On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (NGCAC) in Kemptville transitioned to a full assessment and treatment centre while also changing its hours to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm for added convenience.

As a full assessment and treatment centre, the NGCAC will provide assessment by a physician, testing, and treatment for respiratory illness, if required. Patients will be able to access the centre on their own if they meet provincial eligibility requirements, and can also be directed there by their family doctor’s office.

The NGCAC will continue to be open Monday to Friday, but is changing its hours from 7 am – 3 pm to 9 am – 5 pm, so that it will be able to see more patients. By taking into account family doctors’ office hours, the centre will be able to accommodate patients directed there by their family doctor’s office on the same day. Extending the hours to 5 pm also makes it easier for people coming to Kemptville from Ottawa and the surrounding area to be tested.

“The ability to offer treatment for suspected COVID-19 patients, in addition to assessment, was always part of the plan,” said the NGCAC’s clinical lead, Dr. Suzanne Rutherford.

Dr. Rutherford is a family physician at Rideau Crossing Family Health Centre in Kemptville and the driving force behind the NGCAC. She has been working closely with her co-lead, Frank Vassallo, the CEO of Kemptville District Hospital (KDH), as well as the other partners in the community-based collaboration: the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, the Municipality of North Grenville, and the Leeds Grenville Paramedic Service.

“I believe we need this treatment service now more than ever, as the new school screening guidelines weigh heavily on ‘speak to your healthcare practitioner’ to direct them on whether a test is needed or not,” added Dr. Rutherford. “Furthermore, adding this service to the NGCAC will help ensure that people get the treatment they need for respiratory illness, while helping keep Emergency Departments available for other emergencies”.

The NGCAC opened on September 24, and has been operating very efficiently, according to Frank Vassallo. “With our appointment-based ‘time pass’ system, we are able to see a large volume of patients every day. The system was designed to effectively screen patients, manage capacity, and provide safe and ethical access to testing. With our system, we also have the ability to scale up or down quickly by adjusting our hourly rate of patients tested depending on community demand, a localized outbreak and/or Ministry guidance.”

On behalf of all the partners, CEO Vassallo expressed thanks to the KDH Foundation, which has purchased the equipment necessary for the transition to a full assessment and treatment centre. “This speaks to the generosity of the North Grenville community, which continues to show its support through the KDH Foundation for healthcare workers in their ongoing fight against COVID-19,” he said.

Fast Facts about the North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre:

Location: 15 Campus Drive (Bell Hall on the Kemptville Campus), Kemptville
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Who can be tested: Provincial guidance released September 24, states that people in Ontario should only seek testing at assessment centres if they: are showing COVID-19 symptoms; have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by their public health unit or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app; are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by their local public health unit; and are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care. For details visit www.covid-19.ontario.ca.
How it works: see www.kdh.on.ca/patient-visitor-info/covid-19-updates/north-grenville-covid-19-assessment-centre.


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