Please take a few minutes to carefully read these important information in this COVID-19 update from our clinic.
Happy New Year! We want to support you in taking charge of your health in 2021. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality care for our patients. As cases of COVID-19 illness continues to rise in the city and throughout the provinces, we would like to remind patients that our response to the pandemic is ongoing. We are continuously monitoring the situation and making changes to protect patients and staff. Here’s what you can expect from our clinic during this time:
- The majority of appointments are being conducted virtually, by either phone or video. Following the virtual visit, an office assessment may be required if deemed necessary by your provider.
- Many of our staff are working from home. If you have scheduled a telephone appointment, please ensure you have removed any “call blocking” features on your phone. Staff may be calling from “blocked” or “unknown” numbers.
- Our weekend clinic is being conducted by phone or video (not in person) with a physician between 9 am – 12 pm on Saturday’s only. You may call the clinic starting at 8 am Saturday morning to book an appointment for urgent care.
- Please do not come into the clinic without an appointment. If you need to pick-up/drop-off a document please call the office in advance as you must be screened prior to entry. Do not walk-in.
- We are following the legislation set out by governing bodies and we must abide by the rules and regulations they set – meaning, some things might be different than you are used to.
In December, Health Canada authorized the first two COVID-19 vaccines in Canada made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Primary care (which includes the Family First Health Centre) will not be administering these vaccines at this time. The vaccines will be administered by public health in a phased approach beginning with long term care, retirement homes, hospitals, and other high risk communities and occupations. Family First encourages eligible patients to get immunized with an available COVID-19 vaccine, when possible.
For information about vaccine effectiveness and possible side effects, eligibility, and who should not get the vaccine, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Page.
Ottawa Public Health has also set up an Emergency Response Phone Line to answer your questions regarding COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine. You can call 613-580-6744 between the hours of 7:30 am to 6:30 pm between Monday to Friday or on weekends from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to speak to a Public Health Nurse
Do You Have Symptoms of COVID-19?
Ottawa Public Health has advised that any person experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, must seek testing or complete the online assessment tool for further instructions. Please do not come to the clinic if you have symptoms. If you call with symptoms, we will recommend that you follow Ottawa Public Health Guidelines and recommendations.
Access to Our Clinic
Our clinic will be closing the doors, through the beauty section, to reduce foot traffic. Please enter the clinic through the doors near the toy section of the Superstore. Please only come to the clinic if required for a necessary scheduled appointment. All other questions can be answered over the phone or through the Health Myself portal (if applicable).
Self-Screening Before Coming to the Clinic
If you are required to come to the clinic for a scheduled appointment at the request of a provider, you MUST be screened before entry. We are following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health which states that we must do active screening. Patients must be screened over the phone prior to their appointment and all patients and visitors(caregivers) must be screened again by the clinic staff at point of entry for symptoms and exposure history on the day of your scheduled appointment. We will attempt to contact you prior to your appointment. If we cannot reach you, please give us a call back. Otherwise, your appointment may be changed to a virtual visit or cancelled entirely. We all must do our part.
Health Myself and Electronic Means
Since the implementation of the stay at home order, we are using electronic means to get you the documents you need. We might:
- fax prescriptions to your preferred pharmacy;
- send referrals (physiotherapy, massage therapy, etc.) to you through the portal;
- send you referral information through the portal;
- fax a requisition for blood work to the lab; or
- fax a requisition for diagnostic imaging to the imaging facility.
Please note: there are some facilities not yet accepting electronic faxes. This means that we might refer you to a place that is different than you are used to.
The Health Myself portal allows patients to:
- book and cancel appointments online;
- receive documents from Family First staff get simple reminders from your doctor; and
- send a photo or information at the request of your provider.
As a user of the portal, you must commit to checking your messages on a regular basis.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.