COVID-19 Information Menu
The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for everyone, but hospitals, including RVH, have never experienced anything like what we are currently facing.
Rapidly increasing hospitalizations, along with an unprecedented staffing shortage, has resulted in a “one-two punch” creating sustained pressure on hospitals.
As the Omicron variant rages across our region, the number of COVID-patients in our health centre has more than quadrupled since Christmas. To ensure we have enough beds for these sick patients, RVH has opened a second COVID unit and expanded space in its regional Pandemic Response Unit field hospital. We are ready to open more critical care beds, if needed.
As hospitalizations increase, some patients may need to be transferred to – or from – RVH to balance the system and keep over-burdened hospitals functioning effectively. During last spring’s wave, 220 patients were transferred to RVH from the GTA.
Community spread of the virus is also impacting RVH staff and physicians, with 250 off work each day because they are sick, have tested positive or have been exposed to a COVID case. The situation changes quickly, so we monitor and adjust staffing continuously.
As directed by the province, RVH has temporarily paused all non-emergency surgeries and procedures, and many clinic visits have been replaced by virtual consultations. We know this is very frustrating for people who have already been waiting a long time for their procedures, but it allows RVH to free up beds and redeploy staff to areas where the need is most urgent.
We also made the difficult decision to further restrict visitors to limit entry to the health centre and control spread of the virus.
Despite the incredibly demanding circumstances, RVH’s exhausted staff and physicians are doing their absolute best to care for you, working long hours and additional shifts to ensure safe staffing levels. Please be understanding, be kind and treat them with the respect they deserve.
As we work through this current crisis, we also ask for your help.
If you do not need hospital-level care for your non-urgent health issue, please call your family doctor or visit a walk-in or urgent care clinic. Remember, RVH’s Emergency Department (ED) does not provide COVID testing. And please be patient; the growing number of hospitalizations means waits in our ED may be lengthy.
RVH continues to operate its Immunization Clinic at 29 Sperling Drive in Barrie. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, book an appointment as soon as possible through the provincial online portal at covid-19.ontario.ca or by calling 1-833-943-3900.
While the swift and unpredictable impact of the Omicron variant is far worse than anticipated, be assured that RVH continues to do everything possible to keep our patients – and their care teams – safe. Thank you for your outstanding support, appreciation and encouragement over the past two years.
Janice M. Skot
President and CEO, RVH
What is RVH doing?
RVH has implemented a number of protocols. In addition to continuous surveillance we have:
- Enhanced screening measures: All patients and visitors are screened at entrances. This includes questions about any symptoms. Designated visitors must provide proof of double-vaccination or a valid exemption prior to visiting a patient.
- Patients with symptoms will be masked and cared for by staff wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including contact and droplet precautions.
- We have implemented more frequent and enhanced cleaning in our busy areas.
- RVH is in frequent contact with public health and is participating in a regional committee to ensure preparedness.
- We have hired more than 300 new staff in all areas – nursing, security, screeners, support roles – to ensure our facility is staffed around the clock
- Hired 65 clinical externs – students in their final year of studies – to act as helping hands on inpatient units
- Built at 70 bed field hospital – the Regional Pandemic Response Unit – to create capacity not just at RVH but throughout the region.
- Created critical care capacity and designated COVID units
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Avoid close contact with others
- Avoid shaking hands
- If you are concerned about your symptoms or have travelled outside of the country, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Barrie Testing Clinic
Nasal and throat swabs available.
Drive-thru option available.
29 Sperling Drive
(former Barrie Police headquarters)
Seven days a week: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Phone:705-797-3120 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Barrie & Community Family Medicine Clinic
Prince William – Shoppers Drug Mart plaza
829 Big Bay Point Road, Barrie, Unit D12
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You can call ahead for an appointment at 705-722-1199
Barrie COVID-19 Assessment Centre
490 Huronia Rd – In the building at the rear of the complex (NOT at the Huronia Urgent Care Clinic)
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Currently accepting same day appointments. Walk-in to book.
For your other, non-COVID-19 related, healthcare needs:
Call your Family Physician or Nurse Practitioner. If your healthcare provider is not available, you can:
After you are vaccinated, you can log in to the provincial portal to download or print an electronic for each dose you have received. vaccine receipt
RVH’s COVID-19 Immunization Clinic is located at 29 Sperling Drive in Barrie, a partnership between RVH, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and City of Barrie.