Residents report busy signals while trying to book or cancel COVID-19 test appointments
KITCHENER -- People in Waterloo Region said they're facing busy signals and frustration when trying to book or cancel an appointment for a COVID-19 test.
Assessment centres in the region have reported a high volume of no-shows.
Joanne Goodreau has been trying to call to cancel her appointment and hasn't been able to get through.
"If I'm going to be a no-show, I want to be heard why I didn't show," Goodreau said.
Goodreau needs a regular COVID-19 test in order to visit her mom at a long-term care home,. She booked an appointment at St. Mary's General Hospital's testing site, but then got an earlier one at a pharmacy.
"I have been trying since Oct. 1 to cancel an appointment that was made for Oct. 10," she said. "I must have tried at least 60 times."
Several others have told CTV News that it's difficult to get through to testing sites.
One woman didn't want to go on camera, but said she drove to Hamilton for her test after learning that region had a single online booking and cancellation system for all of their centres.
Rex Mohamed, operations lead at the KW4 COVID Assessment Site, said that booking system should be replicated here.
"I think it would reduce a lot of calls, a lot of people in panic trying and they don't know if they are going to get in Cambridge earlier or with us earlier or St. Mary's," Mohamed said. "This way they will know exactly what is available and it's a one-stop shop."
St. Mary's President Lee Faircough, who is also the head of the region's COVID testing centres, said they are currently adjusting to the province's appointment-only mandate. She said they're looking at using Hamilton's booking system.
"We'll look at what they've got and how it could apply here," she said.
The Ministry of Health said people should only book a test at one centre.
"Individuals should not be booking appointments at multiple locations as this makes it more difficult for people to access testing," a statement from the ministry said in part. "We encourage people to show up to their booked appointment and get tested so they’re not taking a spot from someone else."