West Carleton FHT is continuing to monitor and respond to the outbreak of the respiratory illness, COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. This page provides up-to-date information to our community relating to:
WCFHT's preparedness and response
Mental Health and Wellness
Links to important resources
Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Vaccine Health Canada has now authorized four COVID-19 vaccines in Canada made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The vaccines are being administered by public health in a phased approach with slight variations across each public health unit. Physicians at the WCFHT strongly encourage eligible patients to receive the first COVID-19 vaccine that is available to them. All of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada have been shown to provide protection from severe illness and death.
The following groups are now eligible for FIRST and SECOND doses.
The following groups are now eligible for THIRD doses. Note: Eligible residents must present a letter from their specialist or hospital program to receive a third dose.
Transplant recipients (including solid organ transplant and hematopoietic stem cell transplants);
Patients with hematological cancers (examples include lymphoma, myeloma, leukemia) on active treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy);
Recipients of an anti-CD20 agent (examples include rituximab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab).
Ottawa residents who meet these criteria can speak to their specialist or hospital program to ask for a letter to receive a third dose. The third dose of vaccine will be given at least two months after the second dose and will match the vaccine received as the second dose.Drop-in vaccinations are available to those eligible for a third dose at any community clinic, pop-up clinic, or neighbourhood vaccination hub in Ottawa during hours of operation.
Residents of long-term care homes and highest risk retirement homes will also be offered a third dose of vaccination at an interval of at least five months after the second dose. Ottawa Public Health is working with long-term care homes and highest risk retirement homes directly to offer a third dose to residents in those settings.
Ottawa Public Health has set up an Emergency Response Phone Line to answer your questions regarding COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine. You can call 613-580-6744 between the hours of 7:30 am to 6:30 pm Monday to Friday or on weekends from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to speak to a Public Health Nurse.
Frequently asked questions can also be asked using Ottawa Public Health's COVID-19 Virtual Assistant. Look to the bottom right corner on their webpage.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN ITS MY TURN TO GET THE VACCINE and where to go?
All residents ages 12 and older are eligible to schedule a first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult your public health unit for the most up to date information. We will also continue to provide updates by email, facebook, twitter, and our website, as they become available.
second dose information if you received pfizer or moderna
Ontarians 12 years or older who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) can now book their accelerated second dose appointment. Visit the provincial website to schedule your appointment.
second dose information if you received astrazeneca
If you received AstraZeneca as your first dose you have a choice of which vaccine to receive for your second dose. 1) You can receive a second AstraZeneca vaccine or 2) you can receive a mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine. Both options are offered at 8-weeks from receipt of the first dose.
CAN I GET MY COVID-19 VACCINE WITH OTHER IMMUNIZATIONS?
Patients should not have any immunization two (2) weeks BEFORE they get the COVID-19 vaccine or four (4) weeks AFTER. This is only for immunizations (eg. Adacel, Prevnar, Pneumovax, Hepatitis A/B, Shingrix etc.). This does NOT apply to other injection medications such as allergy shots, Lupron, Prolia, B12 etc.
can i choose which brand i get?
At this time, the type of vaccine you receive will depend on availability. Each vaccine has been shown to provide protection from severe illness and death.
i'm pregnant/breastfeeding. can i get the vaccine?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and are currently eligible to receive the vaccine, it is recommended that you consult your OB doctor to determine the best course of action for you. The following resource may provide some information to help you in your decision making. Click here for more information.
i have an illness or take a medication that is immunocompromising. can i get the vaccine?
If you have an illness or take medication that is immunocompromising and are currently eligible to receive the vaccine, it is recommended that you consult your specialist (e.g. Rheumatologist, Oncologist etc.) to determine the best course of action for you. If you have cancer, the following resource may provide some information to help you in your decision making. Click here for more information.
DO I REQUIRE ANTIBODY TESTING BEFORE RECEIVING THE VACCINE?
Antibody testing is not required before receiving the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for eligible individuals regardless of the results of their antibody test. See pamphlet on antibody testing.
IF WCFHT GETS THE VACCINE, HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED?
Eligible patients were contacted by email to attend our vaccine clinics with priority given to individuals at high risk in accordance with the provincial roll-out schedule. At this time, we are not sure whether we will be offering additional vaccination clinics at our office. We will continue to update patients via the newsletter and website as information becomes available.
It is strongly encouraged that patients receive the first vaccine that is offered to them. All patients 12 and older are now eligible.
CAN I BE ADDED TO A WAIT LIST?
We are not managing a wait list. Eligible patients will be contacted as more information becomes available.
how do i get a letter of exemption for a covid-19 vaccine?
Generally speaking, there are very few acceptable medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination. These include:
an allergist/immunologist-confirmed severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components (polyethylene glycol, tromethamine and polysorbate)
a diagnosed episode of myocarditis/pericarditis after receiving an mRNA vaccine.
If either of the above apply to you, you may send us a portal message with your reason for exemption and the name of your physician. If you are currently awaiting assessment from an allergist or immunologist, please provide the date of your scheduled appointment.
Please note: patients choosing not to get a COVID vaccine due to concerns related to side effects of the vaccine (outside of the confirmed allergies/diagnoses above) do not qualify for a medical exemption.
More Information For more information about vaccine effectiveness, possible side effects, and eligibility, please visit Ottawa Public Health's COVID-19 Vaccine page. The Ontario College of Family Physicians has also put together a great FAQ that answers many of the common questions we get from patients. See it here.
WCFHT's preparedness and response The West Carleton FHT is responding to developments of the novel coronavirus and we are taking measures to protect our patients and staff. As the situation is rapidly changing, our policies and booking guidelines have changed to keep in line with current recommendations. Your appointment may be cancelled, rescheduled, or changed to a phone or video appointment to help minimize potential spread of infection. When visiting the clinic, you will notice additional signage at our entrance and in our waiting room. Please read signs and follow applicable instructions when visiting our facility. You will be screened at the front door and asked to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask. Wearing a mask is mandatory for patients, staff, and visitors in public areas of the clinic.
Before arriving for your appointment, notify staff if you have travelled outside of Canada within 14 days of your appointment or if you have been in close contact with an individual who has. Please also notify us by phone if you or anyone else in your household have any cold/flu symptoms, including a cough, sore throat or fever.
If you have travelled outside of Canada or have come in contact with a person who has in the past 14 days or you have a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, please visit Ottawa Public Health's website for further instruction. We are not doing testing at this time.
Patients coming to the medical centre for any reason (appointment booking, forms or records pickup/drop-off etc.). are asked to call us BEFORE arriving, PLEASE DO NOT WALK IN.
We thank you for your cooperation.
Patient Portal We are encouraging patients to avoid non-urgent clinic visits and where possible, communicate with us via the WCFHT Patient Portal. Through the Portal, you can send questions or concerns about a medication or medical issue and a doctor or nurse will typically respond within three business days. Patients can also request medication renewals, view lab results, submit blood pressure readings, view upcoming appointments and print immunization records online. All patients of the WCFHT are encouraged to register.
For information about the Portal: click here. To register: click here. At the main page, select "Login" then "New User? Create Account." You will need to enter your OHIP card (health card number).
Mental Health and Wellness It's normal for situations like COVID-19 to affect your mental health and well-being. If you are feeling stress or concern, it is important to practice positive coping strategies. We have compiled a list of Ottawa-area resources that can help to support you and your loved ones during this difficult time. Visit: Mental Health Resources
Links to important resources In order to ensure residents have factual and up-to-date information, the Ontario Ministry of Health along with Ottawa Public Health have created new webpages and information for residents. Please visit these sites for the latest information.
Symptoms of the novel coronavirus, which can include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing (shortness of breath) are similar to other respiratory infections, including influenza. Symptoms can vary from person to person and may range from mild to severe. Other symptoms can include: sore throat, headaches, difficulty swallowing, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, sweats/chills or muscle aches, runny nose or nasal congestion. For more information on symptoms and treatment, visit the Government of Canada's COVID-19 webpage.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or been in close contact with a person who has tested positive, it is recommended that you get tested. For more information on testing criteria along with information on COVID-19 Care Clinics and Assessment Centres, please visit Ottawa Public Health's webpage.
From Ottawa Public Health: The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. In general, everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share your recent travel history with your health care provider
Our hours of operation have not changed, though some processes may look different.
Phone calls are answered 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Monday - Thursday and from 8:00 - 4:00 pm on Fridays.
Our doors are locked at 4:30 pm Monday - Thursday and 4:00 pm on Fridays. Patients will need to arrange document pick-up/drop-offs during these hours.
is the weekend urgent care clinic still open?
The weekend urgent care clinic continues to be available to registered patients for health issues that arise suddenly.
We are holding weekend urgent care appointments by telephone or video only (not in person) with a physician. This is an effort to ensure we can appropriately screen our patients and avoid putting our most vulnerable patients at risk. Between 10am to 1pm you may call 613-839-3271 and a receptionist will either book you a phone or video appointment with one of our physicians or transfer you to speak with a nurse who will assess your symptoms over the phone before discussing your issue with the doctor. We are not accepting walk-ins at this time.
can i make an appointment with my doctor or nurse practitioner?
We are continuing to offer medical appointments. If you call for an appointment you may be transferred to speak with a nurse who will assess your symptoms before discussing your issue with the doctor. Virtual visits (telephone or video) have been recommended for certain visit types which do not require significant physical assessments. Following the virtual visit, an office assessment may be requested if deemed necessary.
Our allied health professionals, including the dietitian, social workers, psychologists, and pharmacist, continue to offer appointments over the phone.
what should i expect for my upcoming telephone or video visit?
I have an in-office appointment coming up. What should i expect?
Patients visiting the medical centre will be screened upon arrival and asked to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask. Your temperature will be taken using a contactless thermometer.
Wearing a mask is mandatory for patients, staff, and visitors in public areas of the clinic. You are asked to bring your own mask.
Patients with a medical appointment will also be pre-screened by phone the day prior to their visit.
Note: if you are screened positive for any symptoms of COVID-19, be prepared to potentially have your appointment rescheduled. You may be required to follow-up with a triage nurse to further discuss your symptoms before being allowed entry.
i have a document to pick up. when should i come in?
Many patient documents are available on the Patient Portal. If it is a referral (physiotherapy, massage, orthotics etc.) or a sick note you have requested, your document may be available to view and print online.
Patients requiring to come to the medical centre for any reason (forms or records pickup/drop-off etc.) are asked to call us BEFORE arriving so we can have your documents ready. PLEASE DO NOT WALK IN.
Please note, our doors are locked at 4:30 pm Monday-Thursday and 4:00 pm on Fridays. Document pick-ups need to be arranged before this time.
how should i prepare my family for a return to school?
The decision of whether or not to send your child to school is difficult and depends on many factors, including your child’s health condition and your family’s ability to find alterate chilcare and home schooling resources.
Ottawa Public Health provides information on school reopening plans, screening tools for students along with information for parents and students. Visit Ottawa Public Health's webpage.