Alberta Health Services is opening an flu assessment clinic in light of increasing pressure on Edmonton emergency departments, ambulance service and health clinics.
The Edmonton Flu Care Clinic, in the former Woodcroft health centre at 13221 -115 Avenue, will offer staff trained specifically to manage influenza symptoms.
The clinic opens at noon today, but its regular hours will be 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
The clinic will offer assessment, treatment and advice to patients with moderate influenza symptoms.
"The Flu Care Clinic will be used purely for individuals who have symptoms of influenza - fever cough aches and pains and tiredness," said Dr Chris Sikora, Edmonton's medical officer of health. "We will not be doing swabs here, we will not be doing doctor's notes and, most importantly, we will not be doing immunizations here."
Patients who believe they are seriously ill should still go to a hospital.
Those who are seeking care for a child under three, are pregnant, are on chemotherapy or have severe respiratory conditions should also go to a hospital.
Lead nurse Carla Policicchio said the clinic will be equipped specifically to handle flu cases.
"What people will need to know is that when they come in, not only will they be masked, but we will all have goggles on, we'll have a mask on, we'll also have an extra gown, and in between every patient we see we'll change that top cover gown too.
"It's just good infection control."
Policicchio was in charge of the clinic that opened in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic.
At that time, she says, they saw about three hundred people a day.