Ministry of Health Expands List of Priority Groups for Testing
Listen to the audio message from Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager
Peterborough Public Health is encouraging residents with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested, especially if they belong to the Ministry of Health’s expanded list of priority groups.
“We’ve reached the phase of the pandemic where we’re now aggressively looking for cases, so we encourage residents to make sure they understand the full list of COVID-19 symptoms and to get tested if they are eligible,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Please call us so we can help you determine if you should get tested.”
The most current list of COVID-19 symptoms includes:
- • Fever (feeling hot to the touch, 37.8C or higher)
- • cough (new or worsening)
- • shortness of breath (out of breath, unable to breathe deeply)
- • barking cough (makes a squeaky or whistling noise when breathing)
- • sore throat, chills, runny nose or sneezing, stuffy or congested nose
- • hoarse voice (more rough or harsh than normal)
- • difficulty swallowing
- • loss sense of taste or smell, headache
- • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain)
- • fatigue (lack of energy, extreme tiredness)
- • falling down more than usual, acute functional decline/confusion
- • for young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite
Other signs of COVID-19 in addition to these symptoms can include unexplained tachycardia (rapid heart rate), decreased blood pressure, and unexplained hypoxia (low oxygen levels, even mildly low).
Dr. Salvaterra also noted that the list of priority groups who are strongly encouraged to get tested if they have any of the above symptoms or signs of COVID-19. This list was recently expanded by the Ministry of Health and now includes:
- • Residents and individuals working in other congregate living settings and institutions (such as group homes, shelters, and hospices)
- • Healthcare workers and First Responders, as well as anyone living in the same household with those individuals
- • Caregivers and care providers (paid or unpaid) who support residents in group or institutional settings, as well as anyone living in the same household with those individuals.
- • People living in remote, isolated, rural or Indigenous communities
- • Patients who require frequent contact with the healthcare systems (for example patients undergoing chemotherapy or cancer treatment, dialysis, pre-/post-transplant, pregnant persons and neonates)
- • Essential Workers and Cross-Border Workers
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate, and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care. If you need further assistance, call Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000 or the Peterborough Regional Health Centre COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 705-876-5086.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.