Grey Bruce's first COVID-19 mobile assessment centre is expected to open Wednesday outside the Owen Sound Regional Hospital.
Two additional assessment centres outside hospitals in Hanover and Kincardine should be operational by Thursday.
Grey Bruce Health Services president and CEO Gary Sims says the purpose of the assessment centres is to expand capacity to assess and screen patients who have symptoms of the new coronavirus, and to free up the emergency department resources to continue to safely manage the normal volume of patients in hospitals.
Who should attend the assessment centres?
Sims says they are for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 who are having difficulty managing at home.
Those who do not have symptoms, should not attend an assessment centre. Sims says those with mild symptoms who can manage at home should stay in their homes and self-isolate, and not attend an assessment centre.
Sims says patients who present will be pre-screened, asked to wash their hands and put on a mask prior to entry. To reduce risk and traffic within the centre, only those who require assistance will be permitted to bring a support person them into the facilities.
"What we're asking is to please follow the guidelines," Sims stresses.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
Sims says most patients will experience only mild symptoms only and recover fully without treatment within two weeks.
Information for self-isolation and guidance for caregivers and family members in-home is available at ontario.ca/coronavirus.
The mobile assessment centre in Owen Sound will operate daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Kincardine's will be open daily from 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the one in Hanover will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
If you have questions to ask a health professional regarding COVID-19, you can contact Ontario TeleHealth at 1-866-797-0000, the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit at 519-376-9420 ext. 3000 or the Grey Bruce Health Services dedicated novel coronavirus phone line at 519-378-1466.