b'PRINCE ALBERT COVID ASSESSMENT CENTRESCUGOG TOWNSHIPSDrs. Jensen and Wilson, and the four laid the groundwork for the local as-FANTASTIC MEDICAL COMMUNITY sessment centre. North Durham has a very passionate group of physicians, AND HEALTHCARE TEAMandifthepandemicdidnotprove that, the dedication that resulted from The past two and a half years have proven the resilience and dedicationthe fire in the Port Perry Hospital, a our healthcare workers endured, to keep us as safe as possible. few years ago, certainly did. The ad-vantage is that our physicians work It is surprising how many people are unaware that the COVID assessmentwheretheylive,consequently,they centre, located in Prince Albert Hall, is still being used regularly. The centre isknow the needs of the community.a collaborative effort to provide testing and assessment for COVID, for theAfterscoutingseverallocations, residents of North Durham. PrinceAlbertHallwasselected.It has separate entrances and exits, and T he centre was opened in Augustrentconditionofthepandemic,asa large parking area. You will recall, of 2020, in response to a need forwell as outlining precautions peopleat the time, people were reluctant to testinginthisarea.Priortoitscould take. drive to Ajax or Oshawa for testing, as opening,residentshadtodrivetoThe two biggest challenges facedthe numbers there were much higher Oshawa,Claringtonor Ajax,whichintheearlydaysofthepandemic,than ours were. They were concerned was simply unacceptable. Aside fromwere the unknown and miscommu- about contracting the virus.the distance, if people had contractednication.Questionslike,aremasksEveryoneIspoketoconfirmed COVID, they should certainly not beeffective, how is the virus transmit- the team involved in the assessment sitting in a car with their loved ones. ted, and can I catch it from food, werecentre, is second to none. The nurs-In the early days of the pandemic,very real and terrifying. ingandadministrationstaffwent seeing a family physician in personDrs.BrownandWraymetwithPlease turn to page 22was difficult. The assessment centre wasabletoprovidein-personcare forpeoplewhowereunwellfrom COVID.Youcanimaginetherelief feltinthealreadystressed,emer-gency department of the hospital.The original team, responsible for getting the assessment centre off the ground, included Drs. Carlye Jensen, JenniferWilson,MerrileeBrown and Rebecca Wray. Drs. Jensen and Wilsonwerehonouredwiththe prestigious Pillars of the Pandemic awardfromtheDallaLanaSchool of Public Health, for their structured and immediate response to the pan-demic outbreak.The Ministry of Health contacted physicians in authority or with lead-ershippositions,andaskedthem todevelopaplantodealwiththe pandemicinthecommunity.Drs. Jensen and Wilson created a public newsletter,availableonlineandin print. Its purpose was to inform theDr. Ravi Datar (left), nurse Tracy Brown and receptionist Mel Richard at the COVID community of the status of the cur- Assessment Centre in Prince Albert.FOCUS - SEPTEMBER 202221'