COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Please note the following changes to our programming and services: 

  • ARCH Clinic will only be seeing patients in-person on a case-by-case basis. 
    All other appointments will be offered online through OTN eVisits. You will be contacted before your appointment for individual arrangements.  

  • ARCH Clinic's Anonymous Rapid Point-of-Care HIV testing, provided in partnership with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, is cancelled until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you require HIV testing, please contact our clinic (519-780-5298), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (519-780-5298), or Region of Waterloo Public Health (519-575-4400).
  • Harm reduction supplies will NO LONGER be distributed at our ARCH office on Westmount Road.
    You can continue to access harm reduction supplies at the Stay Sharp office located in the Guelph Community Health Center.
  • In-person programs such as groups and drop-in services will not be running until further notice.
    This includes appointments; drop-in meetings and services with our support team (Matt and Mindy); and our drop-in programs like the Trans Peer Drop-in and the LGBTQ+ Youth Drop-In.  Don't hesitate to reach out if you are feeling lonely or isolated.  If you are living with HIV and are in need of support for things like groceries and transportation, reach out to Matt at 519-763-2255 x126 or support [at] archguelph.ca.

For information and updates related to our transgender programming and services, visit: archguelph.ca/transgender-health-care

Click here for information related to substance use and harm reduction

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At ARCH, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and planning for different scenarios in accordance with recommendations from our local, provincial, and national public health organizations. T
he safety of our patients, participants, and staff is our main priority; and we want to assure you that we are prepared if things escalate.

However, we also want you to feel supported during this stressful time. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns; if you're feeling anxious or socially isolated; or if you'd like any other support. We are here for you.

Please continue reading to learn more about COVID-19, and return to this page for updates. We will be sharing any and all information that is important for you to know through our communication channels. 

What you need to know:

  • Please stay home if you are not feeling well. You can prevent the spread of infection if you stay home. Coughfever, or difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms of coronavirus, you may also notice tiredness, muscle aches and joint pains, sore throat, running nose, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, or eye irritation.
     
  • Please stay home if you believe that you have been exposed to COVID-19. You may have been exposed to COVID-19 if you or someone close to you has travelled abroad in the past 14 daysand/or you're experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing).
     
  • Please contact the appropriate health authorities for further direction and testing if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19
    Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006
    Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health after hours1-877-884-8653
    Region of Waterloo Public Health Services: 519-575-4400
    Telehealth1-866-797-0000
     
  • To avoid spreading infection, we kindly ask that you do not come to ARCH or go to a clinic or hospital if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Call any of the numbers above and be ready to self-isolate if necessary. 


How to protect yourself and your loved ones
:

  • Follow important hygiene and infection prevention practices

    - Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap

    Use hand sanitizer that's at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available

    Refrain from touching your face.  Limit how much you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth

    - Cough or sneeze into your bent elbow or a tissue. Throw away the tissue immediately

    - Limit your contact with others. Avoid shaking hands, being in crowds, or going out to public spaces and gatherings

    - Avoid travel to affected areas, including local areas known for COVID-19 transmission

  • Strengthen your Immune System:

    - Take your medications regularly to lower your viral load and stay virally suppressed. If you are not on antiretroviral treatment, now is the best time to start. Get in contact with our clinic as soon as possible if you need access to HIV medications

    - Make sure that you're resting and getting enough sleep

    - Prioritize good nutrition. Try your best to eat foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients and drink plenty of fluids

    - Lower your stress. While it's important to stay informed, limit how closely you are following the news to reduce anxiety and panic. Try to keep stressful people and stuations out of your life

    - Prioritize your mental health. Find coping strategies for stress and anxiety, reach out to your support system to prevent social isolation

  • Self-monitor for symptoms: cough, fever, difficulty breathing
  • This will pass. While the situation may seem dire, the outbreak will innevitably pass. There are ways to stay safe and lower your risk, as outlined above, and we should focus on carrying on with our lives while prioritizing these practices.
     
  • Understand that everyone is being affected. This situation is affecting everyone's routine, their anxiety, and daily lives. This should serve as a reminder of our humanity, we are all experiencing this together and no specific group should be blamed for what's going on.  
     
  • Follow the news in moderation. Dwelling on this, and exposing yourself to so much information being shared on the news and through social media, will lead to anxiety and can impact your health. Instead, try to find a coping strategy and support that can help you through this time. 
     
  • Avoid complete self isolation if you are not sick. While it's important to prevent exposure by limiting direct contact with others and avoiding busy public spaces, make sure that you are staying in contact with your loved ones and support group if they are healthy.  


Resources:

Click on the following links or scroll down for additional information and resources

 

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