Author Archives: Ruth Skupsky

TO OUR PATIENTS AT LAKESHORE MEDICAL GROUP:

 

 

*** All patients arriving at the Clinic or Lab MUST wear a face mask or any cloth covering (e.g. scarf, bandana, etc).  If you do not have one you will be required to purchase one in the pharmacy downstairs.  Children under the age of 2 years old are NOT required to wear a facial covering (i.e. mask/scarf/bandana). ***

 

 

*Please Note* When you call the office, your call will be forwarded to one of our receptionists working remotely. Any calls that are returned will be from a blocked number.

 

We understand the fear and frustration that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused and we have been working hard to ensure that we continue to deliver high quality medical care while taking into account the health and safety of our patients, physicians and staff. 

We are reducing all non-essential visits and services and replacing them with virtual visits (i.e. telephone and video communication). Non-essential visits include periodic health assessments (i.e. physicals), routine pap tests and minor ailments. We are recommending that you still continue with routine childhood immunizations as there will be dedicated times to book these appointments. With this in mind, we ask that you DO NOT come into the clinic without an appointment. THIS INCLUDES NURSE AND LAB VISITS! If you feel you need to see your doctor or the nurse for any reason, please read the list of frequently asked questions below prior to contacting the office for an appointment. 

**IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT NURSE VISITS** We are no longer accepting walk-in visits to see the nurse. If you wish to see the nurse, you must call and speak with the nurse directly to book an appointment as needed. 

**IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT LAB VISITS** We are no longer accepting walk-in visits to the lab. If you have seen your doctor in our office (suite 502), or have spoken with your doctor directly over the phone or through video chat, and they have asked you to come in ON THE SAME DAY for blood work, urine testing, or an EKG, you will be asked to knock loudly on the lab door to identify yourself. The door will be locked and Diana will let you in. If you are coming to the lab for any other reason (i.e. a standing order for bloodwork, bloodwork ordered by a specialist for an upcoming appointment, etc.,) you must call 905-845-4511 ext. 224 to be screened for COVID-19 and to be given an appointment.

 

We all need to take COVID-19 very seriously. Although we currently do not have many case fatalities in Canada, we are at risk of getting to the point of a health care crisis. We ask you to do your part to help “flatten the curve” so that we can protect our most vulnerable populations and keep our hospital beds available for those who need them the most. 

 

REMEMBER THAT WE ALL HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY! 

 

COVID-19 self-assessment

If you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, click HERE to use the self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care.

 

 

For further information, please read below for answers to frequently asked questions:

 

1) Who should be tested for COVID-19?

As the supply for nasopharyngeal swabs is limited, COVID-19 testing is reserved for those at high risk of severe illness or transmitting to someone vulnerable. 

From Halton Public Health Website:

Halton Region Public Health and health care partners continue to focus on those most at risk of COVID-19. Our current priority is to hear from the following people who have symptoms (e.g., fever, new cough, difficulty breathing, etc.):

  • those aged 60 and over;
  • those with pre-existing medical conditions;
  • those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • those living or working in a health-care or long-term care setting or institution; or
  • First Nation community members living on-reserve.
  • Anyone else directed by Halton Region Public Health

If you have symptoms AND meet one of the criteria above you may be tested for COVID-19. Residents must have an appointment to attend an Assessment Centre.

Residents of Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills can book an appointment at a Halton Healthcare Assessment Centre by calling 905-203-7963. Residents of Burlington can call 905-632-3737 ext 6550 to book an appointment at the Joseph Brant Hospital COVID Assessment Clinic.

*Appointments are necessary to attend an Assessment Centre in Halton.

Individuals without symptoms are NOT being tested at this time.

Individuals with mild symptoms that do not meet the criteria above are asked to self-isolate for 14 days, or until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. You do not need to contact Public Health.

If you have SEVERE symptoms, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

2) What are the current symptoms?

The following symptoms have been listed in the screening questions provided by the Ministry of Health (Last updated Apr 22, 2020):

  • Fever
  • New onset or worsening chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing

In addition, the following secondary symptoms has also been listed:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose or sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decrease or loss of sense of smell
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained fatigue/malaise
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting

 

3) What do I do if I have symptoms but do not qualify for testing?

 

From Halton Public Health Website: Individuals with mild symptoms that do not meet the criteria listed in FAQ 1 are asked to self-isolate for 14 days, or until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. You do not need to contact Public Health.

If you have SEVERE symptoms, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

3) How do I protect myself and my family from getting ill?

 

Practice social distancing. This means avoiding non-essential exposures to other people, especially those over the age of 60 or immunocompromised. 

Sanitize your hands frequently either with alcohol-based sanitizer or hand washing with soap and water x 20 seconds.

Avoid touching your face at all costs. 

 

4) What do I do if I travelled out of province or outside of Canada in the last 14 days?

 

Returning travellers from outside of Canada (including the United States of America) should self-isolate for 14 days from the day of return.

  • If they develop symptoms within 14 days, they should stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including others at home, until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved or 14 days after returning from travel, whichever is longer.
  • people with mild symptoms DO NOT require testing.

 

5) How do I access medical care during this period?

 

Lakeshore Medical Group Physicians will continue to be available to patients. However, all elective appointments such as physicals will be postponed for at least 1 month. We will try to substitute all in-person visits for virtual visits (telephone calls or video conferencing when feasible). We will be delaying the ordering of any non-urgent tests and referrals for at least one month.

 

Please do not walk-in or come to the office if you are symptomatic or have travelled in the past 14 days as we are running very low on personal protective equipment like masks. Contact the office instead at 905-845-4551 for further directions. If it is after hours, please contact TELEHEALTH at +1 866-797-0000. If you need to see a physician after 5pm call 905-815-9177.

For any questions regarding symptoms, testing criteria, and when to stay home if you do have symptoms, please refer to FAQ 1, 2 & 3 prior to contacting the office.

 

6) What about the After Hours Clinic?

 

Please do not attend the After Hours Clinic for routine prescriptions and assessments and contact your regular physician as they may be able to assess you by a virtual visit.

If you are having respiratory symptoms, please refer to the comments above in FAQ 1, 2 & 3.

If you have had travel history in the past 14 days, please do not come to the After Hours Clinic and contact your regular physician.

 

7) Do I need a sick note for work if I have symptoms?

 

No. 

 

8) Where can I read more about COVID-19?

 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

https://www.halton.ca/For-Residents/Immunizations-Preventable-Disease/Diseases-Infections/New-Coronavirus

https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus

https://www.ontariofamilyphysicians.ca/tools-resources/timely-trending/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/ocfp-coronavirus-infographic-4-final.pdf

 

WE APPRECIATE YOUR COOPERATION DURING THIS TIME. 

 

– LAKESHORE MEDICAL GROUP PHYSICIANS

 

Attention ALL Health Card Holders

If you have an INVALID health card at your appointment, you are not eligible for OHIP covered services and will be required to pre-pay for your visit.

To Avoid This:

Update your health card BEFORE your visit! Visit your nearest Service Ontario location, or click HERE for more information on how to renew your health card.

 

For All RED AND WHITE Health Card Holders:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health has decided to suspend the expiration of red and white health cards until further notice.