Waterloo region hospitals to centralize COVID-19 care at Pinebush clinic

Local hospitals are supporting a new regional COVID care pilot clinic (RCCC) to act as a “one-stop shop” for all COVID-19 care.

On Monday, Grand River Hospital said it is working with the support of Ontario Health West to bring the pilot project to the Cambridge Pinebush vaccination clinic.

The regional clinic will provide COVID-19 testing and medications, while public health will provide COVID-19 vaccines. The approach will allow separate hospital clinics providing the same services to close, Vickie Murray, integrated director of pharmacy services at Grand River and St. Mary’s hospitals, said in a media release.

“This is one strategy that we can implement to improve capacity challenges at local hospitals, and enable hospital teams to focus on providing acute care for our community and increase access to that care,” Murray said.

The region recently announced it was reopening the Pinebush vaccination clinic after winding down operations earlier this year.

The mass vaccination clinic reopened on Sept. 26 to coincide with the expanded eligibility of vaccinations, including the Bivalent COVID-19 booster for all adults.

The clinic at 66 Pinebush Road has been designated as a temporary location for the RCCC and offers enough space for Region of Waterloo Public Health to provide COVID-19 vaccinations from the same site.

The hospital said in a media release, community members should still see their family physician or seek a primary care option first for symptoms of respiratory illness. This clinic does not replace care that should be provided by primary care.

“We will continue to look for a more central location to ensure that all local residents are able to access this proactive and comprehensive care,” said Murray. “The lessons learned by teams from all regional hospitals who have supported COVID-19 care and prevention provide a strong foundation to support the success of this clinic. We are passing yet another COVID-19 milestone and I extend our thanks to the hard working teams and our many partners for their collaboration, work and dedication to support our community and provide care when it was needed the most.”

Separate hospital clinics will close at end of day Sept. 30 and the new RCCC will open by appointment only on Oct. 1.

Information to support community members to make appointments at the clinic, including hours of operation will be available on hospital websites starting September 30.