Corinne Wicks is most often the person who greets people coming into the testing centre set up inside the Winchester Lion’s Club building. Wicks is one of eight staff members from the Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) assigned to serve at the testing centre and her official job title is Flow Coordinator, the person who welcomes people as they come in and helps guide them through the first steps of the assessment process.
“I think we were all a little nervous, but this is what we signed up for,” stated Wicks, a 27-year veteran staff member at WDMH, who works as a hospital technician, responsible for reprocessing and sterilizing surgical instruments and other equipment.
Wicks was one of the first to volunteer at WDMH for assignment to the testing centre and be part of the “front line” in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a great team here,” Wicks stated, “and it’s nice we can provide some reassurance to those who are worried or ill.”
At the testing centre
Since the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), in partnership with WMDH, opened the COVID-19 testing centre on Albert Sreet in Winchester, about 120 people have gone in for assessment whether or not they have the new coronavirus. Attendance at the centre is by referral appointment. Anyone who wonders if they have COVID-19 must first take the online self-assessment at the provincial government website, then follow up with a call to the Telehealth number and answer the questions from one of the duty nurses who will then determine if referral to the testing centre is necessary.
People who are essential service workers, involved in health care or are a household member of a healthcare worker, are urged to get a referral to the assessment centre to be sure they are in good health.
The provincial government has provided an updated list of symptoms to look for as possible indicators of COVID-19. They include: fever, pneumonia-like symptoms such as a worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, frequent sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, new smell or taste problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.
Anyone with severe cases of any of these symptoms, especially breathing problems, should either call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 go to www.eohu.ca.