Ontario launched an enhanced and interactive self-assessment tool. The new screening tool takes the public through a series of questions to inform those who are concerned they may have contracted COVID-19 in a matter of seconds.
This data will help inform Ontario’s ongoing response in order to keep individuals and families safe. “I encourage anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms or may have travelled outside of Canada to first self-isolate and then take a few seconds to complete our new online assessment tool,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. It provides the province with real-time data on the number and geography of users who are told to seek care, self-isolate or to monitor for symptoms
It was developed with guidance from Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “By answering a few questions, Ontarians will be able to make informed choices about what to do, while the province collects real-time data to enhance our ongoing response,” Elliott said.
Individuals will be guided through a series of questions and, based on their responses, users are provided clear direction on what action to take. These next steps could include: continue to practice social distancing; self-isolate; call a primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario; or in the case of symptoms such as severe difficulty breathing or severe chest pain, call 911 or go to the emergency department.
Those people whose self-assessment shows they may have COVID-19 will be advised to call their primary care provider, who can conduct a virtual assessment by phone or other technology. People can also call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 (24/7), where they can speak to a health care professional about their symptoms. As announced last week, the province is rapidly expanding service capacity to ensure timely responses and has increased Telehealth’s line capacity to more than 2,000 to help manage the high daily call volume.
Some individuals may be referred by their primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario to one of the province’s 58 assessment centres for an in-person assessment based on the virtual assessment. These centres, which operate by referral only, use innovative care models, including in some cases drive-thru testing.
Ontario will be establishing additional assessment centres across the province. The centres are located in dedicated spaces, which will facilitate high-quality care to protect broader patient populations. The 58 centres that have already opened are in several municipalities across the province.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.