OTTAWA -- Doctor's offices are changing the way they interact with patients in order to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Many clinics are advising their patients to call first before coming to the clinic and are urging patients without scheduled appointments to avoid walking in. Non-essential visits will be offered by phone or video.

Urgent visits that would normally require a trip to a clinic, including childhood vaccinations and visits for pregnant women, will be assessed by phone first before deciding the best way to offer treatment.

In all cases, it's recommended you phone ahead to your clinic before making the trip. Some offices may be shifting their hours.

COVID-19 Testing

Anyone concerned about symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and who wish to test for COVID-19 is reminded to check Ontario's self-assessment tool first. Doctor's offices do not have the capacity to test for COVID-19.

If you meet the criteria for testing, you're asked to go to the Brewer Park Arena at 151 Brewer Way. The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.