LONDON, ONT -- Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) usually sees an increase in volume in its emergency department once school begins, but this year with the ongoing pandemic they are urging families to take advantage of their Virtual Emergency Clinic.

Since it was set up back in May the virtual clinic has accessed more than 500 families, referring 150 of those to the Paediatric Emergency Department.

We usually see an increase in volumes once the school year begins,” says Dr. Rod Lim, Medical Director, Paediatric Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital.

“We want to remind families of this alternative care option especially with school re-openings.”

Families can speak directly to a physician by video to discuss the child’s condition and from there can discuss next steps.

“As we begin to see an increase in COVID-19 in our community, LHSC continues to plan for an anticipated second wave,” says Dr. Paul Woods, President and CEO, LHSC.

It should be noted that the clinic does not replace visits to the emergency department, but rather is a way for families to reach out for care options if they are hesitant to visit the hospital.

Diagnoses and prescriptions cannot be done through the clinic.

The clinic operates 7 days a week from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parents seeking a virtual visit can call 519-685-8735.