COVID-19 – Info & Testing


1. Do you think you have symptoms of COVID-19? Are you sick?

2. COVID-19 Testing

2.1 For patients of the clinic

2.2 If you are not a patient of the clinic

2.3 Testing guidance for international travelers

2.4 Your results

3. Vaccination

3.1 Questions about the COVID-19 vaccines answered by Dr. S.Pelletier

3.2 Questions about the COVID-19 vaccines answered by Dr. G.Leroux

3.3 Questions answered by Mylène Leroux, Registered Nurse, about the challenges faced by the clinic

3.4 COVID-19 vaccination proof

4. Changes in our processes due to COVID-19

4.1 Before coming to the clinic

4.2 If you come to the clinic

4.3 Additional comments

5. More Information on COVID-19



1. Do you think you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are you sick?

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Are you sick? You can download our sick note here and STAY AT HOME

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How to self-monitor - Consult the factsheets from Public Health Ontario

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Do you think you migh have COVID-19? Click here to start your self-assessment

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Do you need a note to go back to school, daycare or work? Click here to download a self attestation

2. COVID-19 testing

The Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team offers a Drive-Through COVID testing centre to its patients and to its community members. If you wish to be tested for COVID-19, please CAREFULY read the following information.

  • COVID-19 testing is available at the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team from Monday to Friday
  • Complete and submit the Assessment Form here.
  • One of our staff members will telephone you to give you an appointment at a specific time and date. Your phone may say “Private caller” or “Blocked” so please accept the call.
  • At the appointed time enter the clinic from Chamberland Street and turn right to go to the back of the building by following the signs for the COVID Drive-Through.  Keep your windows rolled up until you are asked to lower them
  • If you are experiencing moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms and that you need to see a physician for these symptoms, please call the clinic to book an appointment.
  • COVID-19 testing is available at the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team from Monday to Friday
  • Complete and submit the Assessment Form here.
  • One of our staff members will telephone you to give you an appointment at a specific time and date. Your phone may say “Private caller” or “Blocked” so please accept the call.
  • At the appointed time enter the clinic from Chamberland Street and turn right to go to the back of the building by following the signs for the COVID Drive-Through.  Keep your windows rolled up until you are asked to lower them

Please note:

  • you will not be seen without an appointment
  •  you must bring your health card
  • Following new testing guidance from the Ministry of Health, the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team’s COVID assessment centre will no longer accommodate testing for the purpose of pre-travel clearance.
  • This guidance applies to all assessment centres in the province and comes into effect Friday, December 11, 2020.
  • COVID-19 tests for the purpose of international travel clearance are not recommended by Ontario’s public health experts. Travellers should consult their travel carrier’s guidelines to ensure they have the most up-to-date information about requirements.
  • Travellers should also refer to the federal government’s travel website for up-to-date expectations and requirements related to their destination. If a COVID-19 test is required, it is important to ensure ample time for testing and to receive results.
  • COVID-19 testing services are available by private laboratory providers for a fee, and travellers in need of a test are encouraged to search for convenient local options.
  • To keep our community safe, our assessment centre follows all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts.

 

  • You may access your COVID-19 results yourself by clicking on the following link - COVID-19 Test Results
  • We will only contact people with positive results by phone

3. Vaccination

For information on COVID-19 vaccination, please consult the links below:

You can also call us at 613-446-7677 and ask to speak with one of the nursing team member for an appointment according to our availability.

Dr. Pelletier is a family physician at the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team and has taken care of many of the members of our community for over 30 years. Here he answers some of our questions regarding the new vaccines available against COVID-19.

Q: What is it that you would like us to know about the COVID-19 vaccine
A: The doctors at the Rockland Clinic are unanimously in favour of the vaccine after having looked at studies and information from reliable and trusted sources.  I am very worried about the false, misleading, and frankly, dangerous information that is circulating around our community about the COVID-19 vaccines.  The vaccine reduces your risk of becoming seriously ill, being hospitalized or dying.

Q: Why is it so important to you for your patients to get vaccinated?
A: The fatality rate for COVID-19 is very high.  The risk of dying from the flu (influenza) is 1 in 1000 but if you get sick with COVID-19 you have a 1 in 50 chance of dying.  Would you get on a plane or take a cruise if there was a 1 in 50 chance of crashing or sinking?  Of course not.  But in fact this is what we are currently living with.  This is a dangerous and extremely contagious disease. Furthermore, if you contract the virus you will on average unknowingly spread it to 2 or 3 people.
Many people look at COVID-19 as black and white, or life and death. Only some of those hospitalized will die, but my concern is with the long-term complications to the lungs, heart, circulation and brain that are reported in many of those who survive.


Please do not dismiss or underestimate the disability caused by this disease. I have young healthy patients who have been off work for weeks and months as a result of COVID-19  The vaccine is 95% effective in protecting you from getting sick from COVID-19 but nearly 100% effective in reducing your risk of becoming seriously ill, hospitalized or dying.

Q: Should we worry about how quickly the vaccines were developed?

A: The technology for the currently available COVID vaccines has in fact been researched and tested for over a decade.  It uses a natural substance (called mRNA) that our bodies create and use all the time. mRNA provides instructions for our cells to make the antibodies necessary to neutralize COVID-19 and it disappears once the instructions have been used.

I commit to keeping you informed of any real concerns should they arise, but the final message here is that you should be far more afraid of the COVID-19 virus than the COVID-19 vaccine.
Q: Isn’t it too soon to know the long-term side effects?

A:The safety of this vaccine has been established with large studies during the summer of 2020.  There have been over 40 million doses injected in the United States in the past two months. If there were safety issues, we would know by now. The results have been and continue to be closely analyzed by Health Canada.  The vaccine would not be approved if it was not safe.

Q: Why is it a big deal for younger adults to be vaccinated? They will probably be fine.

A: Younger people have lower risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19 but the risk is still there.  The concern for younger people is spreading Covid to family and friends who could become very ill or die.  This is a very contagious illness.

In the early 1980’s, mumps, measles, rubella, and polio all but disappeared.  This was not a coincidence.  This was the result of mass vaccination.  Vaccines work and we owe a great debt to those who took the vaccines at the time to keep others safe from these very serious illnesses.

A large percentage of people will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect the community for us all. Everyone will need to do their part.   It’s the right thing to do.

Q: What has COVID-19 meant to you personally?

A: I am in the same position as you are.  I am isolated from my family and friends.  I am constantly concerned that I may get the infection and unknowingly spread it to someone.    I want this pandemic to end.  When our turn comes up, my family and I will be lined up for our vaccine.  
I am afraid of COVID-19, not the vaccine.

Dr. Leroux has been working as a family physician in Clarence-Rockland since 2007; she also works as a sports medicine specialist, and at a retirement residence. She tells us about her experience with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: When did you get your COVID‑19 vaccination?

A: I got my first dose on January 7, 2021 at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus through Ottawa Public Health’s vaccination program.

Q: Why did you receive it before others?

A: In the first wave of vaccination, health professionals who provide services in long-term care facilities and seniors’ residences could receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I work at the Willowbend Riverstone retirement community in Orléans.

Q: What were your emotions when you received your vaccine?

A: I got my first dose of vaccine at 6:00 p.m. on a Thursday, at the end of a work day. I’d had a good night’s sleep and a busy day at work. I planned for a snack, since my vaccine was at 6:00, at dinner time. So I felt ready and excited to finally have the opportunity to be protected against this virus that has caused a global pandemic, and privileged to be among the first to be given access to the vaccine. Registration was quite quick and efficient. I was a little worried that I might have a reaction. I thought if COVID-19 was so aggressive, the vaccine might be harder to tolerate. Then I reassured myself, remembering that it was a similar vaccine to the flu vaccine, so it couldn’t be worse than that one, which I get every year. The female doctor who was going to administer the vaccine was very informative and professional. She explained to me the possible side effects such as fever, fatigue, nausea, sore throat, muscle pain and cough: the same symptoms that are associated with COVID-19. She explained that it’s usually the second dose that produces the strongest reaction.

Q: Did you experience any side effects?

A: With the first dose, I just had mild fatigue and a little pain in the back of my neck for 24 hours, but with the second dose, I was very fatigued, and I had muscle pain in the back of my neck and a feeling of being in slow motion – to the point that I had to lie down for two hours. Once I had rested, everything sorted itself out. I even went skiing two days after getting the vaccine. Rest is very important after each dose of the vaccine.

Q: What are the most common side effects?

A: The most common symptoms are fatigue, muscle pain, sore throat, nasal congestion, and cough, which are also possible with the flu vaccine; as I mentioned, the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is more intense.

Q: How has COVID affected you personally?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected my own activities and my children’s, too; it’s changed how I work as a doctor and how we live as a family, and it’s limited my ability to travel. My parents, my brothers and their families live in Québec City; my children and I haven’t been able to see them for months. Also, the impact of COVID-19 on our teens is huge. Adolescence is supposed to be full of new social experiences as young people work toward becoming independent and building a career. Instead, the pandemic has put young people in isolation, and this has extended from month to month. It’s the same for seniors. My parents are still very healthy, so I don’t have anyone in my family in that situation. However, I have many elderly patients who are experiencing isolation, and that is extremely difficult to endure. Some are in tragic situations, such as being in the hospital without having any family with them, or having cancer surgery without their families, or losing a loved one with restrictions on visits in the last days of their lives.

All these situations make me realize how essential family is, and how important it is for me as a parent to help my children stay hopeful that life will go back to normal one day.

I’m looking forward to my patients being able to get vaccinated soon!

Mylène Leroux RN, a nurse at the Clarence Rockland Family Health Team, answers questions about the challenges faced by the clinic.

1. What have been the biggest challenges for you since the start of the pandemic?

The biggest challenges include balancing the normal needs of our patients and managing the pandemic, the ever changing COVID-19 recommendations, and dealing with the stress created from those constant changes. We wanted and needed to find the best way to protect and care for our patients, our colleagues, and those close to us.

2. Can you give us some more specific examples of the challenges?

During this pandemic, the clinic continued to provide normal services for patients in the clinic and over the phone. We now triage by phone every request for an appointment. If there is any possibility that a patient may have COVID-19, patients may be offered testing via our drive-through or offered an in person evening appointment for assessment. We receive 1,500 calls a week, of which many relate to information requests regarding all aspects of the pandemic. This has led to a much higher workload than before the pandemic.

Another challenge has been the frequent recommendation changes for COVID-19 assessment, testing, and quarantine protocols. These sometimes change twice in the same week, which really puts pressure on the nursing staff. We always want to ensure we are providing the most current recommendations and the best care to our patients.

3. How is your work different at this time?

We have managed to divide up tasks between the nurses to manage our patients’ regular needs, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 assessment and testing responsibilities. The schedule at the clinic has changed by having patients with COVID-19 symptoms only seen in the evening to reduce the risk to others. We have our disinfecting procedures well in place and we have increased telephone triage to meet demand.

COVID-19 testing, as simple as it seems, has many time-consuming steps. The patient in question is screened on the phone to assess the level of risk. Guidance is provided to the patient regarding the testing and isolation requirements.  An appointment is scheduled, the swab and documents all must be prepared ahead of time. The swab is done at the appointment and then, if the test is positive for COVID-19, the result is communicated back to the patient with the proper advice. It definitely keeps us busy!

4. Over time, are there any trends or changes you have noticed that you would like to share with us?

We had a few positive cases during the first wave but many more during the second wave. As of March 2021, we have a total of 150 positive Covid-19 cases with 134 of them being in the second wave. Only 10 of them needed to see a doctor at the moment of the test, while the others had either no symptoms or mild symptoms that could be managed from home. However, at least 12 of the “mild cases” had worsening symptoms that required a visit in the clinic later on. Their symptoms persisted for months. Some are still feeling the effects of COVID-19 to this day.

About half of the positive cases had been in contact with a known COVID-19 positive individual (usually a close contact). Therefore, half of the positive cases do not know where or how they have gotten COVID-19. The most frequent symptom was a cough and the second most frequent symptom was a runny nose. Fever, in fact, was the fourth most frequent symptom. We had 11 patients who had diarrhea, two of them had uniquely typical gastro symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and/or stomach ache. We did see several patients who delayed testing thinking it was “just a cold” and once diagnosed, had already spread it to several people close to them and quite possibly to many more. This tells us that COVID-19 is very difficult to diagnose or differentiate from other common viral illnesses. Make no assumptions when it comes to this illness. It is very serious with many possible long-term consequences, a risk of needing hospitalization, or a risk of dying from it.

5. Do you have any recommendations for us at this time?

I have a few:

a. If you are in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, quarantine yourself immediately, get tested at the recommended time, and remain quarantined until cleared by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit or the public health unit of your region.

b. Make no assumptions about any symptoms you might have. A mild cough, a runny nose, or even diarrhea can be caused by COVID-19. Although it may not affect you very much, COVID-19 is extremely contagious and you could unknowingly spread it to someone who could get very ill, or die. Do not assume it is not COVID-19.

c. Get your vaccine as soon as it is available. History has shown us the effectiveness of vaccines in getting rid of many diseases. We have seen it with polio, tetanus, measles, mumps, pertussis, and many more. Vaccines prevent you from getting COVID-19 and therefore spreading COVID-19. It also prevents serious symptoms, hospitalization, or death.

Remember that prevention is better than the cure.

Protect yourself, protect your loved ones. Together, we can end this pandemic!

You can now download copies of your proof of vaccination for your first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Visit covid19.ontariohealth.ca You will need your green health card and postal code.

If you have a red and white health card or no Ohip health card, call 1-833-943-3900.

4. Changes in our processes due to COVID-19

**Last revised on September 29, 2021**

Next Monday, October 4, the front doors will be unlocked for the first time since March 2020.  We are doing this so we can offer more in-person appointments, but everyone has to  CONTINUE BEING CAREFUL given how contagious the Delta variant is.   

  • Your doctor is still offering virtual visits for routine issues, but any urgent problems will be seen in person.  Please consult the Classification table for urgent problems (to come)
  • If you are sick, stay at home if possible.  If you need a sick note for your employer, you can download one here
  • Whether you are coming for an appointment or to pick up documents, you must complete a screening questionnaire before you enter:
    • If you have a smartphone, scan the QR code at the door to launch the questionnaire.  When you have completed it show the result to the receptionist.  If it is red, you will be asked to return to your car and call the clinic to re-schedule your appointment
    • If you do not have a smartphone, approach Reception and ask them to screen you
  • You must wear a mask at all times
  • Disinfect your hands at the door and try to stay 2m (6ft) away from other people.  We have put markings on the floor and limited the number of chairs in the waiting room
  • If the waiting room starts to become congested, you may be asked to return to your car and wait there.  We will call you when an exam room is free.
  • If you are picking up documents or paying a bill, please go directly to the back of the Reception desk
  • If you need your first or second vaccination, please book an appointment
  • Only people who have received both vaccine doses will be able to meet with the Inter-disciplinary healthcare providers in person (i.e. social worker, dietician). Otherwise it will be a virtual visit
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.  Also, make sure to wash your hands afterward

5. More Information on COVID-19

For more information on COVID-19 we invite you to visit the following sites: