CAMBRIDGE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
WATERLOO REGION — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the province, hospitals are doing everything they can to ensure that patients can continue to receive care when they need it.
Starting today, St. Mary’s General Hospital will temporarily re-purpose one of its clinic spaces to become a COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Centre.
In addition to testing, the Cambridge Memorial Hospital COVID-19 clinic will offer clinical COVID-19 assessments. The hospitals are able to do this because of the province’s recent direction on ramping down non-urgent/emergent scheduled surgeries, procedures, imaging and clinics.
The burden of COVID-19 on our hospitals over the past few weeks is the highest it’s been since the beginning of the pandemic. For this reason, we’ve looked for new ways to provide easy access to care for those with COVID19 with moderate symptoms.
Under the province’s guidance, assessment centres are adapting their testing spaces to begin providing care to patients with moderate COVID-19 symptoms and who would benefit from a clinical assessment and treatment. These spaces will also serve as an Emergency Department (ED) alternative so that our staff can provide care to others who are seriously ill in our community. Patients will be able to access the clinics by booking appointment directly with the centre. Family physicians, Telehealth and others may suggest to patients they book appointment at the clinic as an option for care following a consult. Appointments must be made in advance. Walk-in appointments will not be available.
Hospitals all over Ontario are coming up with creative ways to manage as cases continue to rise. Note that these clinical assessment centres are not designed to replace or reduce COVID-19 testing availability for those that meet the criteria at existing centres.
- St. Mary’s General Hospital’s COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Centre is located at 911 Queen’s Blvd., Kitchener, on the ground floor of the hospital.
- Cambridge Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Centre is located at 215 Holiday Inn Dr., Cambridge.
- The Grand River Hospital testing centre at 15 Charles St West in downtown Kitchener will continue to prioritize testing services for our community and is not offering clinical COVID-19 assessments at this time. However, there is physician support onsite at all times as a precautionary measure and to support care if required.
- Testing at St. Mary’s will continue to take place at 50 Bathurst Dr., only for those who are eligible. Other assessment centres in the region will also continue offering testing.
Appointments must be made in advance. You can self-refer to the clinical assessment centre by contacting:
- St. Mary’s: 519-744-3311 extension 1083.
- Cambridge Memorial: https://myvisit.cmh.org/ or 226-895-1050 (please book the medical examination appointment option).
- Primary care physicians and Telehealth can also refer you to one of the clinical assessment centres.
So how do you know when to go to the clinical assessment centre? The province has recently updated its online screening tool to help determine whether you should stay home and isolate or seek treatment. You can use this tool to guide a self-referral to the clinical assessment centre, or you can be referred from your primary caregiver and services like Telehealth.
The new COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Centres are for anyone experiencing moderate symptoms. Anyone experiencing severe symptoms is advised to immediately call 911 or visit the nearest Emergency Department. For those experiencing mild symptoms, please seek care from your primary care provider.
- Fever and/or chills
- Cough or barking cough
- Shortness of breath
- Decrease or loss of taste
And/or two of:
- Muscle aches/joint pain
- Extreme tiredness
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy/congested nose
- Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Mild symptoms are worsening
- Directed by a healthcare professional
These are the symptoms that the COVID-19 clinical assessment centre are designed to treat.
- Severe difficulty breathing
- Severe chest pain
- Feeling confused
- Losing consciousness
Reimagining these centres is a necessary step as we work to protect our ability to serve patients for other needs outside of COVID-19.