Hamilton assessment centres open today to test people for COVID-19
People have to be referred by their doctors or Hamilton public health
Assessment centres for COVID-19 are opening in Hamilton today.
A group of Hamilton health organizations say there'll be a testing centre at the Hamilton Health Sciences Urgent Care Clinic at 690 Main St. W., and another at 2757 King St. E., which is the King campus of St. Joseph's Healthcare.
People can only be referred by their doctors or Hamilton Public Health Services, and testing is done by appointment only. Referrals will be based on symptoms (cough or fever), travel history or other known exposure.
The McMaster Family Health Team, Hamilton Family Health Team, Compass Community Health Centre), Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Public Health Services and the Ontario Ministry of Health are partnering on the centres.
The centres "will further help to contain the spread of infection in our community, while reducing the pressure on an already over-burdened health care system," said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton's medical officer of health, in a media release.
"It's truly a collective response to safeguard and support the health and well-being of people in our community."
Hamilton currently has nine confirmed COVID-19 cases. Niagara has three and Halton has four.
There may be more centres open later if needed, the release said. The province has opened 17 testing sites so far, Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference this morning.
"Please don't visit an assessment centre unless you're showing symptoms," he said.
At the centres, teams will assess patients and test for COVID-19, as well as tell people how to treat their symptoms. Anyone getting tested needs to bring their health card and a list of current medications. Patients should come alone, without visitors, unless it's an interpreter or an adult accompanying a child, a frail older person or a person with a disability.
The west-end centre will be open from Monday to Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The east-end centre will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Before going to an assessment centre, take these steps:
- Do a self-assessment at ontario.ca/coronavirus to determine whether to public health, your doctor or Telehealth Ontario for more guidance.
- If the assessment indicates that clinical assessment is necessary, contact your family doctor, the public health services COVID-19 hotline (905-974-9848) or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000).
- One of the above health care professionals will book the appointment at the assessment centre.
Where to get more information