OTTAWA -- A new, indoor COVID-19 drive-thru testing facility opened in downtown Ottawa on Thursday, allowing residents to stay warm while being tested in their vehicles this winter.

The new COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre at the National Arts Centre replaces the old drive-thru testing facility on Coventry Road.

"The COVID-19 drive-thru Assessment Centre at the National Arts Centre will operate in the parking garage, providing shelter, comfort and warmth to Ottawa residents and staff over the winter months," said the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce in a statement.

The NAC testing facility will operate seven days a week between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. All tests will be by appointment only.

"As we approach winter, the regional testing team has really had to look at options of how we get everything from the outdoors into indoor environments," said Cameron Love, CEO of the Ottawa Hospital.

"With this site open, we now have capacity to continue forward with our access and testing."

Residents will first validate their registration at the Ottawa City Hall parking garage at the time of their scheduled appointment. Once they complete the registration process, people will drive the short distance to the National Arts Centre parking garage entrance on Albert Street to undergo testing.

A new COVID-19 assessment centre is scheduled to open next week at the McNabb Community Centre on Percy Street.