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Flu Assessment Centre sees 42 patients on first day

Posted Nov 3rd, 2009

Niagara, ON:  Forty-two patients were seen the first day the Flu Assessment Centre was open yesterday at the Ontario Street Site (OSS) of the Niagara Health System, and the number of patients visiting the centre every day is expected to increase as more people learn about it.

Of the 42 patients, 22 were 14 years of age and older, and the rest were 13 and under. The average wait time for patients yesterday at the flu centre was approximately 30 minutes.

“We are very pleased with the turnout and expect the numbers to increase as people become more aware of the centre,” says Linda Boich, Vice President Patient Services.

The Flu Assessment Centre opened in St. Catharines since the highest increase in patients with flu-like symptoms is being seen at the St. Catharines General Emergency Room (ER) and OSS Urgent Care Centre (UCC). The number of patients in south Niagara is also climbing, and a Flu Assessment Centre could open there depending on ongoing increases in patients with flu-like symptoms coming to the ERs and UCCs, as well as the availability of resources.

The Flu Assessment Centre at OSS is located at 155 Ontario Street in St. Catharines. It is open to the public 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday; 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. No referrals are necessary, patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

At the Flu Assessment Centre, the public will have access to influenza screening services in light of the increased demand for flu screening at the NHS ERs and UCCs.

Healthcare staff at the centre will:

  • Assess individuals for influenza.
  • Dispense and/or prescribe oseltamivir [tamiflu] in accordance with clinical guidelines for H1N1 and appropriate Medical Directives.
  • Educate patients and provide supportive care strategies to ease symptoms.
  • Refer individuals to the appropriate provider/location for appropriate follow-up and care if/as required.
  • Overnight treatment/stays or advanced assessment/treatment procedures will not be performed in the Flu Assessment Centre.
  • Vaccines will not be provided.

Flu Assessment Centre sees 42 patients on first day
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
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This Assessment Centre is for people with mild symptoms of flu. For serious cases, we are asking the public to go to their nearest ER or call 911.

Please remember to bring your health card.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System