COVID Update 20/04/2020

Dear Colleagues. 

Please note significant updates to COVID 19 Screening and Swabbing Processes in Hamilton.

Primary care MDs are required to screen their patients using the following criteria:

  • Symptomatic health care workers (regardless of care delivery setting) and staff who work in all aggregate care or congregate living settings including health care facilities, shelters, group homes, detention centres, long-term care homes, and retirement homes. 
  • Symptomatic first responders
  • Symptomatic essential and/or public-facing workers
  • All symptomatic patients with contact with a confirmed case or contact with an individual who has been sent for testing 
  • Symptomatic patients with medical co-morbidities
  • Symptomatic household or family members of health care workers/aggregate care or congregate living setting workers, and first responders, 
  • Symptomatic household or family members of anyone doing essential and/or public facing work
  • Symptomatic household members or family caregivers living with/providing care to those with medical co-morbidities
  • Symptomatic children attending essential day care 

Medical comorbidities include heart disease, chronic lung disease, malignancies, and immune compromise.

Significant symptoms include new cough, fever, shortness of breath (even when not active), change in taste and smell, loss of smell or taste, new onset muscle aches and fatigue. People may also report unexplained or significant headache, sore throat, runny nose, abdominal pain or diarrhea.

Be on the lookout for atypical symptoms in children, seniors and people living with a developmental disability.  These may include delirium, falls, acute functional decline.  Symptoms in young children may include lethargy and/or decreased feeding.

  1. If your patient qualifies for COVID 19 Testing and is a community based health care worker, first responder, a child under the age of 4, or is unable to access the mountain drive through testing site, please call the St Joe’s Assessment centre (see hfam email 20 April at 12:26 for number)* to book an appointment. (Health care workers within either hospital system will continue to access testing through their occupational health services).
  2. Any patient who screens positive and is not part of the groups mentioned in  #1 may be booked at either the drive through testing site or the St Joe’s Assessment Centre
  3. Drive through testing site appointments may be booked by calling (see hfam email 20 April at 12:26 for number)*. The site is located within the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena, 25 Hester Street. (Just off Upper James and south of Mohawk).
  4. Testing appointments for St. Joe’s Assessment Centre may be booked by calling. (See hfam email 20 April at 12:26 for number)*

Finally, patients may also be referred to public health for screening. The Public Health Covid-19 Hotline 905-974-9848 will  do the screening and book appointments for people with a positive screen. Patients may call this line directly.

*note backline numbers cannot be included in this open website.

If you need the email to be resent, please send your request to Lisa Waite, (