THUNDER BAY – COVID-19 – The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is shifting on the criteria for COVID-19 testing in the district.
The criteria for COVID-19 testing at the Assessment Centre of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was expanded late last week. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) continues to refer people to the assessment centre based on that criteria, Individuals with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at (807) 625-5900 or toll-free: 1-888-294-6630 to be assessed for potential testing.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever (38°C and over), cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose, chills, or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. vomiting or diarrhea).
Currently, the highest priority for testing includes:
- Symptomatic health care workers and staff providing direct and non-direct patient care
- Symptomatic residents and staff in long-term care facilities, retirement homes, and other communal living settings (e.g., correctional facilities, homeless shelters, group homes)
- Symptomatic travellers returning from outside Northwestern Ontario within the past 14 days
- Symptomatic members of remote, isolated, rural and/or indigenous communities
- Symptomatic first responders including police officers, firefighters and paramedics
- Symptomatic close contacts of confirmed or probable cases
TBDHU also encourages the following people to be tested:
- Symptomatic individuals (e.g., children, partners, or other household members) living with Health Care Workers or with staff who work in health care facilities
- Symptomatic critical infrastructure workers – this includes grocery stores, food services, maintenance and transportation workers, and
“Testing people for the COVID-19 virus is a very important strategy in this pandemic, not only to assess how many cases are in our communities, but also so public health can quickly follow-up with the individual with COVID-19 as well as others who may have been exposed to the virus and reduce any ongoing spread. Working with our health system partners, we continue to advocate for the ongoing expansion of testing and testing capacity in this area”, says Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health.
There is now an Online Portal to access COVID-19 test results directly from the provincial laboratory system. This portal was launched on Sunday by the Government of Ontario and offers fast and secure access to test results on your computer and mobile device.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
If individuals in self-isolation develop symptoms, they should contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at (807) 625-5900 or toll-free: 1-888-294-6630.
For additional information about COVID-19 and the TBDHU area, please see the TBDHU Website and social media channels. Additional updates will also be provided as needed.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.