Alongside the outbreak at the Barrie Memorial Hospital, which has now infected 17 patients and 31 employees and is far from contained, the Ormstown Medical Centre (OMC) is now dealing with a separate COVID-19 outbreak. The team at the medical centre confirmed the outbreak in a statement issued on Sunday, Dec. 20, while suggesting that despite a significant reduction in staff due to the virus, they will continue to provide medical services to the community.
The number of cases related to this outbreak has not been released, however Dr. Catherine Bélanger, the COVID-19 coordinator for the Haut-Saint-Laurent Local Health Network and family physician at the OMC, suggests the number is very, very small. “We are cracking down hard to nip it in the bud,” she says, while noting the public health authority has described their outbreak management plan as excellent.
Bélanger maintains that patient interactions with the team have been deemed low-risk due to the precautions that have been in place since the start of the pandemic. Despite this, she says “patients that had more prolonged contact with infected individuals have been identified and will be contacted by our team, out of an abundance of caution.”
According to the statement released by the OMC team, “it may be more difficult to get through to the clinic in the coming weeks and most visits will be via teleconsultation unless a doctor decides otherwise.”
The doctors are also asking for the public’s help at this time, and request that patients delay any non-urgent requests such as medication renewals as pharmacists are able to prolong these while patients wait to see a doctor. They are also asking that requests for blood tests or medical forms be put off until the new year. “This will allow us to concentrate our efforts on more urgent needs while we get through this situation.”
Reminder not to gather
As the number of cases in the Haut-Saint-Laurent and surrounding municipalities continues to rise, the doctors are imploring their patients and the population in general to follow all of the public health guidelines over this holiday season.