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COVID: One Year On

March 26, 2021   ·   0 Comments

It’s an anniversary most of us would rather not have reason to mark, but despite the challenges the last twelve months have brought to the community, community efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 should be remembered.

On Tuesday, March 23, Alliston’s Stevenson Memorial Hospital commemorated the first anniversary of their COVID-19 assessment Centre.

To date, the Centre has completed more than 18,000 COVID-19 tests, equivalent to almost half the population of New Tecumseth.

Like any assessment centre, there were a few wrinkles that have been ironed out along the way. Hours of operation have evolved along with our present pandemic reality, tests have shifted from a first come first served basis to an online booking system, and the clinic’s locations have changed too to meet demand.

But the demand continues and so do the efforts of the assessment centre and all Stevenson staff who keep it running.

 “Through hot summer days to the cool fall Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) were on hand to surveil the community and were thankful for plenty of water, cooling/warming vests and a trailer for staff to take breaks in,” said the Hospital in a statement. “The Centre is now outfitted with a permanent structure that can be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer.

“On the Assessment Centre’s highest volume days, the lineup of cars waiting to be tested went along Fletcher Crescent and continued down King Street. In one day, the SMH staff swabbed over 400 individuals, as it was a first come first serve operation. Since the switch to an online booking system, the Centre now averages 150 swabs per operating day, which has helped the flow of the entire operation.”

Added Jessica Reid, Administration Clerk for the COVID-19 assessment Centre: “One thing that has remained constant throughout the year and the evolution of the Assessment Centre at Stevenson is that it’s always a team effort. Staff from all areas of the hospital, including the Emergency Department, Day Surgery, Health Information, Environmental Services, the Laboratory and more pulled together to fill roles such as runners, registration support, COVID-19 test conductors/swabbers and more.”

SMH says staff never hesitated to “go above and beyond” to provide this service to the community, and even decorated the premises as holidays approached.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at SMH runs every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of statutory holidays like Good Friday, coming up on April 2.

“We have a very dedicated team who are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure we are meeting the needs of our community,” said Vicki Hoffman, Director of Paramedical Services and Coordinator of the COVID-19 Assessment Centre. “It has been amazing to see our staff come together to provide this service in an ever-changing landscape. I know they are proud to support our community with COVID-19 testing.”

To date, New Tecumseth has seen a total of 894 cases of COVID-19, 15 of which have proved fatal. 816 cases are now marked a recovered. Between March 16 and March 23, the community has seen 46 new cases of COVID-19, 31 of which are attributed to close contact and community acquisition.

By Brock Weir


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