What is a clinical assessment centre?
What is a clinical assessment centre? A clinical assessment centre is a medical clinic that can test, assess, and provide treatment for people with COVID-19 and other cold and flu-like illnesses. In some locations, clinical assessment centres are called COVID, Cold, and Flu Care Clinics.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and other cold and flu-like illnesses?
Below are some of the symptoms you may have when you have COVID-19 or other cold and flu-like illnesses:
- Fever or chills
- Cough (not related to other causes such as allergies)
- Difficulty breathing
- Decreased or loss of taste or smell
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- Extreme tiredness
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches or joint pain
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea)
- Abdominal pain (not related to other causes)
- Pink eye (not related to other causes)
When should I visit a clinical assessment centre?
Call your primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner) first if you or your child have the symptoms above and feel that you need medical care.
Your primary care provider will give you advice about what to do next. This may include:
- Caring for yourself or your child at home
- Seeing your primary care provider either virtually or in-person
- Going to a clinical assessment centre Consider visiting a clinical assessment centre if:
- You do not have a primary care provider
- Your symptoms or your child’s symptoms are getting worse or are not improving, and you feel that you need medical care
- You have been told by any health professional to go to a clinical assessment centre
- You are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 and you qualify for COVID-19 testing and treatment
You can also consider contacting Health Connect Ontario or a walk-in clinic. At Health Connect Ontario, you can get advice from a nurse at any time of day by calling 811 or by online chat at ontario.ca/HealthConnectOntario.
You might also find this tip sheet made by family doctors helpful. It provides tips on deciding when to seek care for a child with respiratory illness and how to support your child at home.
Will I get antiviral treatment if I have COVID-19?
Antiviral treatment is available for people who are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID19. Use this screener to see if you are eligible: ontario.ca/covid-treatment-screener.
If you are eligible and think you might have COVID-19, don’t delay. You will need to start
treatment within 5 days. Call your primary care provider, go to a clinical assessment centre, or
contact Health Connect Ontario by calling 811 or by online chat at
When do I need to go to the emergency department?
If you or your child develop severe symptoms, call 911 or go to the emergency department.
For adults, severe symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
For children, severe symptoms include:
- Working hard or straining to breathe – for example, the lower chest is moving in more
than normal when the child breathes, the child is grunting, or the child’s nostrils are
- Bluish skin
- Unable to breastfeed or drink
- Very sleepy or difficult to wake
- Peeing less than usual
- Fever with rash
- Seizures or convulsions
- Fever in an infant younger than 3 months
If you are worried your child is seriously ill, call 911 or go to the emergency department.