OTTAWA -- Ottawa's two COVID-19 care clinics reached capacity minutes after opening on Wednesday, while the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena said people with no symptoms of novel coronavirus will be turned away from testing.

Long lines formed outside Ottawa's testing centres early Wednesday morning, with people seeking tests for novel coronavirus.

Both the COVID-19 Care Clinic on Moodie Drive and the COVID-19 Care Clinic on Heron Road opened at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Just after 10 a.m., both the Montfort Hospital and the Queensway Carleton said the clinics had reached capacity for the day.

At the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena, CHEO said it was looking forward to testing as "many kids as possible."

But in a message on Twitter, CHEO said "if you don't have symptoms please don't get COVID-19 testing. Brewer screens everyone and must turn away those without symptoms unless you've been told by Ottawa Health to get tested."

CHEO has moved to online booking for COVID-19 testing. The service activated Sept. 22 at 8:30pm. 

Kenneth Ghereje was able to snag a spot for his daughter. He says it was very difficult. 

"I had to use three different browsers," said Ghereje. "I was able to make the appointment and within ten minutes everything was over it was like a rush."

Ghereje's appointment was before noon and he says it was fast and streamlined. He and his daughter were in and out in about one hour. 

There was also some confusion as people began heading to the Ray Friel Centre in Ottawa's East End.  The city has been active at expanding capacity working with them all for hospital to convert the sports complex but required building modifications won't see it open until mid October.

Ontario labs are processing more than 34,000 tests a day but assessment centres can't keep up. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says Health Canada may set up more sites in Ottawa including laboratory capacity. There is no word on when a possible announcement may be made.

Ottawa Public Health is recommending people get tested for COVID-19 if:

  • You are showing new symptoms of COVID-19
  • You have been instructed by Ottawa Public Health to seek testing