By: Mike Anderson

Markham-Stouffville Hospital will open a COVID-19 assessment centre on March 18, according to a media release from York Region Public Health. 

It will join the two assessment centres already operating in York Region at Mackenzie Health in Richmond Hill, and Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket. 

They are all located in or adjacent to the hospitals. In Southlake’s case, the assessment centre is in the ambulance bay next to the emergency department at the Davis Dr. entrance. 

According to York Region Public Health, the assessment centres will help ease the pressure on emergency departments, so they can focus on treating patients who are “critically ill and have life-threatening illnesses or injuries.”

“The role of an assessment centre is to evaluate the need of each individual and triage patients accordingly,” the release states. 

“Each assessment centre will be managed by hospital staff and located in close proximity to an emergency department in case any patients being assessed require urgent care. If a patient is determined to be ill but not requiring hospitalization, self-isolation or monitoring at home may be required.” 

However, not all people who attend COVID-19 assessment centres will be tested for COVID-19; they must present symptoms and have: 

  • Recently returned from travel outside Canada within the last 14 days
  • Been in close contact with someone who is a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Been in close contact with someone who has flu-like symptoms who has travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever (over 38 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit) combined with a new or worsening cough and-or new or worsening shortness of breath.

York Region Public Health says if you have concerns about symptoms, you should contact your primary care provider or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Each hospital will manage their assessment centre based on their operational capacity, the release also states.

So, check your local hospital’s website for specific hours of operation and procedures:

York Region Public Health will contact patients who test positive for COVID-19 for follow up and monitoring. York Region Public Health will also notify patients with negative test results.



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