Scarborough Health Network’s (SHN) Long COVID-19 Service provides care for COVID-recovered individuals who continue to experience persistent COVID-related symptoms, otherwise known as “Long COVID.” People with Long COVID may experience new or recurrent symptoms that occur for at least four weeks after the acute illness has resolved, such as persistent and ongoing fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, chest and joint pain, along with cognitive issues like memory and concentration problems.
With the Long COVID service, timely access to multiple specialized services can be coordinated centrally. Through this “hub and spoke” model of service, patients will participate in an initial assessment in SHN’s Long COVID “hub” to facilitate access to multiple specialized “spoke” services including mental health, internal medicine, respirology, and referrals to Providence Healthcare’s outpatient rehabilitation service.
The Long COVID service is currently accepting referrals from SHN providers who are caring for post-COVID patients and SCOPE primary care physicians, and will eventually expand to include all primary care providers in Scarborough.
Individuals must have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and one or more of the following COVID-related symptoms for a minimum of four weeks after the acute infection has resolved:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Joint/chest pain
- Memory, concentration or sleep problems
- Muscle pain or headache
- Loss of smell or taste
- Depression or anxiety
- Dizziness when you stand
- Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities
As the Long COVID-19 service grows, more specialty care providers will enhance the service, in addition to leveraging community programs and allied health services for support. This coordinated approach to multi-service follow-up care provides patients with the care they need when they need it and helps to reduce emergency department visits.