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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an acute respiratory infection caused by a coronavirus strain that began spreading in people in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is a new respiratory virus and it can cause mild to severe illness in people. The COVID-19 virus is not the same as the other coronaviruses that commonly circulate among people and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

How COVID-19 Spreads


COVID-19 spreads mainly from person-to-person, through close contact with others and through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This is similar to how influenza also spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

The virus can also spread when someone touches an object or surfaces with the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, face, or eyes.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New olfactory or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Runny nose, or nasal congestion – in absence of underlying reason for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip, etc.

Other signs of COVID-19 can include

  • Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia

Atypical symptoms can include

  • Unexplained fatigue/malaise/myalgias
  • Delirium (acutely altered mental status and inattention)
  • Unexplained or increased number of falls
  • Acute functional decline
  • Exacerbation of chronic conditions
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Croup
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Multisystem inflammatory vasculitis in children
    • Presentation may include persistent fever, abdominal pain, conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea vomiting and diarrhea) and rash


COVID-19 infections are diagnosed by a health care provider, based on the symptoms, and are confirmed through laboratory tests.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent a COVID-19 infection, nor is there a treatment currently for COVID-19. Individuals with COVID-19 should drink plenty of fluids (stay hydrated) and get plenty of rest. To prevent an infection, it is best to avoid exposure to the virus.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre’s in Windsor-Essex

There are Four (4) COVID-19 assessment centres in the region of Windsor-Essex. There are three assessment centres located in the City of Windsor and one centre in the town of Leamington.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre-City of Windsor

Windsor’s COVID-19 Assessment Centres are located at the Windsor Regional Hospital - Ouellette Campus, with its entrance off Goyeau Street (located to the left of the Emergency Department entrance). Please note there is NO access from the main hospital into the Assessment Centre. All access is from the entrance off Goyeau Street. There is a second (2nd) centre temporarily located at St Clair College in the Sportplex.  A third (3rd) testing centre at the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre is open to First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) community members in Windsor.

There will be no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 Assessment Centres.

Windsor Regional Hospital (Ouellette Campus) - COVID-19 Assessment Centre 

The Assessment Centre is open seven days a week

  • Monday - Friday: 8 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday (and statutory holidays): 9 am to 4 pm

Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette Campus
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor
Entrance from Goyeau Street, to the left of the Emergency Department

St. Clair College SportsPlex (temporary location)

The St. Clair College -SportsPlex will be used as a second COVID-19 Assessment Centre starting in September at the dates and times below and will continue until a more permanent site is set up at the Met Campus.


  • Monday - Friday: 8 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday (and statutory holidays): 9 am to 4 pm

St Clair College - Windsor Campus
SportsPlex (Southside of the St. Clair College)
2000 Talbot Rd. West, Windsor

Parking: Free parking is available on site.

Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC)

SOAHAC is offering COVID-19 screening and testing to First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) community members in Windsor. You do not need to be a client of SOAHAC.

All screening will be done over the phone and testing will be completed at SOAHAC by appointment only.

  • Call SOAHAC-Windsor at 519-916-1755 (Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm)
  • Screening is done on the telephone with a health care provider at SOAHAC.
  • Based on the screening, you will receive an appointment for testing date and time.


Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre
1405 Tecumseh Road West, Windsor

Parking: If you are coming in for testing, there is a designated arrival spot, which is located directly behind the building, on the south side, off of Everts Avenue. We are also exploring mobile testing options for people with mobility issues to broaden our reach. Please call for more information

COVID-19 Assessment Centre: Town of Leamington

Assessment Centre Erie Shores HealthCare

Essex County’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is located at Erie Shores HealthCare (ESHC) at the ambulatory clinic off Fader Street in a segregated area next to the ESHC emergency department. Please note, there will be NO access into the main hospital from this entrance and NO access to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre directly from the main hospital.  The only point of access is from the entrance off Fader Street.

There will be no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

Every day (Monday to Sunday)
8AM to 6PM - Please note 8am to 9am is designated for surgery patients to get swabbed. 

Erie Shores HealthCare
194 Talbot Street West, Leamington
Entrance from Fader Street, segregated area next to the Emergency Department

Parking: Parking is available in our lots off of Fader Street or along Talbot.

Prioritized Groups for COVID-19 Testing

Testing is available for the following populations:

  • All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms.
  • People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
  • People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers.


What we know so far about novel coronavirus: Public Health Ontario

Coronavirus fact sheet

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Last modified: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 11:55am