MARCH 24, 2020
COVID-19 Update for Elgin County Primary Care

New PCA Co-Chair - Dr. Jillian Toogood
As Dr. Tenbergen is on maternity leave now, Dr. Jillian Toogood from East Elgin Family Health Centre has agreed to be Co-Chair of the Primary Care Alliance! Please let either of us know ( or if you have questions or concerns.

COVID-19 Status Update - ELGIN

  • 1 cases in Elgin (now in ICU)
  • Under-reporting/under-identification due to shortage of swabs - only testing hospitalized patients and a few other groups previously identified (includes health care workers if you or your staff are symptomatic).
  • There is person-to-person transmission in Toronto confirmed Mar 15, we are estimated to be 7-10 days behind them.
  • Health Care Provider work recommendations:  As of Mar 13 – if returning from travel and SYMPTOMATIC as a health care provider. Do not return to work. self-isolate. If you are an ASYMPTOMATIC health care provider you are considered essential and you need to work and self-monitor and report symptoms immediately.

STEGH Needs Your Help
You likely have swabs in your office used for other purposes. Please check and drop off to the ER with a business card/sticky note saying who they are from. Please let me know if you contribute swabs so we can keep track. There are several types of swabs that can be used for COVID-19. While you are checking, please have someone in your office update this google sheets document for your inventory of supplies. Hopefully in the coming days this will start to be managed more centrally

Preferred Swab:

Acceptable Alternative Swab:
Roche PCR Media Uniswab Kit order #: 300295 (vendor catalogue 07958021190)

Assessment Centre Will Need Physicians
Only 5 physicians have responded to this call for assistance! Patty Aldrich at STEGH is using this link to add your name/details to express interest in working in the Assessment Centre. This is paid at $170/hr or $220/hour on weekend with new OHIP billing codes.

Virtual First

Please ensure your office remains open and available to address patient concerns or prescription refills.. We should be able to manage many COVID-19 and regular medical care inquiries and concerns through our offices. If your office is not available for some reason, please let me know. If you are not sure how to maintain access for your patients, please reach out and we can help you troubleshoot.There are some reports that some family physicians offices are closed or unavailable but I am not aware of any as of this time.

Please provide as many visits as possible virtually (by phone or by e-visit). Please answer THIS SURVEY so I can get a sense of how many
Family Physicians in Elgin are able to provide virtual visits,
and who needs help at this point. If you need help text or email me with how far you've got and I will help you. Obviously many visits are still necessary in person (i.e. requiring a physical exam and we should still be providing these).
The first step for physicians to get set up with OTN for e-visits or e-consult if you do not have access yet.
STEP 1 – get a ONEID . This will allow you to gain access to many things, not just OTN for e-consult, and e-visits, so it is a good idea anyway.

OntarioMD Live Webinars on Virtual Tools

OntarioMD has been conducting live webinars which have been archived and there is one more live one coming up MAR 26 12-1 . See links to all of these HERE if you missed them.

Community Support

The St. Thomas Bible Baptist Church would like to donate prepared meals to healthcare workers. I know that some of you and your teams are working around the clock right now and could likely use this support right now and also aware that many front line workers will be in need. Please contact Johnny Yeomans at 519-878-0478 or  to connect with this support.

Drug Shortages
Please be aware that the government has directed pharmacies to give maximum 1 month supplies on medications to guard against possible shortages. Dr. Doug MacPherson is looking at antibiotic usage at STEGH and it may be prudent for us to look at our own antibiotic prescribing the community as we may expect antibiotic shortages in the near future (and also it is good antimicrobial stewardship in general). Most infections have evidence for shorter duration. Please consider the MUMS Anti-Infective Guidelines 2019 Update if you are not using the most recent one (available as and app or book HERE . Also consider reviewing Choosing Wisely guidelines for antibiotic prescribing. Let's not contribute to an antibiotic shortage through over-prescribing.

Local Service Updates
(click on links below for up-to-date info)

Dr. Suzanne Leaf (until April 2) and her staff (until Mar 27) are currently self-quarantining, she asked me to share her cell# if you need to text/call her to discuss a patient. Please do not share with patients. 519-777-4988
Contacts for YOU
( DO NOT provide these contact details to your patients. )

519-637-3266 is a direct line to STEGH that avoids the COVID-19 messaging which you cannot bypass on the regular public line.  Do not give this number to patients/caregivers/family.

Physician Line (AFTER HOURS 1-800-922-0096 ext 9) Call the Ministry # during business hours.
Professional Website with Resources including new Reporting Form:

Healthcare providers can call 1-866-212-2272 or email  during regular business hours to reach the Ministry’s Emergency Operations Centre. 
Dr. Kellie Scott & Dr. Jillian Toogood
Elgin Primary Care Alliance