Province expands list of symptoms for COVID-19 testing
Health Sciences North has added several new COVID-19 symptoms to its list this week
Health Sciences North in Sudbury is now screening people for more symptoms associated with COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health added a number of new symptoms to the list this week, including pink eye, vomiting and abdominal pain, diarrhea, excessive sneezing, a hoarse voice and difficulty swallowing.
Karly McGibbon, a nurse with Public Health Sudbury and Districts, says the expanded list will help to cast a " larger net" — and offer a better sense of the spread of the virus within the community.
"The downside to that would be that it's so easy to fit into these categories that we are checking so many people that may have symptoms that are not necessarily COVID," McGibbon said.
McGibbon says anyone who has even one or two of the symptoms should be screened. She says the growing list of symptoms is not evidence the virus is mutating.
"I think it's just that with the more cases that we see, we are able to see how multi-faceted this virus really is and how many sort of complications or symptoms it does have and we're also seeing that there's not a lot of consistency."
Other symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, new or worsening fatigue, loss of taste or smell, new or worsening cough, headache, runny nose and shortness of breath.
Patients with any of these symptoms must call HSN's COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 705-671-7373.
They will continue to be screened by a nurse over the telephone, and referred for testing, which is by appointment only.
With files from Kate Rutherford