It has been one year since the opening of COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH). Since March 23, 2020 the Centre has completed 18,000 COVID-19 tests, which is almost half of the population of New Tecumseth. The Centre has truly evolved to support the local community as the waves of the virus continue to impact individuals and families.
A lot has changed within the Centre since the beginning, including the operation hours and dates, the switch from a first come first serve operation to an online appointment booking system and a new structure to help withstand the elements. Through hot summer days to the cool fall, SMH staff were on hand to surveil the community and were thankful for plenty of water, cooling/warming vests and a trailer for staff to take breaks in. The Centre is now outfitted with a permanent structure that can be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer.
On the Assessment Centre’s highest volume days, the lineup of cars waiting to be tested went along Fletcher Crescent and continued down King Street. In one day, the SMH staff swabbed over 400 individuals, as it was a first come first serve operation. Since the switch to the online booking system, the Centre now averages 150 swabs per operating day, which has helped the flow of the entire operation.
“One thing that has remained constant throughout the year and the evolution of the Assessment Centre at Stevenson is that it’s always been a team effort,” says Jessica Reid, Admin Clerk, COVID-19 Assessment Centre at SMH. “Staff from all areas of the hospital including the Emergency Department, Day Surgery, Health Information, Environmental Services, the Laboratory and more pulled together to fill roles such as runners, registration support, COVID-19 test conductors/swabbers and more.
Through all of the obstacles and all of the hard work, the team works extremely well together (including the security team onsite) and is proud to support this community.
“We are a happy Assessment Centre family here at Stevenson,” adds Reid.
The staff have never hesitated to go above and beyond to provide this service to our community and even deck the Centre out with decorations during the holidays to ease the minds of the patients and enhance their experience as they are coming through.
“We have a very dedicated team who are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure we are meeting the needs of our community,” says Vicki Hoffman, Director of Paramedical Services and Coordinator of the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at SMH. “It has been amazing to see our staff come together to provide this service in an ever-changing landscape. I know they are proud to support our community with COVID-19 testing,” she adds.
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at SMH runs every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that the Assessment Centre will be closed on Friday, April 2 for Good Friday.
All individuals must book an appointment ahead of time and meet the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for testing. Appointments can be made online: stevensonhospital.ca (click on COVID-19 Assessment Centre feature) or by calling (249) 501-0383.
For more information, please visit www.stevensonhospital.ca