COVID-19 Response Teams Created by PCN to Ease Rise in Omicron Cases

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On January 10, Alberta North Primary Care Networks (PCN) announced the creation of the “Northern Area Primary Care Covid-19 Response Team.” This initiative was created in response to the unprecedented rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in communities. This increase in cases is putting renewed pressure on medical facilities, such as hospital emergency centers and family doctors.

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The “North Zone Primary Care COVID-19 Response Team” was activated on January 11 and will be active between 8:30 am and 10 pm Monday through Friday. On weekends, the service will be available from 10 am and 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. Alberta North residents can access this service through the PCN website: or by calling this toll-free number: 1-833-884-2193 to speak with the classification team between assigned times.

In an interview with the Daily Herald-Tribune, Samantha Semograd provided insight into this new program. Semograd is the executive director of the Grande Prairie, Bighorn and McLeod River PCNs and is helping establish this response team.

Semograd said that the main reason for establishing this service was to free up in-person medical facilities. “So unlike patients clogging phone lines, they show up ’emergency,’ they show up at their doctor’s office when they’re positive,” Semograd said. “It’s almost like an integrated assessment team to manage those patients and shift the load.”

When asked how long the service will last, Semograd said: “It really depends on the demand. We have a plan to keep this in place for the next two weeks at least to help support GPs and then make sure that the number of patients who test positive with their rapid antigen is supported and that includes the people without family. doctor.”

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“So if a patient wants to self-report for the sake of self-reporting and we’ll pass that information on to them; but they also have the option to choose an assessment from one of our nurses located in Grande Prairie or Fort McMurray virtually,” Semograd continued. “If they are not linked (to a doctor) they can have an evaluation and if they need more help instead of going to an outpatient clinic or ’emerging’, we have a virtual clinic to support the entire North Zone; so that those uncompromising patients get the support they need.”

Apparently, this has the potential to free up a lot of in-person services and reduce lines, as Semograd claims that for the last eight years, the North Zone, including Grande Prairie and surrounding rural communities, has consistently had about thirty-five seven percent of patients. independent of a family doctor. According to Semograd, this is partly due to a shortage of doctors, but also because there is a large transient community working outside the home and therefore only accessing services on an ad hoc basis, such as walk-in clinics or facilities. Out of time.

Jon van der Veen/Postmedia Staff

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