OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Inner City Health Mobile clinic has been repurposed to help manage the spread of COVID-19 in at-risk populations. 

The clinic, which rolled out in January and rotates between different sites in Ottawa, provides medical and mental health care to those who may not seek it, including those who are homeless.

In partnership with Ottawa Inner City Health, Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Hospital, the clinic is now being used to test clients who have COVID-19 symptoms. 

“We thought that it would be a good idea to go to people so that they would be more willing to get tested,” said Ottawa Inner City Health CEO Wendy Muckle. “Also so we can identify people as soon as they get sick and remove them from the shelters into a safer environment because obviously we’re very committed to trying to prevent an outbreak to the best of our ability.”

Around 60 people have been tested, with those needing to self-isolate able to stay at the Routhier Community Centre.

“If they need to go into quarantine they're going to go into quarantine with a plan for their physical health care, their mental health care and their substance use so it’s a pretty robust way of setting people up to be successful,” Muckle said.