2,750 people tested at COVID-19 pop-up at Canadian Tire Centre this weekend
Spartacat, the official mascot of the Ottawa Senators, wears a mask as he gives a hat to a child after they received a nasal swab at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL team, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- More than 2,700 people were tested during a two-day drive-thru COVID-19 testing blitz at Canadian Tire Centre, as part of an effort to alleviate the long line-ups for novel coronavirus testing across Ottawa.
Paramedics from nine different paramedic services across Ontario teamed up to offer the drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic in Ottawa's west-end Saturday and Sunday.
Officials said 2,750 people were tested over the weekend.
The Queensway Carleton Hospital tweeted at 3:18 p.m. on Sunday that the clinic was no longer accepting cars and was at capacity for the day.
On Saturday, 694 people received a test at the COVID-19 pop-up site at Canadian Tire Centre. At one point, the wait for COVID-19 testing was up to 60 minutes.
On Sunday, the Queensway Carleton Hospital said more than 2,000 people were tested.
The Queensway Carleton Hospital, Ottawa Public Health, the Montfort Hospital and Mayor Jim Watson tweeted thank you messages to the paramedics for setting up the COVID-19 testing site.
Renfrew County Paramedic Chief Mike Nolan tweeted on Saturday that the pop-up COVID-19 testing site was, "a remarkable display of teamwork by paramedic services from across Ontario Health East, mobilizing to establish a COVID-19 pop-up drive-thru for Ottawa residents."
Hospital officials said the goal of the drive-thru centre was to help relieve pressure on the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena, the COVID-19 drive-thru centre at RCGT Park and the two COVID-19 care clinics.
Last week, long lines formed two hours before the testing centres opened as Ottawa residents waited for a COVID-19 test.
On Sunday afternoon, the Ottawa Hospital said there was still capacity for COVID-19 tests at the Brewer Assessment Centre.