Getting the COVID-19 vaccine
Ontario is on its way to immunizing our entire community against COVID-19; the vaccine is being rolled-out in a step-wise fashion based on age and risk. Please see the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website for all the information you need to know, including a link to the provincial booking system. Please note a doctor’s note is never required; individuals are asked only for a self-attestation regarding health risk.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new form of coronavirus. There are many types of coronaviruses. Some cause the common cold and have very mild symptoms. Others can be very severe, such as SARS in 2003. One of the concerns about COVID-19 is that it is brand new, so nobody has protective antibodies yet and therefore the chance of spread is higher. COVID-19 can vary between mild symptoms and severe symptoms. This seems to depend on your age and underlying health. From what we know so far, it appears that the virus is spread between individuals through respiratory droplets.
How do I get tested for COVID-19?
In our region, there are a number of COVID assessment centres that have been developed to test for COVID those individuals who are showing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, work or reside in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, or are otherwise eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative. Click here to see where you can be tested in our region. See also information below regarding COVID-19 symptoms.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
While cough and fever are most common, the symptoms of COVID-19 can be varied. Please see this information from Public Health about what to look for: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread#section-0 Please also see the self-assessment tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
Who is at risk of getting COVID-19?
We are all at risk of getting COVID-19 due to spread within our local community. People who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 through community spread are those who congregate in larger crowds (concerts, conferences, sports events), people who take crowded public transit, and people who do not wash their hands outside of their home. This is why it is recommended to practice physical distancing to decrease the exposure to other people. Please see the information from the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit about how to reduce the spread of COVID: https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/COVID-19#93008365-cdc5-4518-a8b8-433d9417e12b
I’m concerned I might have COVID-19 — What should I do?
Take the COVID-self-assessment questionnaire found at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ and follow recommended next steps.
If you have been tested for COVID-19 you will be asked to self-quarantine until the results come back. If the results are positive and your symptoms are mild, you will be asked to self-isolate as directed by Public Health. If your symptoms are more severe you may need to be hospitalized.
Virtual visits at Queenan Family Medicine & Maternity Care for COVID-19 Social Distancing
Our office continues to provide care throughout the pandemic. Most visits are carried out virtually through telephone or secure video; please see the Existing Patients page of this site for more information. Visits that require an in-person physical exam will be scheduled in the office; if you have an in-person visit at our office, please remain in your vehicle until we call you, ensure you are wearing your mask, and use the hand sanitizer upon entry.
Considerations when planning to come into the office
Our staff are very dedicated to continuing to provide the care you need. It will just look a little different than normal. For example, while our office will be open during our normal hours, we ask that you limit dropping by the office. Please email or mail paperwork you would like to be completed. If you do need to come into the office, please maintain the recommended 2 m distance. If you do have any symptoms of fever, new cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, or runny nose, please stay home — call or email us instead.
For more information
We invite you to check out our practice Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/QueenanFamilyMedicine/, which includes links to a number of resources in the community and updates from our local hospital GBGH. Please also see the website of our local health unit (Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit) for a wealth of information about COVID-19 including how to check your results if you have been swabbed for COVID-19, and information about local cases: https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/COVID-19
Lots of good stuff is happening in our community to keep us all well as we fight this pandemic. We remain committed to seeing this through with you. Together, we got this.