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Hospital CEO comments further on COVID-19 readiness, patient procedures

Those self-isolating should seek clinical assessment over the phone, says Pierre Ozolins
2018-04-02 St Josephs General Hospital KS
St. Joseph's General Hospital file photo. Kris Svela for ElliotLakeToday

Following a joint announcement by the St. Joseph's General Hospital Elliot Lake (SJGHEL) and the Elliot Lake Family Health Team (ELFHT) Thursday about the creation of a COVID-19 Assessment Clinic in the city, ElliotLakeToday asked hospital CEO Pierre Ozolins for more information regarding local COVID-19 procedures and protocols.

"Community assessments will be done through the ELFHT COVID Assessment Clinic," Ozolins explained. "There is a telephone triage based on public health guidelines. People who are self-isolating should seek clinical assessment over the phone either by calling their primary care provider's office or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000)."

"If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options," he continued. "If someone is very ill and feels they are unable to safely stay at home, then they should call 911 as they normally would. They should also advise 911 of respiratory symptoms so that paramedics can protect themselves."

Regarding specialized equipment needed for COVID patients, Ozolins went on to say, "The hospital has three regular vents (ventilators), a transport vent and has recently placed an order for three additional vents."

We asked him if there is any local access to either Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine, two drugs traditionally used in malaria treatment. Some American doctors reportedly claim good outcomes in treating COVID patients with them.

"No comment on drugs, as this is a case by case basis with respect to treatment," Ozolins said. "The drugs you note have limited use and are not to be seen as a panacea drug or miracle cure for COVID-19."