_COVID

Urgent Overview

Please read all of this. !!! THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH FOR MANY VULNERABLE PEOPLE !!! At this point in time in Burlington it is not possible to know the extent of community spread of the coronavirus. All measures are in effect are assuming that it could be circulating in the community and we need to mitigate spread of it especially to the most vulnerable members of our population. There is no known effective treatment to stop the evolution of the illness in any one individual. However, stopping the spread of the illness is critical to our whole society and EVERYONE must do their part. Widespread COVID testing is simply not available. We do not have information as to when that might change. As a system we are assuming that symptomatic people or travelers are potential carriers and we are limiting exposure as much as possible to these potential carriers. Guidance for testing and limiting activities comes directly from the Ministry of health and government agencies. We are trying to take all this guidance, make the information digestible and develop policies and procedures consistent with trying to manage both the pandemic and other healthcare problems that you may have. The topics below layout specific instructions for how to assess your own situation and what to do. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING US ON THIS JOURNEY This section has been reviewed on the morning of March 17 and we will review it daily.

Limited testing for COVID

Due to a lack of testing capabilities and supplies there is very limited availability of testing. You cannot ask for a test or go to a testing facility without meeting very specific criteria. COVID testing centers will only test people sent there by public health. As an outpatient currently there are only 3 criteria that will allow you to be tested. They are close contact with a known COVID case, symptomatic healthcare workers, institutionalized patients such as a long-term care residents. At this point do not request testing and do not go to a testing site without being sent by public health.

When to Contact Public Health

At this point there really is no point in phoning public health unless you meet 1 of the testing criteria above. They are swamped! Certainly, use theirs and any other credible website you may want to. We will try try put up links to most of the information you will need. For management of illnesses that do not meet these criteria follow directions on this website and use our office services. That is why we are here!

What to do if you have Infectious Symptoms

If you have SEVERE symptoms (ie. difficulty breathing, feeling extremely unwell) please present to your local emergency department as they are well equipped to manage severe cases of COVID If you have MILD symptoms please self-isolate for 14 days. ( see link 1) If you have other concerns/questions about your illness please do not hesitate to contact our office by phone. Remember the vast majority of people infected with COVID will have MILD symptoms and DO NOT require testing. As noted above testing is currently NOT available generally. If you care caring for someone with infectious symptoms in self isolation please take precautions.( see link 2)

What to do if you have been travelling/recently returned from outside Canada:

Please self-isolate for 14 days from the day of return. If you develop symptoms within 14 days of return, please stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including others at home, until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved or 14 days after returning from travel, whichever is longer. Please read the following links.