Expanded COVID-19 Testing Options and Criteria at COVID-19 Assessment Centre

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The COVID-19 Assessment Centre is expanding testing options to include a drive-up testing option for some patients.  From the comfort of one’s vehicle, the test can be administered. This expanded service is part of an effort to increase testing capacity and to provide additional safety measures for staff and patients.

The test for COVID-19 is called a nasopharyngeal swab.  The health care provider has the person put their head back and inserts a flexible swab deep into the back of the nose to collect the specimen.  The process for determining who should be tested remains the same and includes the recently expanded testing criteria implemented by the Provincial government.

As of April 19, a total of 551 swabs have been completed at the Assessment Centre.

Not everyone who attends the clinic will be tested. The patient must provide basic information and will be assessed based on the COVID-19 Assessment Centre’s provincial guidelines. The COVID-19 Assessment Centre operates by appointment only. For safety reasons, “walk-in” appointments are strictly prohibited.

New expanded testing criteria.  Individuals (aged 13 and older) meeting the criteria below may call the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 705-759-3434 ext. 7152 between the hours of 8 am – 8 pm, 7 days per week, instead of presenting to SAH’s Emergency Department.

  1. Individuals who self-refer and present with any of the following criteria (i.e. positive screening)
    a. Measured or reported temperature of greater than 37.8.°C and/or
    b. New or worsening Acute Respiratory Illness (ARI) symptom(s) (ex. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, new olfactory or taste disorder(s), nausea/vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain) and/or
    c. Clinical or radiologic evidence of pneumonia and/or
    d. Any atypical symptom(s)/sign(s) particularly in the elderly or children (ex. unexplained fatigue/malaise, chills, headaches, decrease in blood pressure).
  2. Any health care worker/staff/first responder in Algoma referred by their employer, Occupational Health department or as per their organizational policy
  3. Any patient referred by their medical or nurse practitioner for swabbing
  4. Any patient Algoma Public Health (APH) has screened and determined a swab is indicated
  5. Any close household contacts of health care workers under investigation for COVID-19

For more information on atypical signs and symptoms, visit https://www.sah.on.ca/patients/coronavirus-2019-ncov.

To find out more about SAH, visit: www.sah.on.ca