Over 4,000 examined so far at Ottawa’s Brewer Park coronavirus assessment centre

More than 4,000 people have been examined at the COVID-19 assessment centre at Brewer Park Arena in Ottawa since it opened just under two weeks ago, according to an Ottawa Hospital emergency physician who helped plan the centre.

The Brewer Park assessment centre opened its doors on March 13 amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, as health officials raced to protect local emergency departments from the additional pressure of COVID-19 assessment and testing.

“We were able to significantly decrease the volumes in the emergency departments,” Dr. Andrew Willmore, the Ottawa Hospital’s medical director of emergency management, told reporters during a daily teleconference with local health officials on Thursday.

Willmore is also the lead physician of a clinical care group that coordinates heath-care planning for the entire region. Together with the Ottawa Hospital and CHEO, that group planned and supported the opening the Brewer Park Centre and a second centre just outside the city.

The assessment centre in Hawkesbury, just east of the national capital, opened earlier this week, Willmore said.

New care clinics ‘ready to be opened if need arises’

There have been rumblings this week that new assessment centres will soon open in Ottawa.

Willmore confirmed that new care clinics aimed at addressing more urgent care needs have been prepped in collaboration with the Queensway Carleton Hospital, Hôpital Montfort and Ontario’s ministry of health. Those centres are “ready to be opened if the need arises,” he said.

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