COVID-19 information and updates

*For the most up-to-date information and news, please visit Public Health Ontario here.

General COVID-19 Information:

What is the current risk of contracting COVID-19 in Renfrew County?

The situation is evolving rapidly and Public Health Agency of Canada is asking all Canadians to take precautions to help slow the spread of illness. Read more here.

What is my next step if  I think I may have COVID-19?

If you or a family member suspects you have symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate and contact the Renfrew County District Health Unit at 613-735-8653 ext. 555 as soon as possible.

*The Government of Ontario has posted an online COVID-19 self-assessment guide. Find it here

What symptoms do I need to watch for?

  • Fever

AND/OR

  • Onset of cough

AND any of the following within 14 days prior to onset of illness:

  • Travel to an impacted area, OR
  • Close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, OR
  • Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to an impacted area

How can I protect myself and my family from COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap
  • Cover you cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Practice social distancing

The Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre:

What is the Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre?

The Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre  is a new pandemic healthcare service to reduce the demand on Emergency Departments and provide Renfrew County residents, who do not have a family physician or cannot access their family physician, with the appropriate level of care when they have any health concern (including concerns related to COVID-19).

Who can access it?

Any Renfrew County resident who has a health concern (including concerns related to COVID-19) and does not have a family physician or cannot access their family physician.

How can I access the Centre?

  • Call 1-844-727-6404
  • Have your OHIP card ready
  • A medical receptionist will take your details and arrange for a physician or nurse practitioner to contact you via telephone.

How does the Centre provide care?

The RCVTAC is a virtual solution that allows nurse practitioners, physicians and/or community paramedics to assess and manage health concerns in multiple ways depending on a person’s needs.

This includes:

  • Phone appointments
  • Video appointments
  • In-home assessments and diagnostic testing by community paramedics
  • Remote monitoring and alerting and if necessary, escalation to a designated team of physicians and allied health professionals for the management of patients with COVID-19
  • Referral to other services including mental health support

Where can I learn more?

Visit www.rcvtac.ca

Clinical services impact:

Which ARH programs, clinics etc. have been indefinitely closed due to COVID-19?

  • Seniors Active Living Centre
  • Men’s Shed
  • Adult Day Program
  • Ontario Breast Screening Program

What is the impact to surgeries, procedures, clinics or diagnostic tests?

Based on the recommendations of the Ontario Medical Association, Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) has put in place a planned approach to postpone non-urgent surgeries, procedures, clinics and diagnostics effective March 20 until April 3, 2020.

The clinical team created a criterion to guide our physicians and staff to determine whether delaying a surgery, procedure, appointment or diagnostic test would medically-compromise a patient. If a delay would result in compromising a person’s health, then the medical intervention will proceed.

Grove Nursing Home and hospital visitor information:

Can I visit my loved one or friend in the hospital or the Grove?

In order to best protect ARH patients, residents and staff, the Grove and the hospital (including the Inpatient Unit and the Emergency Department) will now only allow essential visitors.

The Emergency Department will allow up to only one essential visitor if a patient meets the criteria.

*Essential visitor is a family member of a loved one who is very ill or dying; or a guardian of a patient who is a child or youth.

If I’m not permitted to visit at this time, how can I stay in touch with my friend or family member?

Patients and residents will find the new visitor restrictions difficult. ARH encourages friends and family to keep in touch regularly through phone calls or video chats (if possible). While visitor access is restricted, ARH will not charge patients to have a telephone in their room to help make it easier for them to stay connected with friends and family.

When will the visitor restriction be lifted?

At this time, there is no clear timeline. ARH will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health and the Ontario Ministry of Health to determine when it is safe to end visitor restrictions.

Active screening and entrance access:

Is ARH actively screening at entrances?

At both the Grove Nursing Home and the hospital, we are actively screening everyone (including staff) upon arrival at each open entrance in order to best protect our patients, residents, clients and staff.

What are my next steps if I failed active screening?

You must self-isolate and contact Renfrew County District Health Unit at 613-735-8653 ext. 555 as soon as possible.

When will active screening measures be lifted? 

At this time, there is no clear timeline. ARH will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health and the Ontario Ministry of Health to determine when it is safe to end active screening.

Which hospital entrances are open?

Open entrances on the weekend:

  • Entrance D (opened from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.)
  • Entrance E (Emergency Department)

Open entrances Monday to Friday:

  • Entrance A (opened at 8 a.m.)
  • Entrance B (opened from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)
  • Entrance D (opened from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.)
  • Entrance E (Emergency Department)

Individuals who come to the hospital must only use Entrance E if they need to access the Emergency Department or if another entrance is not open.

Management of COVID-19 in hospital and Grove:

What happens if an ARH patient or resident is screened positive for COVID-19?

Any patient or resident who is screened positive for COVID-19 will be placed on additional precautions and testing will be completed.

Local assessment centre:

Is there a local COVID-19 assessment centre?

Currently, ARH and its Renfrew County health partners are finalizing plans to set up a Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre (VTAC). Renfrew County community members who do not have access to a family doctor will be able to call a toll-free number to have their urgent health concern triaged and if needed, they will be connected to a family doctor or nurse practitioner virtually.

More details to come.

Emergency Department:

What do I do if I have a non-urgent health concern?

Contact your family physician for non-urgent health matters to help ensure ARH maintains the Emergency Department’s capacity.

Can I get a COVID-19 medical note at the hospital required by my employer or insurance company?

ARH physicians (family practice, Emergency Department) will not provide medical notes related to COVID-19 as per the request from employers or insurance companies. Community members will be directed to call Renfrew County District Health Unit at 613-735-8653 for follow-up.

COVID-19 Public Resources:

Public Health Ontario resources

How to practice social distancing

ARH COVID-19 media releases:

March 27, 2020 – New pandemic healthcare service: Renfrew County Triage and Assessment Centre

March 26, 2020 – ARH accepting donated medical supplies from the community

March 20, 2020 – ARH expands visitor restrictions to the Emergency Department

March 19, 2020 – ARH postpones non-urgent clinical services in response to COVID-19

March 14, 2020 – ARH restricts visitor access, implements active screening and limits building entrances

March 13, 2020 – ARH takes new measures to help protect community against COVID-19