider first before booking an appointment at one of the clinics. Family doctors may tell patients to care for themselves at home, visit their office virtually or in person or refer people to a COVID-19, cold and flu clinic.
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Residents without a primary-care provider can call Health Care Connect at 811 anytime to get advice from a nurse. People whose symptoms are worsening may want to seek out an appointment at a COVID-19, cold and flu clinic.
All appointments for the new Elgin clinics must be booked by calling 519-631-2030, ext. 6210.
The West Lorne clinic runs on Mondays from 5 to 8 p.m. at the West Elgin Community Health Centre at 153 Main St.
The East Elgin Family Health Team at 9254 Plank Rd. in Straffordville is holding a COVID, cold and flu clinic on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m.
The St. Thomas clinic will be run out of the Central Community Health Centre at 359 Talbot St. on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
The rollout of COVID-19, cold and flu assessment centres comes after similar moves in other Ontario cities, including London.
The London clinic in Building 24 at London Health Sciences Centre’s Victoria Hospital site expanded from a COVID-19 assessment centre to include cold and flu in early December. The appointment-only location is now seeing pediatric patients.