Citing lowering rates of COVID-19 and reduced testing eligibility, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) will be closing its assessment centre in Bracebridge as of March 31.
Officials with MAHC say the peak of the pandemic saw an average of 1,705 visits per month, however, that number dropped to only 48 in March 2023.
“These efforts to operate an assessment centre were a significant part of our COVID-19 response, and we extend our thanks to all of the staff, physicians and community providers who worked shifts to ensure access to this service,” says Cheryl Harrison, President and CEO of MAHC.
The assessment centre opened in 2020 and was set up in a portable behind the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital.
Officials direct anyone needing a COVID-19 test to go to a nearby pharmacy or use a rapid antigen test.
“We are following government direction that assessment centres across the province can close,” says Harrison. She adds that the emergency departments at the Bracebridge and Huntsville hospitals remain open to anyone with severe respiratory symptoms.
She adds MAHC’s website features a section advising residents where the best places to get care for their ailments are.