COVID, Cold and Flu Clinic in Barrie aims to steer patients away from RVH ER

The clinic is by appointment only and has no waiting room

Is there a doctor in the house?

There is, but sometimes booking an appointment with your general practitioner can be difficult, and for many in the Barrie area without a family doctor you are limited to a walk-in health clinic or the hospital emergency room.

Now there is another option.

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is operating a COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic at 29 Sperling Drive in Barrie for people experiencing specific symptoms, such as those related to COVID-19, as well as strep, bronchitis, cold, flu, sinus infection as well as vomiting and diarrhea.

“It opened a couple of times throughout the pandemic just to ensure we had access to patients that require this type of care,” explains Sharon Ramagnano, the Director of Operations Emergency, Critical Care, Trauma & Covid Assessment and Vaccination Centre. “Officially, it’s been open as of Nov. 2021, and in the previous year it was open for a sporadic time and then closed, and now we have a need for it to be ongoing.”

The clinic is open Monday to Friday from 12 noon until 8 p.m. and on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. An appointment can be booked through the RVH website.

Something to keep in mind, there is no waiting room at the clinic.

“You will get a pager and wait in your car by the door to come in,” says Ramagnano. “The team will page you within a few minutes, maybe 5 to 10 minutes maximum and you will be brought into an assessment room that’s a dedicated room for you.”

“You will be seen by a nurse, a nurse practitioner, or a physician, and then treated and discharged from there. The entire visit is quite efficient and expedited, so you don’t have a long time to wait.”

The clinic is funded by the Ministry of Health.

Ramagnano says anyone who is experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain should absolutely seek emergency care.

The future of a clinic such as this remains uncertain.

“We are just trying to understand the sort of long-term plan for these types of clinics. I know Ontario Health is very interested in ensuring this type of clinic remains for communities throughout the province,” says Ramagnano. “At this point in time, we are looking to continue the rest of this year and into next spring.

Ramagnano says to ensure a patient gets the care they need, it’s always best to try and contact your family practitioner.

“That is the best care for you to have that continuity of care, but if you are unable to do so, please access our clinic.”

Banner image: COVID, Cold and Flu Clinic at 29 Sperling Drive, Barrie (Barrie 360)