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HPEPH Supports Expansion of COVID-19 Testing Strategy

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/May 26, 2020 – 10:15 am

To increase the number of COVID-19 tests being conducted across the province, the Ontario Ministry of Health has expanded testing criteria. This will allow all Ontarians who have even mild symptoms of the virus or who are concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19 to access testing.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) and local assessment centres have expanded their referral process in accordance with the provincial directive and are supporting all interested individuals to access testing by appointment. Residents of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties are requested not to go to an assessment centre without an appointment, please call ahead and pre-register to avoid lengthy wait times.

Individuals with no symptoms of illness who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or who may be at risk of exposure through their employment (i.e. front-line workers) are encouraged to contact their local assessment centre directly to book an appointment for testing:

  • For Bancroft, Belleville, or Trenton assessment centres, call 613-961-5544 (to avoid long distance charges in the Bancroft area, call 613-332-2825 ext. 2222).
  • For the Picton assessment centre, call or text (text preferred) 613-813-6864.
  • All assessment centres are currently operating between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Picton is open 7 days a week, all other centres are open weekdays only.

Individuals with at least one symptom of COVID-19 or who have or questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their health care provider, the HPEPH COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 / 1-800-267-2803, or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Residents are reminded that receiving a negative test result offers no future protection against contracting COVID-19 and should not be cause to reduce vigilance. Regardless of test results, all residents are reminded to continue to self-monitor for new symptoms, practise physical distancing whenever leaving home, maintain good hand hygiene, and avoid gatherings of more than five people. The Province of Ontario also recommends individuals wear a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible. In addition, all residents are advised to stay home when ill and seek assessment if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time.

Visit the HPEPH website, hpePublicHealth.ca for current information and answers to many questions about COVID-19. Individuals who still have questions after reviewing web content can call the COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 / 1-800-267-2803.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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Media Contact:

Veronica Montgomery, Foundational Standards Manager
vmontgomery@hpeph.ca

Karen La Rose, Communications Coordinator
klarose@hpeph.ca

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.