MHC offers in-home COVID-19 testing for new, worsening acute respiratory illness cases

Shutterstock

Testing to increase across health unit service area, including MHC

MANITOULIN – Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) has partnered with Manitoulin-Sudbury Paramedic Services for an Island Paramedic Response Team to offer home-based COVID-19 testing for patients unable to visit a testing centre. The process for booking home appointments is the same as scheduling an in-person visit to a hospital-based testing centre.

Testing centres throughout the service area of Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) will be testing more people effective immediately, as well as expanding their testing criteria to all symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.

“This means that people with even mild symptoms can make an appointment at an assessment centre for testing. I am encouraging people in our area—whether you think you have COVID-19 or not—to arrange for testing. This will help us understand and better control our local situation,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health for PHSD.

Dr. Sutcliffe said the increased testing was a “time-limited opportunity,” allowing the North to execute targeted surveillance to assess Northern Ontario’s status regarding the virus and how public health measures have been impacting its spread.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve and laboratory testing capacity has increased, Ontario updated its provincial testing guidelines. As of Thursday, April 9, MHC has been testing new or worsening acute respiratory illness symptomatic person through its COVID-19 assessment centres. (The COVID-19 assessment centres are located at both sites of the hospital though not directly in the hospital building).

The centres’ purpose is to assess and, only where appropriate, swab people who may be infected with COVID-19 with a goal of minimizing the significant number of patients presenting themselves to primary care or the emergency department at MHC. The COVID-19 assessment centre is by appointment only.  For safety reasons, “walk in” appointments are strictly prohibited. Not everyone who attends the clinic will be swabbed.

Individuals must call MHC (Mindemoya 705-377-5311, Little Current 705-368-2300) and follow the telephone prompts to the COVID-19 assessment line. The assessment line will answer calls between 9 am and 5 pm daily (seven days a week). The COVID-19 assessment centres are open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 pm.

MHC reminds the public of the importance of physical distancing and not gathering in groups to control the spread of the virus.