GBGH reminding community to avoid visiting Emergency Room for mild COVID-19 symptoms

April 12, 2020 – With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our region, Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is once again seeing an increase in Emergency department (ED) visits among COVID positive patients, particularly those with mild symptoms.

GBGH wants to remind the community to please avoid visiting the Emergency department if they are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, sore throat, congestion, fatigue, and aches. If someone is experiencing severe symptoms, such as having trouble breathing, then it is appropriate to seek medical care.

“GBGH’s Emergency department is always here for you if you’re ill or injured,” says Dr. Vikram Ralhan, chief of staff and Emergency physician, GBGH. “To ensure those who are sick or injured can be seen in a timely manner, we ask people to carefully consider if they need to visit the ED. If you think you have COVID-19 and are not experiencing symptoms, or have mild symptoms similar to a cold, please avoid coming to the ED. COVID-19 positive people visiting the hospital seeking treatment for mild symptoms puts other vulnerable patients at risk of exposure to the virus.”

For mild symptoms, patients are advised to stay home, isolate and monitor their symptoms in case they worsen. Visiting the Emergency department with mild symptoms delays care for patients with more severe illness.

Additionally, GBGH is reminding the public the hospital and its Emergency department is not a COVID-19 testing site. Those who have mild or no symptoms should not attend the Emergency department for a test. If someone is symptomatic they should assume they are positive, regardless of a test result, and isolate from others.


Derek Desroches
Communications Specialist, GBGH
705-526-1300 ext 5016