Targeted testing site at west-end high school sparks frustration as dozens are turned down
OTTAWA -- There was frustration and confusion amongst people at a temporary COVID-19 testing site outside College Catholique Franco-Ouest in Bells Corners Friday morning, after dozens of people were denied COVID-19 testing.
Ottawa Public Health said the testing site at this school is part of a pilot project led by Ontario Health aimed only at testing students, parents and staff from the school.
Franco-Ouest is one of several schools in the city where there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the return to class.
Officials said the site was not open to the public, and many people were turned down Friday morning.
“It’s frustrating because I have to come back, and I have to wait in line longer, and it’s not fair to these kids,” one parent told CTV News, after being turned down.
“I don’t see one person from this school in line, so if all of these non-school people weren’t here, there would be nobody here,” another parent told CTV News.
On Thursday, MPP Lisa McLeod said three mobile testing sites would be opening in Ottawa Friday, but didn’t provide any other details.
Ontario Health says three teams will be deployed in Ottawa to provide testing in targeted areas, including a couple schools in Ottawa where students have tested positive.
In a statement to CTV News, Ontario Health said, “The location of these three teams could change in the coming days and weeks depending on need; they may continue to target schools or other specific centres with known prevalence - or they may set up near an assessment centre that’s experiencing very high volumes in order to better support a broader population.”
Ontario Health says the public should not seek out the mobile testing because they have limited capacity and are focused on targeting the school population.
Sixty-three new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Ottawa on Friday.