Do you have cold or flu symptoms? Guelph’s COVID-19 assessment clinic expands to treat more people
People in Guelph who have cold and flu symptoms will be able to be assessed and treated through an assessment center set up for COVID-19.
The center, located at 400 Southgate Dr., has been where people have been going to get tested for COVID-19 for the past two years. Starting Thursday, it will become the Guelph COVID Cold Flu Care Clinic.
The goal is to help city residents get care while working to « relieve pressure on the emergency department at Guelph General Hospital, » according to a news release. The clinic is operated by the hospital and the Guelph Family Health Team.
People will be able to make an appointment at the clinic seven days a week, although weekend hours are shorter. They are also encouraged to contact their family physician prior to making an appointment at the Guelph COVID Cold Flu Care Clinic.
“People with mild respiratory symptoms are advised to monitor their symptoms, rest and drink plenty of fluids,” the press release read.
He also noted that “most people in the community with symptoms are not eligible for COVID-19 testing” because they must follow provincial guidelines, which prioritize people at increased risk for severe results and people who live and work in high-risk environments.
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Marianne Walker is President and CEO of Guelph General Hospital and also the hospital’s lead for Waterloo Wellington’s COVID-19 response.
She said that in Waterloo Region, Guelph and Wellington County, hospitals are over capacity with adult and child patients.
« I think our biggest issue right now is dealing with issues with very sick children, and so we’re working with Ontario Health to look at taking a provincial approach to that, » Walker said.
To help manage the capacity of the healthcare system and ensure « not everyone gets sick at the same time », Walker said people should listen to public health experts, who recommend getting vaccinated against the virus. COVID-19 and getting the flu shot, wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home if you feel unwell.
Walker said the guidance is particularly important because December is a time when many people can reunite with family and friends.
« The big thing too is to make sure that if you’re sick, don’t go join the party, » she said.
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