To relieve some of the pressure on emergency rooms overloaded with the second wave of H1N1, Peel Region opened its first flu assessment centre on Wednesday.
Residents can now get advice, see a doctor and even receive treatment. So far, the operation has been a success.
“I went to five different walk-in clinics this morning and they were all packed. So I said, ‘Forget it. I’ll wait for the flu assessment centre.’ It’s wonderful,” described parent Chi Tran.
The clinic is located at the Frank McKechnie Community Centre, which also houses a library, gym and pool.
The region’s medical officer of health says people visiting the assessment centre go through a private entrance and staff members follow strict guidelines to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
“It’s spread through droplets, not through airborne infection,” said Dr. David Mowatt.
“Outside a radius of about two metres, there’s very little chance of any infection. Within the facility, we’re taking very great care about masking and gowning and cleaning.”
The region’s second centre opens in Brampton on Thursday.
The opening coincides with news an elementary school education assistant from Lindsay, Ontario, died on Tuesday after a brief illness.
Jacqueline Francis, 40, was en route to a Toronto hospital at the time. And although absenteeism has been high at Central Senior Public School where she worked, health officials haven’t yet confirmed whether or not she had the H1N1 virus.
Francis worked with special needs kids in grades 7 and 8 and had been with the school for 17 years.