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 The COVID-19 vaccines and you

3.2 Allergies side effects

3.3 Pregnant and breastfeeding woman

3.4 Immunocompromised patients

3.5 Persons with autoimmune condition

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

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

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

3.9 Appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine

4. Changes in our processes due to COVID-19

4.1 Before coming to the clinic

4.2 Communicating with the clinic

4.3 Appointments

4.4 Continue taking precautions

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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 Medical history form available for completion if requested by CRFHT personnel

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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

The clinic is currently following the guidelines and recommendations of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. We anticipate that the clinic will receive the COVID-19 vaccine when the province enters the 2nd phase of vaccine distribution but we currently have no indication of when this might occur. Please rest assured that we will advise you as soon as we know when the vaccines will be available to the public at large. 

Please find below the necessary forms for your COVID-19 vaccination appointment:

Click here for a printable version of the information below (PDF format)

So far, four COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada. These are safe and are recommended for everyone, with the exception of a few people. For now, only those working or living in long term care and retirement homes, and front line health workers in these areas will be offered the vaccine, but it is possible that by the spring, they will be available more widely. We really hope you will join us in being vaccinated and making our community safer.

If you have questions about the vaccines, please take the time to read through the following resources:

The approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Even if you have had allergic reactions to other vaccines or medications in the past, you can still have these vaccines. You should not have the vaccines if you have had a severe (anaphylactic) reaction to the vaccine components (Moderna  and Pfizer-BioNtech), which include polyethylene glycol, the same ingredient which people receive to prepare for colonoscopies.

Health Canada states that “in general, the side effects observed during the clinical trials are similar to what you might have with other vaccines. The side effects that followed vaccine administration in clinical trials were mild or moderate. They included things like pain at the site of injection, body chills, feeling tired and feeling feverish. These are common side effects of vaccines and do not pose a risk to health. As with all vaccines, there’s a chance that there will be a serious side effect, but these are rare. A serious side effect might be something like an allergic reaction.”  

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) states that “For individuals who are at high risk of infection and/or morbidity from COVID-19, it is the SOGC’s position that the documented risk of not getting the COVID-19 vaccine outweighs the theorized and undescribed risk of being vaccinated during pregnancy or while breastfeeding and vaccination should be offered.”

Please see the full statement here: https://sogc.org/common/Uploaded%20files/Covid%20Information/SOGC_Statement_COVID-19_Vaccination_in_Pregnancy.pdf

CRFHT Statement: Given the current epidemiology, the doctors at the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team suggest that all pregnant and breastfeeding women who work in schools, health care, or in services where they are in frequent contact with the public in Ottawa and Prescott-Russell should obtain the vaccine. Furthermore, if you have a risk factor for COVID-19 complications, such as lung disease, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, or obesity (BMI greater than 40), then you should also obtain the vaccine.

For women who do not work in high risk areas or who do not have risk factors for COVID-19 complications, the decision to obtain the vaccine should be a personal choice and we do not have additional recommendations to those made by the SOGC and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

NACI recommends that the “COVID-19 vaccine should not be routinely offered to individuals who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment until further evidence is available (Strong NACI Recommendation). However, a complete series with a COVID-19 vaccine may be offered to individuals in the authorized age group in this population if a risk assessment deems that the benefits outweigh the potential risks for the individual, and if informed consent includes discussion about the absence of evidence on the use of COVID-19 vaccine in this population. (Discretionary NACI Recommendation)

Summary of evidence and rationale:

  • Currently, there is limited evidence that immunosuppression is an independent risk factor for severe COVID-19, though evidence is evolving.
  • Currently, there are no data on COVID-19 vaccination in individuals who are immunosuppressed. Participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials only included individuals who were not immunosuppressed, such as those with stable infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and those not receiving immunosuppressive therapy during the trial.
  • No safety signals of concern have been noted to date in non-immunosuppressed participants with an immunocompromising condition (e.g., stable HIV infection) included in the clinical trials.
  • The relative degree of immunodeficiency in individuals who are immunocompromised is variable depending on the underlying condition, the progression of disease and use of medications that suppress immune function. Therefore, the balance of benefits and risks must be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Immunocompromised persons, including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, may have a diminished immune response to the vaccine.
  • In general, non-replicating vaccines may be administered to immunocompromised people because the antigens in the vaccine cannot replicate. However, the magnitude and duration of vaccine-induced immunity are often reduced. It is currently unknown whether immunocompromised individuals will be able to mount an immune response to mRNA vaccines.
  • People living with HIV that are considered immunocompetent may be vaccinated.
  • Active surveillance in these vaccine recipients is strongly encouraged. NACI will monitor the evidence as it evolves and update recommendations as needed.”

CRFHT Statement: Given the current epidemiology, the doctors at the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team suggest that all immunocompromised patients who work in schools, health care, or in services where they are in frequent contact with the public in Ottawa and Prescott-Russell should obtain the vaccine. Furthermore, if you have a risk factor such as age over 60, lung disease, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, dementia, stroke, cancer, or obesity (BMI greater than 40), then you should also obtain the vaccine.

For people who do not work in high risk areas or who do not have risk factors for COVID-19 complications and are immunocompromised, the decision to obtain the vaccine should be a personal choice and we do not have additional recommendations to those made by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

NACI recommends that the “COVID-19 vaccine should not be routinely offered to individuals with an autoimmune condition until further evidence is available (Strong NACI Recommendation). However, a complete series with a COVID-19 vaccine may be offered to individuals in the authorized age group in these populations if a risk assessment deems that the benefits outweigh the potential risks for the individual, and if informed consent includes discussion about the insufficiency of evidence on the use of COVID-19 vaccine in these populations. (Discretionary NACI Recommendation)

Summary of evidence and rationale:

  • Currently, there is limited evidence that having an autoimmune condition is an independent risk factor for severe COVID-19, though evidence is evolving.

  • Currently, there are very limited data on COVID-19 vaccination in individuals who have an autoimmune condition. Although participants with autoimmune conditions who were not immunosuppressed were not excluded from trials, they constitute a very small proportion of trial participants and represent a very narrow range of autoimmune conditions.

  • The spectrum of autoimmune conditions is diverse. The relative degree of autoimmunity in individuals with autoimmune conditions is variable depending on the underlying condition, the severity and progression of disease and use of medications that impact immune function. Therefore, the balance of benefits and risks must be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • Other applications of mRNA technologies have been for the treatment of cancer, which required an immune response directed against an individual’s cancer cells. This raised the theoretical concern that mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases would behave similarly, eliciting inflammation and possibly exacerbating existing autoimmune diseases. Current applications of mRNA technology for COVID-19 vaccines have been optimized to reduce this risk.

  • Active surveillance in these vaccine recipients is strongly encouraged. NACI will monitor the evidence as it evolves and update recommendations as needed.”

CRFHT Statement: Given the current epidemiology, the doctors at the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team suggest that all patients with autoimmune disease who work in schools, health care, or in services where they are in frequent contact with the public in Ottawa and Prescott-Russell should obtain the vaccine. Furthermore, if you have a risk factor such as age over 60, lung disease, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, dementia, stroke, cancer, or obesity (BMI greater than 40), then you should also obtain the vaccine.

For people who do not work in high risk areas or who do not have risk factors for COVID-19 complications and are immunocompromised, the decision to obtain the vaccine should be a personal choice and we do not have additional recommendations to those made by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

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!

As of April 12, 2021 vaccination is currently under way at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit fot the following poupulation groups:

  • Individuals turning 60 or older in 2021 (born in 1961 or earlier)
  • Individuals aged 55 to 59 in 2021 (born in 1962 to 1966)
  • Health care workers
  • Police and firefighters responding to medical calls
  • Staff member or essential caregiver at a long-term care or retirement home; informal caregiver (e.g. family, spouse or friend who provides care) for an adult 70 years of age or older
  • Adult recipient of chronic home care
  • Indigenous population living off reserve aged 55 and over
  • Indigenous population living on reserve (Akwesasne) aged 18 and over
  • Individuals with certain Highest-risk and high-risk health conditions
  • Funeral workers who have direct  contact with deceased persons
  • Faith leaders who are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19

If you fall in one of these population groups, please consult the Eastern Ontario Health Unit website to book an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccine. If you live in the Ottawa area, please consult Ottawa Public Health’s website to book your COVID-19 vaccine.

To book over the phone call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.

 

*****Please note that the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team is not currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine at the clinic, so please DO NOT CALL THE CLINIC to book an appointment.

Once it becomes available, we will inform you*****

4. Changes in our processes due to COVID-19

  • If your appointment is not urgent (annual physical checkup, pap test ect) and you are experiencing cold and / or flu symptoms (cough, fever or difficulty breathing), please reschedule your appointment when your symptoms are finished,
  • If you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing; please call the clinic.
  • If you are running out of medication, please ask the pharmacist to give you an additional amount.  If they are unwilling to do that, please ask them to fax the clinic
  • If you still need to see a healthcare professional, please contact us by portal or by phone,
  • If you need a sick note for your employer, you can download our medical note here or we can send it to you via the Portal,

Note that our doors are permanently locked but an intercom is available in the lobby to allow you to communicate with the receptionist.

DO NOT COME BEFORE CALLING
 

a.    Phone lines

  • We regularly receive complaints about our phone lines.
  • Did you know we receive on average, over 400 calls per day?
  • We have 6 phone lines, dedicated exclusively for incoming calls. We have between 3 and 5 people responding to calls every day from Monday to Saturday. However, since the start of the pandemic we have experienced a higher call volume, as a result our response time might be prolonged.
  • A significant percentage of our calls are related to COVID-19 (e.g. how to get tested, where to find the result).
  • If you are calling with questions related to COVID-19, please see the information on this page.
  • If you receive a busy signal when you call, it is because all of our phone lines are engaged so please try again later. In normal times, the call volume is always higher during the morning.
  • If you hear a message that says “no service at the number dialed / out of service”, please try again with another phone. We have noticed that patients who try to call us on their cellphones sometimes receive this message. Our number is 613-446-7677.
  • If your call is not urgent, we recommend that you call the clinic later in the day.
  • If you have a question for your doctor, we encourage you to use the Portal. If you are not registered with the Portal and you are interested in registering, consult our website for more information www.crfht.ca/en/our-services/portal
  • We do our best but despite it, we sometimes fall behind and we understand that this can lead to some frustrations.

Thank you for your understanding and your patience during these difficult times

 

b.    Portal

  • For any non-urgent questions we encourage you to use the portal while communicating with us.
  • If you are experiencing an emergency, call the clinic or 911. We cannot stress enough that the portal is strictly for non-emergency communication.
  • Keep your emails short and to the point.
  • Give us time to respond. It may take us up to 7 days to respond to your message depending on its priority. If you do not receive a response within the time frame you expect, please do not send another message.

DO NOT COME BEFORE CALLING

If you are calling to make an appointment for cold and/or flu symptoms, your call will be directed to one of our nurses who will screen your symptoms. Due to the high call volume you may need to leave a message, but rest assured that we will call you back as soon as possible.

 

a.    Virtual appointments

  • Unless otherwise stated, all our appointments are a “virtual” visit, which means an appointment by telephone or by video. We believe that many issues can be handled over the phone without the need for an in-person visit. This also allows us to limit the number of people in the clinic at all times and thus meet public health requirements.
  • If you are expecting a call from your doctor, please note that your appointment time is approximate. Your doctor may contact you shortly before or shortly after your appointment time. Note that the phone number that will appear on your screen will indicate "private number", "unknown" or even "no caller ID".

 

b.    In-Person appointements

  • Note that our doors are permanently locked,
  • When you arrive at the clinic for your appointment, please do not come in.  Instead wait in your car until we telephone you.  
  • You will be screened and then told when you can come in.  
  • We ask you to come alone to your appointment. If you need someone to accompany you (young children or dependent persons), we ask that only one person accompany you.
  • Wearing a mask is mandatory at all times except for children under 2 years old,
  • Please disinfect your hands when you enter the clinic, a station with disinfectant is available in front of the reception doors,
  • Try and stay 2m (6ft) away from other people
  • Do not touch any surfaces
  • We are not able to supply you with medical supplies (masks, medical gowns ect) since our stock is limited.

 

c.    Evening appointments

  • Evening appointments are exclusively reserved for patients with infectious symptoms.
  • When you enter the clinic, we will ask you to change your personal mask for a surgical mask that we will place at your disposal on the tray at the entrance, to disinfect your hands then to direct you immediately to the room that has been reserved for you, making sure to close the door behind you.

The goal is to slow down or stop the spread of the virus, WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER!

This means you must:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days after your return to Canada irrespective of where you have been
  • 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
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t already

 

a.    Mandatory mask

  • To protect our staff and to conform to the recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada, every patient coming to the clinic for an appointment must now wear a mask. Please note that if you do not wear a mask, you will not be admitted in to the clinic.
  • Please note that patients with symptoms of infection will be provided with a disposable surgical mask for their appointment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvn3CMH8xKs&feature=youtu.be.


b.    Mandatory mask – exemptions

  • The Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team supports the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recommendation of wearing a non-medical face mask in the community when it is not possible to maintain a distance of more than 2 meters from others. Therefore, we are in full agreement with the decision of the Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Public Health Units mandating masks in indoor public spaces. Use of masks by the general public protects everyone from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
  • Consequently, we will not be providing letters to exempt patients from wearing masks. This is consistent with the position of the Canadian Thoracic Society recommendations. They add that patients who cannot tolerate wearing masks should minimize circumstances in which physical distancing is not possible, and that there is “no evidence that wearing a face mask will exacerbate (cause a “flare up” of) an underlying lung condition."
  • Please refer to public health  recommendations regarding the proper use of a face mask and perform proper hand hygiene before and after putting one on, as well as frequently throughout the day.

5. More Information on COVID-19

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