KITCHENER -- "If you don’t have any symptoms please don’t go to the assessment centre.”

That’s the advice from public health officials as Guelph’s first COVID-19 testing clinic opened its doors Tuesday.

The clinic, run by the Guelph Family Health Team, has been set up at the city’s EMS facility at 65 Delhi Street.

Anyone wanting to be tested can stop by between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

However the city says the clinic is only for those with moderate symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Lineups weren’t long on the first day but officials warned that visitors may have to wait outside before being seen.

“We want to keep people separate,” says Dr. Nicola Mercer, the Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “Once you’re inside the building, if you have moderate symptoms, they will assess whether you need to be tested. But actually not many people are going to be tested based on the new testing criteria.”

That’s another reason why they’re warning those with milder symptoms to stay away.

“Please don’t go to the assessment centre because you’re not going to be tested,” says Mercer. “Stay home for 14 days so you don’t get anybody else sick.”

Anyone with severe symptoms should call 911 or visit their nearest emergency room.

“Most people who get COVID-19 will have mild symptoms," Mercer says. "But if you have any symptoms - sore throat, dry cough, fever or something that is new for you, please consider staying home and protect others.”

If you’re not sure you should visit the clinic Mercer suggests calling your doctor.

“Your family doctor can now do a telephone assessment for you, so you can actually talk to your own doctor over the phone like you would in a regular appointment without actually having to see them. Your family doctor may then send you to an assessment centre.”

Officials are also recommending that anyone with concerns visit the province’s online assessment tool.