Hundreds line up for COVID-19 testing in Kingston after outbreak linked to nail salon
KINGSTON -- Customers of a Kingston nail salon at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak were among hundreds of people lining up to be tested for COVID-19 Friday morning.
A long line formed around the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at the Memorial Centre in Kingston, one day after the health unit declared a novel coronavirus outbreak at Binh's Nails and Spa salon.
The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit says 16 COVID-19 cases are linked to the salon, including six employees at the salon.
Some people tell CTV News Ottawa they arrived at 8 a.m. hoping to be able to walk in for testing, but were still in line three hours later. Over 700 people have visited the COVID-19 Assessment Centre over the past two days for testing.
"I went last week to get my nails done and then I heard about this thing," said Nour Al-Mansour about the COVID-19 outbreak at the salon.
"I don't feel anything. I don't think I'm sick but it's better to come get tested with my family."
Kingston resident Lara Paterson tells CTV News Ottawa she visited the salon last Saturday.
"I'm feeling okay actually. I've had no symptoms at all but I am caring for an elderly person so I need to make sure that I'm safe and okay."
Stephanie Weima and her mother went to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre for testing on Friday after her mom recently visited Binh's Nails and Spa salon.
"So she's had no symptoms, she's totally content, but because of our family, she lives with my husband and I, so we just thought we should definitely come in and make sure she's all fine and healthy."
Speaking on CTV Morning Live Friday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said all customers of the nail salon between June 12 and 24, and their close contacts need to be tested for COVID-19.
"There's been over 500 people that have had personal service setting visits to that one location. All of those 500 people we're asking to quarantine themselves for 14 days, to monitor for symptoms and get tested if they develop symptoms," said Dr. Moore.
"We have those 18 individuals, all of whom on average have 10 contacts. So 180 now are in quarantine and the contacts of those that tested positive must get tested as well and monitor their symptoms."
Dr. Moore says any customer that visited the salon must quarantine for 14 days.
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at the Memorial Arena on York Street is open Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
A temporary COVID-19 Assessment Centre will be set up on Sunday in the parking lot at St. Lawrence College. It will operate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Officials say only those who were clients at Binh's Nails and Spa salon, close contacts of someone who has tested positive and those who are symptomatic should attend the testing centre on Sunday.
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre is relocating to the Leon's Centre on Monday.
The health unit also reports its call centre is experiencing higher than normal call volumes, "wait times will be significant."
You can email your question to the health unit.
The KFL&A Public Health Unit now says 16 cases of COVID-19 are linked to the salon, not 18 as reported Friday morning.