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The Review

Community paramedics to provide in-home COVID-19 swabbing for residents in need

Posted On: Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Grey County residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 but are unable to travel to an assessment centre can now be tested at home thanks to a new initiative by Grey County, Grey Bruce Public Health and Grey Bruce Health Services. Clinical training for community paramedics is underway with Grey Bruce Health Services.

Community paramedics to provide in-home COVID-19 swabbing for residents in need

“Grey County paramedics performing in-home swabbing for residents is a remarkable initiative,” said Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health. “It reflects the duty to serve the community, leadership to better the system, and innovation to provide care to the disadvantaged individuals of us who are in need of care but are unable to travel to assessment centres.”

To be tested at home, residents must first contact Grey Bruce Public Health. Staff will complete an assessment over the phone to determine if a test is necessary. If the patient qualifies for a test but is unable to travel to an assessment centre, an in-home visit will be scheduled.

“Offering in-home care ensures residents who are housebound or living in a congregate setting can be tested safely and conveniently,” reported Kevin McNab, Director of Paramedic Services for Grey County. “We appreciate the coordinated efforts and quick action of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and Grey Bruce Public Health to get this important initiative operating in the community. We’re also grateful for staff at Grey Bruce Health Services sharing their clinical expertise and training.”

Dr. Sunil Mehta of Grey Bruce Health Services is also pleased to see the paramedics playing a role in testing.

“We welcome the opportunity to share our COVID-19 testing experience with our community health partners,” said Dr. Sunil Mehta from Grey Bruce Health Services. “The Assessment Centre at the Owen Sound Hospital works well for those who are mobile. Expanding testing to people at home and in isolated settings is key to helping contain community spread of this virus.”

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please refer to the online self-assessment on the Ontario.ca website or contact your local assessment centre. If your symptoms are severe, call 911.

For up to date information on COVID-19, visit grey.ca/covid-19 or publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/COVID-19.

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