Community responds well to COVID-19 precautions taken at Kamsack medical centre

The changes implemented at the Assiniboine Valley Medical Centre at Kamsack due to the coronavirus pandemic “have been working very smoothly,” according to the Centre’s senior physician.

“Everyone seems to be liking the situation,” Dr. Parveen Kumar, the senior physician, said last week when discussing the changes that came into effect in March as a way of arresting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Kumar said that to date no one has been turned away as a result of the precautions taken as patients enter the building.

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Effective March 18, the medical centre no longer accepted walk-in patients, Corinne Olson, executive director of the Assiniboine Valley Health and Wellness Foundation, explained.

Currently patients telephone the Centre to consult with a doctor, and if the doctor decides he needs to see a patient an appointment is scheduled, Olson explained. “We still have no walk-ins, but when a patient arrives at an appointed time, he or she goes through a screening process, similar to the screening process when entering the hospital where a series of questions are asked to determine if the person has travelled out of province or has been in contact with a suspected case of the virus.”

Patients are asked to enter the Centre alone, she said. The patient is masked and has access to a sanitation station, and then is taken to see the doctor.

“Unfortunately, we can’t be fully functional, but we’ve had no issues and patients have been receptive and understanding,” Olson said, encouraging persons to go the Internet site for up-to-date COVID-19 information.

Patients’ temperatures are taken and they wear masks and if it is determined that a person has a fever or is coughing, he or she would be turned back and told to go to the COVID Assessment Site that is set up at the OCC Hall, Kumar said. “So far no one has been turned back with suspected symptoms.”

Kumar explained how each of the physicians at the Centre spends time at the OCC Hall where to date no positive cases have been identified. He said a person who suspects contact with the virus is asked to contact his or her doctor, go to the OCC Hall for assessment or phone 811.

“We plan to continue operating the Centre like this until at least the end of the year,” she said.

Working at the Centre is a full complement of medical staff which includes four full-time doctors. Working with Dr. Kumar are Dr. Maghar Shah, Dr. Ovie Albert and Dr. Adebisi Alayo.  In addition, the Centre employees Corinne Olson as their executive director and three support staff.

“We continue fighting this virus using common sense and logic,” Kumar said.