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?

For up-to-date information about the Renfrew County situation, please visit the Renfrew County and District Health Unit website.

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 your family physician as soon as possible. If you do not have access to a family physician, please contact the Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre at 1-844-727-6404. More information below.

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

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 physical 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 (RC VTAC)  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 RC VTAC 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 May 15, 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.

Can I drop off personal items for my family or friend who is an inpatient at the Hospital?

We understand that patients may want to have personal items (i.e. clothing, toiletries etc) or snacks dropped off to make their hospital stay more comfortable.

In order to prevent the risk of these personal items carrying the virus into the hospital, ARH is not allowing personal items or snacks to be dropped off for inpatients at this time.

*Medical items (i.e. prescriptions, inhalers) are exempt from this restriction.

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.

Proper use of cloth masks

Members of our community have donated cloth masks for people to use in health-care settings, at home during health-care visits, or in public spaces.

How to put it on:

  • Clean your hands before you put on your clean mask.
  • Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth and does not slip down.
  • Do not touch the front of the mask while you are wearing it.

How to take it off:

  • Clean your hands before you remove your mask.
  • Remove by pulling on the ear loops or ties, being careful not to touch your face or the front of the mask.
  • Clean your hands after you remove your mask.

How to clean it:

  • Wash your mask when it is soiled, and ideally daily.
  • Launder with hot water and regular laundry detergent.
  • Discard your mask if it cannot be cleaned or if it is torn or damaged.

*Please remember that having your mask does not replace the need to: physically distance (stay 6 ft apart); limit non-essential outings; clean your hands often; and stay at home if you are unwell or have been instructed to do so by Public Health or your health-care provider.

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.

Emergency Department:

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

For non-emergency health concerns (including those related to COVID-19), contact your family physician or the Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre (if you don’t have access to a family physician)  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.

Hospital parking:

How has parking at the hospital been impacted?

ARH has opened the parking gates to provide free parking to all staff, patients and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. During these difficult times, this is one less thing for everyone to worry about and it reduces patient traffic in the hospital to access change for parking when needed.

Community support:

Is ARH accepting community donations of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes. We are now accepting donated medical supplies from local businesses and the broader community in order to ensure the Hospital and Grove Nursing Home have a longer-term supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, please contact [email protected]

What medical supplies are needed?

ARH is accepting the following unopened, unexpired medical supplies:

  • Surgical masks
  • N95 masks
  • Latex-free gloves
  • Non-permeable protective gowns (disposable or reusable)
  • Protective eyewear (face shield, safety googles)
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hand sanitizer (alcohol content of 70% concentration or higher)
  • Battery-operated medical thermometers
  • Alcohol wipes (70% isopropyl)

Can the community provide other in-kind support to ARH?

Arnprior Regional Health Foundation is also accepting donations of non-medical supplies to help support ARH during the pandemic.

If you would like to make an in-kind donation of non-medical supplies, please contact the Arnprior Regional Health Foundation at [email protected].

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