Ontario has opened up 38 novel coronavirus assessment centres in order to ease pressure on hospitals in some of the most affected areas.
You can find the all 38 assessment centres in the map below. It will be updated as more information is released:
There are also a number of questions you may have if you believe you should be going to an assessment centre.
Here are all the details you need to decide whether you should go to one and what happens when you get there:
Should I visit an assessment centre?
The first step the government says is to use the Ontario government’s online assessment tool.
If you are still unsure after using the online tool, you can contact Telehealth or your primary health care provider. They will direct you on whether you should be self-isolating, or whether or not to visit an assessment centre or an emergency room.
These may be symptoms of COVID-19:
- You are experiencing any mild upper respiratory symptoms, including cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, and joint aches, and may also include nausea, diarrhea and stomach pains, and if you are/have one of these three things:
- a fever of 38 C or higher
- 60 years of age or older
- underlying health conditions of concern
- had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
You should not visit an assessment centre if you have no upper respiratory symptoms.
Do I need a referral?
Some of the assessment centres require you to get a referral from Telehealth, your primary care physician or your local health unit, including in Hamilton and at the two assessment centres at the Trillium Health Partner locations. Make sure to check prior to arriving at an assessment centre whether you need a referral or not.
Do I need an appointment?
Some of the assessment centres require an appointment in order to be seen, including Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto and Health Sciences North in Sudbury. Make sure to check prior to arriving at an assessment centre whether you need an appointment or not.
What do I need to bring?
All patients are recommended to bring a mask covering their mouth and nose when going to a COVID-19 assessment centre. It is also strongly recommended to use hand sanitizer prior to arriving at the centre.
If you have an Ontario health card, you are asked to bring it, but it is not a requirement.
Can I bring visitors?
Most assessment centres recommend you do not bring visitors with you to avoid the crowds, unless it is absolutely necessary. For example, an adult accompanying a child or someone who needs assistance would be allowed.
What will happen at the appointment?
You will be assessed by a physician or nurse based on symptoms, travel history and potential contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Based on the assessment, you may be tested for COVID-19. This involves a nasal cavity swab.
Your local public health unit would then follow up with the results of your test.
Some of the locations will only provide medical guidance and not a test, like London’s Oakridge Arena and Barrie’s assessment centre.
Be prepared to wait in line as it’s likely there will be multiple people waiting to be assessed. One of the first centres that opened up in Ottawa saw 200 people lined up as it opened on Friday.