Hospitals working on expanded COVID-19 testing hours, additional sites
A man makes his way to a COVID-19 assessment centre setup at a city building Saturday, March 14, 2020 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa Public Health and other health partners are focusing on expanding capacity "as quickly as possible" to deal with the increased demand for testing and care at Ottawa's COVID-19 assessment centre and two care clinics.
In a statement, the Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee says capacity will be expanded through increased staffing, hours of operation and planning for additional COVID-19 testing sites in the coming weeks.
Over the past month, the demand at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena and the two COVID-19 care clinics has been steadily increasing. Several people have complained on social media about long waits for assessment and COVID-19 testing at the facilities.
The Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee says wait times now range from 30 minutes to four hours at the centres, depending on the time of day or the day of the week.
On Wednesday, the Queensway Carleton Hospital reported wait times of up to four hours at the COVID-19 care clinic on Moodie Drive.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Thursday, the Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee said, "Our Assessment Centre teams continue to focus on improving the processes at the clinics to decrease wait times while ensuring patients receive care."
"Together with Ottawa Public Health and Ontario Health, the focus of the region is to expand our capacity as quickly as possible to support the increased demand."
The statement adds, "Through increased staffing, hours of operation and planning for additional sites, the region continues to adjust the operation to accommodate the increasing demand. These adjustments are being implemented in the coming weeks as we put in place longer-term plans to ensure we have a sustainable testing strategy and model for the future."
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Park Arena is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The COVID-19 Care Clinic on Moodie Dr. is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 pm. The COVID-19 Care Clinic on Heron Road is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The story has been updated to reflect the statement is from Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee.