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Quebec, Ont. hospital to launch COVID-19 clinics to ease pressure on ERs


As hospitals brace for an influx of potential COVID-19 cases, health-care providers are working on initiatives to test and treat patients outside the emergency room.

Michael Garron Hospital is preparing to open a screening clinic for the novel coronavirus at a nearby family medical centre in east-end Toronto later this month.

The executive director of the South East Toronto Family Health Team says the clinic will have 14 rooms where patients will be isolated, assessed and tested.

Stephen Beckwith says the clinic is considering ways to expand its capacity while minimizing the risk of transmission, such as "drive-through" testing, which will allow patients to be tested without leaving their cars, and virtual checkups.

Beckwith says the goal is to ease the burden on emergency room doctors and prevent the virus from spreading within the hospital.

Quebec's health minister says the province plans to designate medical clinics for people who suspect they have COVID-19 symptoms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2020.


The Canadian Press