No opening date set
WINCHESTER — The Winchester Lions Club Hall is set to host Winchester District Memorial Hospital’s planned COVID-19 assessment centre, though there is no established opening date just yet.
The centre is being set up in partnership with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, which has been planning to establish five or six such assessment centres (also known as testing centres in their earlier stages of operation) in the vicinity of the four hospitals in the five eastern counties.
“This centre will be used exclusively for the purpose of COVID-19 assessments. There is no planned opening date as WDMH is currently seeing a very small number of patients with COVID-19 symptoms,” says WDMH in a press release.
“We are planning for something that we hope we will never have to open,” notes Cholly Boland, CEO. “But sometime in the future, we expect that the number of people coming to our ER with suspected cases of the virus may grow substantially and we want to be ready to support them in a safe environment.”
WDMH staff and physicians and primary care physicians from the community will staff the centre once it opens, and signs will go up indicating entrances and parking at the 515 Albert Street site.
Yesterday evening, EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis suggested the first examples of assessment centres in his region could be in place early next week. Such sites are intended to take pressure off local Emergency Departments — “helping to keep the Emergency Department for emergencies,” as WDMH puts it in today’s release.
“Thank you to the Lions Club for sharing their facility with us,” adds Cholly Boland. “As COVID-19 evolves, WDMH will continue to work with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and our healthcare and community partners to ensure safe, coordinated practices in our community.”
WDMH says more details about the assessment centre will be provided as planning unfolds. It advises those who believe they have coronavirus symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath) after travelling or after potential contact with an infected person to contact Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-000), their family physician or the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (1-800-267-7120).