Changes to COVID-19 testing sites helping manage long lines
WATERLOO -- St. Mary's General Hospital's COVID-19 assessment centre on Bathurst Drive has a new system for people who are waiting to be tested.
Last week, there were line-ups wrapping around the building. On Wednesday morning, there were around 100 people waiting before the site opened, but the site has now adopted a "deli counter" method to control the lines, giving everyone a number so they can wait in a warm vehicle.
Security handed out numbers to people in their vehicles as early as 5 a.m.
The Grand River Hospital's site on Glasgow Street was also more orderly on Wednesday. Last week, it was forced to close after long lines and frustration led to safety concerns for staff. Now tests are only available through a pre-booked appointment.
Officials with the Bathurst Drive site said they tested 219 people on Monday and 189 on Tuesday, which is more than triple the number of tests they were performing at the beginning of the month.
The drive-thru site in Kitchener is performing around 439 tests each day, officials said.
Testing for people who are asymptomatic is also available at three pharmacies in the region. People need to be screened over the phone before showing up.