Guelph’s COVID-19 assessment centre scheduled to open on Tuesday: Public Health

Public Health says a COVID-19 assessment centre, scheduled to open in Guelph on Tuesday, will be meant for just assessing people and not conducting tests for the novel coronavirus.

Medical officer of Health, Dr. Nicola Mercer, said on Friday that the plan is to determine who needs to be tested and who doesn’t.

“They will be looking at people and deciding who really does need to be tested and those people will be directed elsewhere. Others will be encouraged to go home and remain at home,” she said.

The hope is to alleviate some of the pressures being faced by primary care offices and emergency rooms.

Public Health is also no longer testing everybody with common symptoms to ensure that they are testing the highest risk people who work or live in the highest risk settings.

“They will likely not be tested unless they are seriously ill and need to be admitted to a hospital,” she said.

As of Friday, Public Health tested 132 people in the Guelph area for coronavirus and there have been no positive results, but Dr. Mercer said it is likely Guelph will soon see cases.

“Given that this virus has been picked up at many neighbouring health units, including Waterloo, Halton Region and Hamilton, it is highly likely we will eventually get a case,” she said while noting the agency is completely activated.

Health officials say 80 per cent of people have mild symptoms of the coronavirus and do not require hospitalization.

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