Temporary clinics being used for COVID-19 testing at area hospitals
KITCHENER -- Some hospitals in the Waterloo Region area are using temporary clinics for COVID-19 testing as they work with Public Health Services on the next step.
David Brown of Kitchener says he was tested for COVID-19 at Grand River Hospital on Monday and sent promptly home.
“I had pneumonia about four weeks ago,” he said. “I was going to head back to Pennsylvania to work, so I went in because I had a sore throat and chest pressure.”
Public Health made an appointment for Brown to be screened for COVID-19 at GRH later that evening. He was sent an entrance off of Park Street.
“When I went in there at 5:40 p.m. there were about eight other people standing there,” Brown said. “They turned, sent us away, said call public health, and set up another appointment.”
Brown ended up being screened on Tuesday morning.
“They call you in, you walk in with them, they take you to this room, you sit down, they take all your vitals, and then the doctor asks you questions,” he said. “Then they do a swab.”
Grand River Hospital confirms it has set up a temporary clinic to isolate screening and testing for COVID-19 away from the rest of the hospital.
The hospital states that this entrance is not a walk-in clinic. Patients first need to be screened and determined that they need an appointment by the emergency department, Public Health, or their doctor in consultation with Public Health.
The clinic hours are Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s Hospital is also opening a temporary clinic this week that is separate from their emergency room and runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Representatives for the hospital say others are working with Public Health to create screen clinics in the community.
Public Health is expected to monitor the situation and make changes as required.
“The nurses are doing the best they can imagine,” said Brown. “They’re right on the front line.”
Officials are coordinating testing for individual patients with hospitals in an effort to help manage patient flow in emergency departments.
A Cambridge Memorial Hospital spokesperson says they are working on opening a screening clinic.
Hospital officials say they are encouraging anyone who has travelled to the affected areas and are showing symptoms to contact Public Health. They will then screen the patient and notify the hospital so staff can prepare.
All three hospitals say that if someone is feeling symptoms, they should call Public Health and make an appointment before visiting one.