Demand for testing at Ottawa’s three COVID-19 assessment sites has soared since the province opened the door — slightly — to visits to long-term care homes and other residential settings.
That demand has led to ever-longer waits, with people standing for as long as four hours to get the triple swabs in their nostrils and the back of the throat that they need in order to be allowed to visit.
“Since late May, the three sites have seen a marked increase in testing volume from a daily average of 470 individuals tested each day at all three sites to a daily average of 1,260 people recently,” the Champlain COVID Response Committee and Ottawa Public Health said in a joint statement emailed Wednesday.
With the assessment centres already operating flat out, the city is considering moving toward mobile clinics to reach vulnerable populations, the statement said.
“OPH and the Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee are shifting the focus to use some of the limited testing capacity in more flexible ways to reach those at highest risk. This means moving beyond specific, fixed centres for testing to more community-wide mobile access to testing in the future.”