Enhanced COVID-19 Assessment System Launched in Peterborough Area

Written by Communications, March 20, 2020

In-Home Assessments and COVID-19 Testing

Now Available by Referral to Improve Case Detection and Patient Care

Today local healthcare partners launched an improved way to assess and test residents for COVID-19 who live in the City and County of Peterborough, and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations.

The new model, developed by Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough Paramedics and Peterborough Public Health, now includes in-home assessment and testing for COVID-19 for residents who cannot travel to one of the existing assessment centres in Peterborough, or who should remain self-isolated.

Residents who have recently travelled and have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath are asked to contact their doctor or nurse practitioner or consult with a nurse at Peterborough Public Health by calling 705-743-1000 or emailing covid19@peterboroughpublichealth.ca. Based on the results of the screening, patients who require further assessment will either be referred to Peterborough Public Health for testing or to Peterborough Paramedics who will dispatch a special unit of paramedics to perform the testing in their home.

“We are very proud that our paramedics can now bring COVID-19 assessment and testing to residents in their homes upon referral by local healthcare providers,” said Randy Mellow, Chief of Peterborough Paramedics. “This new system will improve case detection while serving the needs of patients who are immobile or too sick to leave their homes.”

“I’m pleased that we’re able to activate this approach right as the first local cases are starting to make themselves

known,” explained Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “I also want to remind people that 80 percent of people ill with COVID-19 can manage with self-care only and that not everyone will be tested.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that this new system also provides family doctors and nurse practitioners a way to help them keep patients at home and get the testing and assessment they need.

Residents who require urgent care, such as breathing difficulties, are asked to seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or going to the emergency department. Peterborough Regional Health Centre has set up an assessment centre on site to test people for COVID-19 by appointment only.

Those who are concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to take the online self-assessment tool for COVID-19 available at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca entitled “Do I Have COVID-19?”

For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence Communications Manager 705-743-1000, ext. 391