COVID-19 Assessment Centre
Accepting patients by appointment only, please call (807) 727- 7035.
Red Lake & Ear Falls Assessment Centre Q&A
What is the purpose of the Assessment Centre?
The Assessment Centre is a location for assessment and testing for COVID 19. Having an Assessment Centre in our community offers a dedicated and equipped space for testing and assessment by health care professionals who are trained and knowledgeable in the collection of COVID 19 specimens as well as on the testing and isolation clinical guidelines. It is important to have this space separate from the hospital and clinic to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID 19.
Who operates the Assessment Centre?
The Red Lake/ Ear Falls Assessment Centre is collaboratively operated and staffed by the Red Lake Family Health Team, Red Lake Medical Associates, Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital and the Northwest EMS. The Assessment Centre is appreciative of the support offered by many other community agencies and businesses including the Northwestern Health Unit, Red Lake Municipality, Red Lake Airport, David Sonifrank Contracting, Evolution Mine, Bearskin Airlines and ORNGE. We are also thankful to our RLMCMH Patient and Family Advisory committee for providing valuable feedback and suggestions on quality improvement.
Where is the Assessment Centre?
The Assessment Centre is located in Red Lake below the Red Lake Guardian Pharmacy off the right of the building. Location pictured below:
Who should get tested?
Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID 19 should get tested. See symptom list here. The Provincial Government has also outlined priority groups for asymptomatic testing, these include; those who live or work in congregate living settings, those who live or work in a setting that has a COVID 19 outbreak as identified by the local public health unit, staff and visitors of Long-Term Care and other groups as outlined by the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Our Assessment Centre can offer testing to all age groups.
How do I make an appointment?
Appointments can be made by calling (807) 727-7035 Monday through Friday 9am to 12pm. We apologize if you are not able to get through immediately and understand that this can be frustrating, if this happens to you, it is most likely because we are on the phone with another patient. We are not able to accept messages so please continue to call back.
What happens when I call?
You will speak with a staff member who will take down your information including your most up to date contact information. If you are experiencing symptoms, a nurse will call you back after the initial phone call, to complete a brief history and assessment. Once this is complete you will receive an appointment date and time from the nurse, as well as some information that we need to communicate to you for informed consent. Depending on your situation, the nurse will offer you instruction based on public health guidelines, on any precautions that you should take leading up to your test.
What happens when I come to the Assessment Centre?
Please come to the Assessment Centre right on time, we schedule close together to be as efficient as possible. Please wear a face covering when you come. Staff at the Assessment Centre will have on PPE. Drive in to the tent garage and roll down your window to speak with the nurse. The nurse will confirm your information and will review the test with you as well as answer any questions you may have. The nurse may ask, in some circumstances, to assess your symptoms further by having you come inside the building. Those who do not have a vehicle can still be tested and if needed, would be brought in the building as well. Typically, you will remain in your vehicle and once you are ready we will ask that you pull down your mask so that your nose is exposed. After the test is complete you will need to back out of the garage.
What happens to the specimen?
Once your test has been completed, it is stored in a fridge at the Assessment Centre and at the end of the day, all tests are delivered by cooler to the hospital laboratory. The hospital laboratory team works diligently to ensure that the tests and associated paperwork are completed thoroughly and verified prior to sending out. The lab also arranges all transport logistics to ensure each specimen gets to where it needs to go. The specimens leave Red Lake by Bearskin Airlines the next morning and arrive in Thunder Bay. Most specimens are then forwarded to Toronto for processing. On the weekend ORNGE provides transportation of regional specimens to Thunder Bay for processing. All specimens are processed at Ontario Public Health Laboratories or the National Microbiology Laboratory.
How do I get my results?
Results can be obtained on the Ontario Ministry COVID 19 test results webpage found here. Turn around times vary in range and can be anywhere from 3 to 7 days. If your result is positive you will receive a phone call from the Northwestern Health Unit and they will instruct you on next steps. It is helpful for contact tracing purposes if you routinely keep track of your close contacts.
The Red Lake/ Ear Falls Assessment Centre thanks our community members for all your efforts to follow Public Health guidelines and recommendations during this pandemic! For more information related to COVID 19 please visit the NWHU website or call the COVID 19 hotline at 1-866-468-2240.
When to go to the Emergency Room:
You should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department if you are currently experiencing:
- severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)
- severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)
- feeling confused or unsure of where you are
- losing consciousness
For infants under 3 months
Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department if your child:
- has a fever
- is having trouble breathing
- appears unwell
For infants and children over 3 months
Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department if your child has any of the following symptoms:
- fever longer than 7 days
- fever with a rash
- has a compromised (weakened) immune system with a fever
- breathing faster than usual or trouble breathing
- bluish skin colour
- not drinking enough fluids
- not waking up or not interacting
- is so irritable that they do not want to be held
- constant vomiting
After you have been tested for COVID-19, you can access your test results online.
If you are having trouble accessing your results online or do not have internet access, you should contact the assessment centre who ordered your test or your primary care provider.
Find an Assessment Center
Here you can search for other Assessment Centers in Ontario