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

Virtual Clinical Visit Consent– Script To be Read to Patients

Before we book a virtual visit, I need to explain a few things. Virtual visits are new to us because of the state of emergency.

Description

  • We use video and audio technology so we can see and hear each other 
  • We recommend you be in a quiet place for your virtual visit so that others cannot overhear the session (unless you want to include others in your visit – please tell us who is with you)
  • You will be asked for details of what is happening and your health history – these questions may be very  personal and sensitive
  • Details of your virtual visit will be recorded in your health record just like in an in-person visit
  • We will not make a recording of the virtual visit. We ask that you not record the visit either.
  • We may ask to take photographs if necessary to treat you – we will tell you before we take any photograph

Limits

  • Virtual visits are not appropriate for emergencies – please call 9-1-1
  • We may not be able to have a virtual visit with you if we need to touch you as part of the examination
  • Time may be limited based on the availability of our staff during the pandemic
  • This service may not be available after the pandemic – we may need to end it at any time

Privacy

  • We have taken appropriate steps to preserve your privacy based on this emergency situation
  • However, we cannot provide you with the same guarantee of security and confidentiality as if you were seen in person
  • Our staff who are doing the virtual visit may be working from home because of the pandemic – they will also try to find a quiet place away from others in their household

Risks

  • It is possible there could be a problem with the technology and your session could be cut short or interrupted
  • The quality of the video or audio may not be good enough for a health care provider to assist you virtually or could negatively impact the quality of the care you receive 

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