COVID-19

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COVID-19 is a viral illness that causes fever and respiratory symptoms (dry cough, pneumonia, shortness of breath) in infected patients. The virus is highly transmissible between persons; it may not produce symptoms for 14 days after being infected. The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. It is important to take precautions such as social distancing and practicing rigorous hand hygiene to protect yourself and stop spread of the disease.

MASKING, DISTANCING, CAPACITY LIMITS

Directives requiring masking in healthcare settings (including community-based clinics) will remain in place until April 27, 2022. We understand that after April 27, it is likely masks will continue to be required (TBD) in all healthcare settings (by government regulation) – including in community-based clinics. While not required, distancing where possible is still recommended. Capacity limits are no longer required.

COVID-19 PREVENTION, SYMPTOMS, TESTING, ISOLATION RECOMMENDATIONS

For detailed and practical guidance regarding COVID-19 avoidance, recognition, testing, and management, as well as information about public health measures and vaccines, visit the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine site “Confused about Covid”

For the latest Public Health information on eligibility regarding testing, visit the Ontario site for COVID-19 Assessment & Testing and the Ontario site for COVID-19 Exposure and Isolation

COVID-19 VACCINE CERTIFICATE

As of March 14, 2022 mandatory vaccination policies ended in all settings including hospitals, longterm care homes, schools, and child-care settings. You no longer need to provide proof of vaccination but we recommend completion of COVID-19 vaccination series for all patients (unless exempted). Access the Ontario Vaccine Portal to book vaccine. Have your photo health card ready, and click below to log in and download a copy of your enhanced vaccination certificate with a QR code:

VACCINE QUESTIONS and COUNSELLING

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, you may scroll below for further resources, book an appointment with your doctor, or book an appointment at one of two Vaccine Counselling Clinics. These clinics are available by appointment. Services are open by self-referral to all patients across Ontario to address all vaccine concerns:  VaxFacts Clinic from Scarborough Health Network (connects with a team of doctors) and COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service from Hospital for Sick Kids (connects to a team of paediatric registered nurses). 

COVID-19 VACCINE NOT AVAILABLE AT OUR OFFICE

We encourage you to get your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. We are not providing the COVID-19 vaccine in our office.  It is available through Public Health clinics, pop-up clinics, some walk-in clinics, many pharmacies, and a few family physicians’ offices. Please do not call us to try to book an appointment for COVID vaccine. We need to keep our phone lines free for patients with immediate medical needs.

For more information about COVID vaccines visit the Ministry of Health website: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario

COVID-19 VACCINE AVAILABILITY

If you’re 5 or older in 2021, you have the option to book your vaccine appointment at either a regional public health mass vaccination clinic, hospital-run clinic, pop-up clinics in hot-spot communities, or at select pharmacies. check second or third dose schedule and eligibility information here

Pharmacy booking for the COVID-19 vaccine: Find your closest pharmacy to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are age 5 or over: Pharmacy Locator

Provincial online booking system: Eligible residents over age 5 can check vaccine eligibility here and register for appointments by calling 1-888-999-6488 or click the button below for the Ontario Provincial Vaccination Portal:

Vaccines at Regional Health and Hospital Clinics:
If you are 5 or over,  your local public health unit will have details about vaccinations in your area; click on one of the options below for local regions (or click the above button for the Ontario-wide Portal):

PEEL REGION (Brampton, Mississauga, Caledon) : Check Peel Eligibility here. Register for a vaccine by visiting the Peel Online Booking System. If you cannot access the online site, call the Region of Peel COVID-19 Vaccination Line at 905-791-5202 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week, or call 1-888-999-6488 to book an appointment if you are in High or Highest Risk Categories. For Homebound Residents of Peel, visit Peel Homebound Vaccine Registration to complete form.

HALTON REGION (Milton, Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills):Check Halton eligibility here Visit the following website to book or pre-register for an appointment:

Halton Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic: Book your Halton appointment online here or call 311 for support or phone assistance

TORONTO REGION: Check Toronto eligibility here. Visit the following website to book or pre-register for an appointment:

Toronto Hospitals and Ontario Health Teams COVID-19 Vaccination Site Pre-register for your Toronto appointment here or call 1-888-385-1910 for assistance

WHEN TO SUSPECT COVID-19: If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms and have either travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days, or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or someone who recently traveled who has respiratory symptoms, please use this self-assessment tool and call us or TeleHealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) or your local Public Health unit to determine if you need to self-isolate and/or attend an assessment centre; for urgent situations, proceed to your closest Emergency Department. Anyone who is at risk of exposure through their employment  or is concerned that they were exposed to COVID-19 in any setting, is eligible for testing, even if asymptomatic. Anyone with at least one COVID symptom is also eligible for testing, even without known exposure.

  • Fever (temperature 37.8 C (100.04 F) or greater)
  • Cough (new or worsening)
  • Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing
  • Other symptoms may include: sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, chills, headaches, unexplained fatigue/malaise, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased or loss of taste or smellpink-eye
  • Individuals over 70 years of age or living with developmental disabilities may have: fatigue, muscle aches, feeling unwell, delirium/confusion, falls, new difficulties in function, or worsening of chronic conditions.
  • Children may have: feeding difficulty, croup, lethargy

How can I stay healthy?

  • Social Distancing: try to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Physical Distancing: Stay 6 feet (2 metres) away from others
  • Wash your hands: using soap and water for 20 seconds, making sure to scrub all surfaces.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing: this virus can be spread through the air – make sure to cough into your elbow and wash your hands after coughing
  • Wear a mask when going out, if used properly with handwashing, as per Health Canada Mask Guidance.
  • Contact Public Health Ontario: if you or someone you know shows symptoms of COVID-19

Additional Information:

The links below offer up to date information about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself:

Government of Canada information page

World Health Organization public advice

Centres for Disease Control and prevention

Government of Ontario general information

Physical & Social Distancing Guidelines OMA

Self assessment (Government of Ontario)

CPSO Guidelines

Virus Facts & FAQ from OMA

Wellness & Mental Health Resources

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