Family Health Team to lock doors, introduce screening as part of pandemic plan

Claire Stewart Medical Clinic is adjacent to Mount Forest hospital where man with COVID-19 is recovering

MOUNT FOREST – The Mount Forest Family Health Team (MFFHT) will lock the doors of the Claire Stewart Medical Clinic on Dublin Street on March 23 and anyone wanting to enter will have to call in advance to be screened.

The MFFHT announced the move on March 22, less than four hours after Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) confirmed a local COVID-19 case not related to travel.

A 66-year-old man tested positive for the coronavirus and is recovering at adjacent Louise Marshall Hospital in Mount Forest.

Officials say the restriction, part of the team’s evolving pandemic plan, also applies to those needing to access services provided by LifeLabs.

“By locking the doors and asking everyone to call before coming, we are protecting the staff working at the clinic and the public in general. It also allows us to redeploy staff to other activities across the system as we get ready to manage more cases in the community,” stated Suzanne Trivers, MFFHT executive director.

“We will continue to see patients whose needs cannot be met through telephone or secure videoconference. The decision about whether the visit must be face to face is made by the doctor or nurse practitioner and is based on clinical need.”

Dr. Hugh Perrin, clinical operations director for physicians at the clinic, thanked patients in advance for their patience and understanding.

“During this public health crisis, it’s important that we all work together to ensure that we are able to provide the urgent and emergency care that people need,” stated Perrin.

“Most routine lab testing can safely be delayed at this time. Please keep a separation of six feet from others other than those who live with you. Stay home as much as possible. This is not a time to address long-standing, mild health concerns that can wait. The medical system will be busy and should not be using limited protective equipment to address such issues now.”

Anyone with questions can call the clinic at 519-323-0255 ext. 5000 and leave a message.

For the latest health information regarding COVID-19, visit the public health website.

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