After three years and three different locations, the COVID-19 Assessment Centre – now called the Guelph COVID, Cold, Flu Care Clinic – will close its doors on Friday March 31. After seeing over 184,000 patients in the course of the last 36 months, and expanding beyond COVID-19 to cold and flu last fall, the workload of managing these viruses now moves back to the regular order of family doctors and walk-in clinics.
“The COVID, Cold, Flu Care Clinic played a significant role in meeting the needs of the
community during the pandemic by providing community residents a much-needed alternative to the Emergency Department and primary care,” said Marianne Walker, President and CEO of the Guelph General Hospital in a media statement.
“As care transitions back to community providers, I’d like to thank the over 100 team members from Guelph General Hospital, Guelph Family Health Team and other partner organizations for their valuable service during some very difficult times.”
The announcement comes at a moment when things seem to be relatively quiet on the COVID-19 front locally.
According to the latest update from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, the moving rate of confirmed cases is currently 25.7 per 100,000 and the test positivity rate is 13.6 per cent, both of which are falling after recent increases. The number of confirmed cases is now down to 104, which is one of the few times that the number of cases as been anywhere close to going under 100 since November 2021.
A total of 206 people have died from COVID-19 in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region.
The move to close the Guelph assessment centre comes just a few days after Waterloo Region Public Health closed their own COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic on Sportsworld Drive in Kitchener, just eight months after the Region opened the location.
By comparison, the Guelph clinic has been in near continuous operation for three years now after opening in the days following the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. The first location was on Delhi Street near Guelph General Hospital, but accessibility concerns forced a move to the Victoria Road Recreation Centre just a few weeks later. That September, the centre moved to its final location at 400 Southgate Road where its existed ever since despite concerns about access to such an important operation for those who don’t drive.
“Patients can receive care for COVID-19, cold and flu symptoms from local Guelph Family
Health Team Physicians and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics as well as primary health providers, walk-in clinics and pharmacies in the community,” added Ross Kirkconnell, executive director of Guelph Family Health Team in a statement.