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With ERs flooded, LHSC’s COVID, Cold & Flu Clinic opens for kids

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London’s COVID, cold and flu assessment center will start caring for sick children on Wednesday, a strategy hospital officials hope will ease the strain on overburdened emergency rooms.

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London’s COVID, cold and flu assessment center will start caring for sick children on Wednesday, a strategy hospital officials hope will ease the strain on overburdened emergency rooms.

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The COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic, located in a building on the London Health Science Center Victoria Hospital property, offers appointments for children on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-8pm

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The clinic will see and evaluate children with symptoms of COVID, cold and flu such as fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose and sore throat.

“This is another opportunity for our families and community to access care,” Victoria Hospital President Deborah Wiseman said Tuesday.

People may consider making an appointment at the clinic if their child does not have a GP, is at high risk of serious complications from respiratory illness, has worsening symptoms, or has been told by a medical professional to visit the center the LHSC said in a statement.

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The assessment center, which moved in September from the Carling Heights community center to Building 24 at the corner of Commissioners and Western counties roads, became a COVID, cold and flu care clinic. covid only in early December. At that time, he only saw adult patients by appointment.

The clinic offers patients COVID-19 evaluation and laboratory tests, cold and flu evaluation, and medical counseling that could include advice on next steps or treatment, including care at home, follow-up with a care provider primary care or an emergency room visit.

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The center can also prescribe the COVID-19 antiviral medication Paxlovid for eligible adults.

The testing center can now see about 100 adults a day and is booking about 45 percent of its total, Wiseman said. The center has the capacity to serve about 50 children with its Monday and Wednesday night openings, but will adjust to add more spaces if necessary, Wiseman said.

COVID-19 assessment centers opened at the beginning of the pandemic to test and treat people with symptoms of the disease. Central London, like those in other communities in the province, has since been expanded to test people with symptoms of other respiratory viruses.

COVID-19 cases in London and Middlesex County have risen steadily after declines in October and November. Other respiratory illnesses, notably the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), have raged earlier and with more intensity than in other years, putting pressure on adult and pediatric emergency rooms across the province.

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Facing an onslaught of sick children arriving at its emergency room this fall, London Children’s Hospital was forced to postpone some non-urgent surgeries in November to preserve inpatient capacity. Weeks ago, LHSC reported that its inpatient volume at Children’s Hospital reached 120 percent.

Children’s Hospital, also located on LHSC’s Victoria campus, added a pediatric intensive care annex late last month with space for eight additional patients.

Wiseman expects the pressure on LHSC ERs to continue through the remainder of the respiratory virus season.

“Our emergency department wait times on the adult side of the operation continue to be challenging,” he said Tuesday.

“On the pediatric side, we are seeing extensions of the fall surge. Influenza A has been reduced a bit. We are sitting at approximately 80 percent capacity in our pediatric inpatient beds, but we anticipate additional COVID volumes in the coming weeks and still managing high but stable RSV volumes.”

Pediatric appointments at the COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic must be made online at or by calling 519-685-8500, ext. 75503.

The clinic is open seven days a week from 9:20 am to 6:30 pm for adult appointments.


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