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Ottawa area hospitals: If you need care, please come to or connect with your hospital

This is a joint message from Ottawa’s medical chiefs of staff

OTTAWA – April 21, 2020 – As the community continues to follow physical distancing recommendations from Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa area hospitals want to remind the public to continue to come to hospital if you think you have a serious health concern. We appreciate that the public is taking the recommendations to stay home so seriously, but it should not come at the cost of your health or safety. If you are in need of urgent medical attention, please go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 911 right away.

Hospital staff are taking every necessary precaution to ensure the health and safety of our patients, caregivers, staff and community. Our staff and medical staff are ready and able to care for you in the safest way possible.

There are a number of clinical programs that continue to run and care for patients in need, in person as well as virtually.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute has maintained capacity to provide care for all cardiac emergencies. Please don’t ignore your heart symptoms. A delay in seeking care could have a lasting impact on the outcome of your treatment. It is important for all patients to keep in touch with their family doctor, and other specialists (like cardiologists) who manage their care. In select cases, a virtual or telephone consultation with one of our cardiologists may be appropriate.

While we are all encouraged to stay home whenever possible, we understand that for some, home is not always a safe place. The Ottawa Hospital’s Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program, run out of the Civic Campus Emergency Department, is still here to care for patients who have experienced sexual or intimate partner violence. The program is offering virtual follow-up clinics, to provide access to care for those unable to come to the hospital. There are also sexual assault programs run out of CHEO and Cornwall Community Hospital. Please contact the one closest to you.

As the regional stroke centre, The Ottawa Hospital also wants to remind the public not to ignore the symptoms of a stroke at the first onset. Time is of the essence when treating any condition, especially a stroke. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you think you might be experiencing a stroke.

We also know that increased stress and anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic can bring on or worsen mental health and substance use issues. If you are struggling, please reach out for help. As many of you are aware, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre has opened an urgent access mental health clinic to help individuals who are at risk of declining mental health or hospitalization. The C-PROMPT clinic is available with a referral from your primary care provider. CHEO offers mental health support for any children or youth in need.

While there are changes to some of the substance use services in our community, many programs are still offering services—but changing the way they are offered, such as offering virtual counselling. The Royal’s Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders is open and accepting new clients. This includes a Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic that is providing services virtually during the pandemic. To access these substance use services at The Royal, call (613) 722-6521 ext. 6508.

At CHEO, many clinics are connecting virtually with children and youth who have existing relationships with the care teams there. However, CHEO has seen a 70 per cent drop in new cases of diabetes in the last 30 days, and those children and youth who have gone to the Emergency Department are sicker than is expected normally. And while CHEO unfortunately continues to see new cases of childhood cancer, some of these children and youth are only coming in to be seen after the symptoms have been around for longer than they would usually see.

The COVID-19 Care Clinics in the west and east ends continue to provide treatment for individuals who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of respiratory illness requiring a medical assessment, such as coughs, fever, and other cold-like symptoms. The clinic in the west end is operated by Queensway Carleton Hospital staff, while the clinic in the east end is operated by Hôpital Montfort – both with the help of community primary care physicians and pediatricians.

  • Care Clinic – west end: D. A. Moodie Intermediate School in Bells Corners, open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Care Clinic – east end: 1485 Heron Road, open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Media contacts


Jesse Cressman Dickinson,


Paddy Moore,


Martin Sauvé,

Queensway Carleton Hospital:

D.G. Stringer,

The Ottawa Hospital:

Michaela Schreiter,

The Royal:

Karen Monaghan,

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute:

Leigh B. Morris,