COVID-19: What to KNOW and What to DO

**ALL VISITORS WILL BE SCREENED AT THE MAIN BUILDING ENTRANCE**

As we continue to navigate this uncertain period, we want to reassure you that your health is still our priority and we are doing our best to arrange care for your essential medical needs

Currently Booked Appointments:  appointments will be rescheduled over the next 2-3 weeks as necessary and telephone appointments will be scheduled for essential issues as required. Please contact your Physician office for further direction.

Things that CANNOT be seen, in person, at the clinic (Non-essential services) include, but are not limited to:

  • Routine check ups
  • Preventative care, including paps, non-urgent immunizations, physicals elective consults
  • Routine follow-ups (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes)
  • Healthy baby check ups
  • Mental Health Program
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Footcare
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Cognitive testing

Things that MAY be seen, in person, at the clinic (Essential services) include, but are not limited to:

  • Urgent appointments
  • Pregnant patients
  • Suture/staple removal
  • Essential injections

If you are unsure, or have questions, please call our office.

DO NOT go to the Emergency Department at the Hospital unless directed by one of our health care providers, or, you have severe, serious symptoms. Please understand, the Emergency Department is very busy and it is for your safety that visits to the Emergency Department are limited.

Disclaimer:

COVID-19 is placing stress on Canada’s public health system. Our clinic is starting to offer virtual care to make sure that we can continue to care for our patients safely and effectively. This means that we will be using video and audio technologies for some patient visits rather than asking all patients to come into our office. Some of these technologies are provided by the Province ( ie OTN ). Others have been provided by vendors like Google, or Apple to help make discussions with your care provider as easy as possible during these difficult times. Some health concerns can be addressed with virtual care alone, but in some cases your doctor may ask you to visit a hospital or other health care facility if necessary, for a physical examination. We do our best to make sure that any information you give to us during virtual care visits is private and secure, but no video or audio tools are ever completely secure. There is an increased security risk that your health information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using video or audio communications tools. To help us keep your information safe and secure, you can:

  • Understand that emails, calls, or texts you receive are not secure in the same way as a private appointment in an exam room.
  •  Use a private computer/device (i.e., not an employer’s or third party’s computer/device), secure accounts, and a secure internet connection. For example, using a personal and encrypted email account is more secure than an unencrypted email account, and your access to the Internet on your home network will generally be more secure than an open guest Wi-Fi connection.
  • You should also understand that electronic communication is not a substitute for in-person communication or clinical examinations, where appropriate, or for attending the Emergency Department when needed (including for any urgent care that may be required). If you are concerned about using video or audio tools for virtual care, you can ask our office to arrange for you to visit a different healthcare provider or other health care center where you can be seen in person. However, please note that visiting a health care provider in person comes with a higher risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 and the possibility of spreading the virus. By providing your information, you agree to let us collect, use, or disclose your personal health information through video or audio communications (while following applicable privacy laws) in order to provide you with care. In particular, the following means of electronic communication may be used : email, videoconferencing (including OTN, Skype, Facetime, etc.), text messaging (including instant messaging), and website/portal.

What You Need to KNOW

Educate yourself using reliable sources. Symptoms are similar to influenza such as:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia and kidney failure

Your risk of severe disease may be higher if:

  • you are over 60 years old
  • you have a weakened immune system
  • you have a health condition such as heart disease or a respiratory condition

In severe cases, death is possible.

There are no treatments or vaccines for COVID-19. Most people who get COVID-19 will have a mild case and will recover on their own.

What You Need to DO

  • Clean your hands regularly with hand sanitizer or soap and water
  • Do not touch your face
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, or use a tissue
  • Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant
  • If you develop shortness of breath, seek care immediately
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid crowded areas
  • Avoid traveling if you have a fever or cough
  • If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, stay at home and call your doctor
  • If you think that you have COVID-19;
    • Stay home
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Rest and sleep as much as possible
    • Call your doctor
    • If you are sick and have to go out, wear an isolation mask
  • If you suspect COVID-19 exposure please call the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 to speak directly with a public health nurse for further direction