COVID-19 and Visiting the TBRHSC Emergency Department – What You Need to Know

As the pandemic continues, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) wants to share information regarding the Emergency Department (ED) and COVID-19.

The Hospital’s internal COVID-19 Pandemic Response Level remains at Red (Control). TBRHSC staff continue to be vigilant with all personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements and protective measures as cases have increased across the region. As well, there are currently a high number of active outbreaks in high-risk settings.

The ED continues to experience high volumes of patients. As patients are seen based on an assessment of individual illness (including many community members who arrive by ambulance), this will likely mean longer than normal wait times for less severe illness. Please be mindful of this and courteous to staff if you are using the ED. We appreciate the community support as we work through this busy time in the pandemic.

If you think you have COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms or have mild symptoms (similar to a cold or flu), the ED is not a COVID-19 testing centre, and coming in risks exposing vulnerable people to the coronavirus. If you have mild COVID-19 symptoms, you may wish to call your primary care provider or TeleHealth Ontario for advice on managing mild COVID-19 symptoms at home.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre, established by TBRHSC in collaboration with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, is intended to enhance the protection of all patients, staff and community members by providing a designated space to assess and identify if further treatment is required. It is located in the Medical Centre, beside the main TBRHSC building. The COVID-19 Assessment Centre is a separate space, with a dedicated entrance, which reduces the risk of infection spread and eases pressure on the ED.

Testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre is by appointment only – no walk-ins. If you meet the eligibility criteria listed on our website (, you may book an appointment online. If you need assistance booking, please call (807) 935-8100. Assessments for COVID-19 symptoms will be conducted by nurses who will make recommendations regarding patient self-monitoring, self-isolation and/or treatment.

TBRHSC’s Clinical Assessment Centre is providing outpatient treatments for the early treatment of COVID-19. Once an assessment has been completed, a treatment plan will be recommended to individuals. Treatments are for outpatients with COVID-19 who have a referral from either their personal care physician or a physician and are at high-risk of severe illness. Some individuals are more vulnerable to COVID-19, meaning the risk of infection and severe illness is greater for them. They, and those they have close contact with, are encouraged to take additional precautions. This includes people who have not received all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, especially those who are older, those with certain medical conditions and women who are pregnant or have recently given birth.

For more information on the COVID-19 Assessment Centre, please visit, or call (807) 935-8100.