OTTAWA -- Ottawa's COVID-19 testing centres are extending hours and CHEO is now offering parents a do-it-yourself testing kit for children as demand for testing spikes this fall.

Parents have been complaining about a lack of available appointments to get a COVID-19 test immediately, with some waiting up to two days for an available appointment.

The COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre and Kids Come First Care Clinic at Brewer Park Arena has administered 450 to 500 tests a day this week.

CHEO announced on Twitter that it now offers a do-it-yourself test kit, available for children ages two months to 18 years-old. 

"The swab is gentle and easy to do," said CHEO on Twitter.

Parents can choose a date and time to pick-up the kit from the CHEO Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena.

Earlier this week, medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce is looking at several options to boost testing capacity, especially for children.

The CHEO Assessment Centre at Brewer Park Arena is working to have 450-to-500 in-person testing slots available each day.

A temporary COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now open at McNabb Arena until at least Sept. 29 for COVID-19 testing for residents six months of age and older. You can book an appointment through the Ottawa Public Health website.

The Moodie COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre will be open on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Ray Friel COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre will also be open for COVID-19 testing this Sunday, Sept. 26 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Ottawa Public Health website outlines the instructions for the pick-up Do-It-Yourself COVID-19 Test Kit at the CHEO Clinic:

  • Appointments can only be booked for children and youth over two months of age and under 18 years old.
  • You will receive a kit with supplies, instructions and a sample registration form for you and your child to complete in the car or at home, and then drop off at the assessment centre.

A note on the website says, "We have a very limited number of walk-up appointments available to get kits. These are meant for people who don’t have access to the online booking system."