Patient, Family & Caregiver Experience

We are taking precautions at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) to ensure the safety of our patients, families, caregivers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates will be shared frequently to ensure everyone has the information required to remain safe.

Please visit the Province of Ontario's dedicated COVID-19 webpage to help educate yourself about COVID-19, including how you can protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk. 

Please select from the menu below:

COVID-19 Testing - Stratford Medical Centre

Eligible Testing Groups Include:

  • Symptomatic people who fall into one of the following groups:
    • Patient-facing healthcare workers
    • Staff, volunteers, residents/inpatients, essential care providers, and visitors in highest risk settings
      • Highest risk settings include: hospitals (including complex continuing care facilities and paramedic services) and congregate living settings, including Long-Term Care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices and correctional institutions
    • Household members of workers in highest risk settings
    • Temporary Foreign Workers in congregate living settings
    • Patients seeking emergency medical care, at the discretion of the treating clinician
    • The following higher-risk groups who are eligible to be tested and assessed for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid:
      • Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
      • Individuals aged 70 and over, regardless of vaccine status;
      • Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
      • Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)
    • Pregnant people
    • People who are underhoused or homeless
    • First responders, including fire, police and paramedics
  • Symptomatic/asymptomatic people:
    • From First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities and individuals travelling into these communities for work
    • On admission/transfer to or from hospital or congregate living setting
    • Close contacts and people in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in highest risk settings as directed by the local public health unit
    • Individuals, and one accompanying caregiver, with written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager, OHIP
    • Asymptomatic testing in hospital, long-term care, retirement homes and other congregate living settings and institutions as per provincial guidance and/or Directives, or as directed by public health units.
If you are part of any of the eligible testing groups, please call 519-272-8210 ext 2747 to book a test.

If you are unsure if you quality for a test, please use this online screening form

Getting a test for travel

  • In order to receive a COVID-19 test for outbound international travel and to receive a valid travel certificate you must pay for a private COVID-19 test. 
  • Travel related testing is not available through HPHA's Assessment Centre. A test done at a local assessment centre will not be sufficient to meet the requirements for international outbound travel.
  • Locations for private COVID-19 tests, and travel certificates, for outbound travel can be found on the Huron Perth Public Health website.
HPHA COVID-19 Testing Location and Hours of Operation 

Please note that you must have an appointment for testing, we do not accept walk-in appointments. 

Location:  Stratford Medical Centre - Stratford Family Health Team office (2nd Floor) - 444 Douro St., Stratford  

Parking: Parking will be validated.  A parking token will be given to you at your appointment and it can be taken to the Pharmacy located on the first floor of the Medical Centre to be validated so that you can exit the lot free of charge.

Hours of Operation:  Monday, Wednesday & Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Booking Line:  Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. / 519-272-8210 ext. 2747 / Calls will be returned Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

For information about Assessment services in Grand Bend and Goderich, visit the Huron Perth Public Health website by clicking here.

COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic (CCFCC)

What is a COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic (CCFCC)?

A medical clinic that can test, assess, and provide treatment for people with COVID-19 and other cold and flu-like illnesses.

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
  • Headache
  • 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 CCFCC?

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 CCFCC
Consider visiting a CCFCC 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 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 COVID-19. 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 five days. Call your primary care provider, go to a CCFCC, or contact Health Connect Ontario by calling 811 or by online chat at ontario.ca/HealthConnectOntario

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
  • Confusion
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 flaring
  • 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.

How do make an appointment at the CCFCC?

  • Use the online booking tool to book your appointment. It’s quick, easy to use, and means you won’t have to wait on hold to speak to someone.
  • If you don’t have access to a smartphone or computer, appointments may also be requested by phone at 519-272-8210 ext. 2747.
  • Please remember that appointments are required. We cannot accommodate walk-ins.

Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (last booked appointment is at 4:30 p.m.)  

Location:  Stratford Medical Centre - Stratford Family Health Team office (2nd Floor) - 444 Douro St., Stratford  

Facility is accessible.  

Parking: Parking will be validated. A parking token will be given to you at your appointment and it can be taken to the Pharmacy located on the first floor of the Medical Centre to be validated so that you can exit the lot free of charge.

COVID-19 Cases in Huron & Perth

There is local spread of the COVID-19 virus across Huron and Perth as well as the rest of Ontario. We must all act as if we could come into contact with COVID-19 anywhere in our community and as if we could pass COVID-19 on unknowingly.

Cases are reported by Huron Perth Public Health. Please click here to see the latest case totals.

Universal Masking - Outpatients, Caregivers & Visitors

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance requires all outpatients, visitors, caregivers to wear a mask for the duration of your time at any of our hospital sites. If you come to the hospital wearing a cloth mask, you will need to remove that mask, and wear a disposable medical grade mask provided by the hospital.

Why are patients and care partners being asked to wear masks at Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance?

Physical distancing, or staying more than two metres (six feet) apart from others is the most important strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from person to person. Some people who have COVID-19 may not have symptoms but can still spread the virus without knowing. Because we cannot guarantee physical distancing at all times, we require all patients and care partners wear a mask upon entry so we can keep everyone safe.

Under what authority is this requirement made?

The Ministry of Health has included directions for the use of masking by visitors, caregivers and patients for control of COVID-19 In the following documents.
How does wearing a mask help?

Masks decrease the spread of COVID-19 in two ways. First, people wearing masks help protect others around them by limiting the spread of their own droplets when coughing, sneezing and speaking. Second, those wearing masks protect themselves by reducing the chance of inhaling contaminated droplets from others who are within two metres.

Are additional masks available if needed?

Masks will be handed out at screening stations upon entry to Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance. We will also provide patients and care partners with a new mask if it becomes very wet, soiled, damaged or dropped on the floor. Just ask your health care staff for a new mask.

What should be done with the mask when taken off?

If you will need to put the mask on again, you may remove it safely and place it on a clean piece of paper towel. However, if the mask will no longer be needed, please dispose it in a waste container.

Use hand sanitizer frequently while at the hospital. And, always remember to clean your hands before putting on a mask and after taking it off.

What happens if I can’t wear a mask due to a medical reason?

The use of a mask can be associated with a sense of anxiety. A position paper from the Canadian Thoracic Society has identified that there is no evidence that wear a mask will lead to a flare up of an underlying lung condition.

What if I refuse to wear a mask?

You will not be allowed within any HPHA hospital site to visit or provide assistance for your loved one if you refuse to wear a mask.

You will not be allowed to attend any scheduled procedures if you refuse to wear a mask.

If you are in need of Emergency Medical Assistance, please attend the Emergency Department where appropriate precautions will be taken.

Universal Masking - Inpatients

Masking is a widely accepted and proven method of source control for COVID-19. Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) staff and physicians wear masks to ensure the safety of our patients. Masks are also required to be worn by our outpatients and family and caregivers during their visits to any of our hospital sites.

Our inpatients are also required to wear masks during their hospital stay unless the HPHA care team decides that the patient is medically exempt.

In addition to maintaining a 2 metre/6 feet physical distance from others whenever possible, inpatients must properly wear a mask in the following situations:

  • Whenever they leave their bed space
  • When a person enters their bed space
 A bed space is defined as:
  • A private room
  • The bed and the area inside the bedside curtains, in a shared room

Inpatients should not wear their mask while they are sleeping.

A new mask will be provided each day.  If during the day, a mask becomes soiled, damaged or lost, a replacement will be given.

For more information, take a look at our Patient, Family & Caregiver Information: Universal Masking for Inpatients 

COVID-19 Self-Screening

All individuals entering the Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital and Stratford General Hospital will self-screen using the list of questions posted, sanitize their hands and put on a mask. Masks must be worn properly, covering your mouth and nose for the entirety of your visit to the hospital site. Children under the age of two are not required to wear a mask.

If you fail self-screening: 

  • Patients seeking emergency care who do not pass the self-screening may still enter the hospital but must speak with a member of the health care team.
  • Patients arriving for a scheduled appointment who do not pass self-screening should contact the health care team/department they are visiting to determine next steps. In some cases, the appointment may need to be rescheduled to a later date.
  • Family caregivers, visitors, vendors/suppliers and contractors who do not pass self-screening must not enter the hospital site. Please note, recently expanded Family and Caregiver Visiting Guidelines allow inpatients to have unlimited daily visitors, with a maximum of two at the bedside at a time.

Patients and family/caregivers are asked to enter through the following entrances:
  • Clinton Public Hospital – Emergency Department or Main Entrance
  • St. Marys Memorial Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Seaforth Community Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Stratford General Hospital
    • Main Entrances (Cambria St. & West Gore St.) 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • West Building Entrance (West Gore St.) 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Emergency Department (for emergency care and after hours, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.)

Family & Caregiver Visiting Guidelines

Our Family and Caregiver Visiting Guidelines are reviewed on a regular basis and are endorsed by our Patient Partners.

Review our latest Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines

Surgery During COVID-19

To ensure the health and safety of all staff, physicians and patients at HPHA, please follow the guidance below when preparing for your surgery and on the date of your procedure.

Click on the links below to access information and instructions.

Caregiver Support

Caregivers are more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Community South West Region Pandemic Planning Table recognizes the increased strain and challenges of caregiving during this time.

By clicking the link below, you will find a one-stop shop of information and resources to support caregivers in Grey Bruce, Huron Perth, London Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin.

Click here for information and resources for caregivers.

Temporary Suspension of Volunteer & Auxiliary Program

HPHA has temporarily suspended our Volunteer and Auxiliary Program to minimize the risk to our volunteers and to further reduce the number of individuals coming into hospital. We look forward to bringing our dedicated volunteers back into our hospitals and rescheduling our community and special events.

For More Information