WATERLOO -- Health officials in Waterloo Region are echoing the provincial government and encouraging everyone to get tested for COVID-19, but stress that appointments are still necessary.

At a Sunday morning press conference, Ontario premier Doug Ford encouraged residents to get tested while promising a "detailed testing strategy" for COVID-19 will be released next week.

Lee Fairclough, president of St Mary’s General Hospital, says all five of the region’s testing centers are fully staffed and have spots available.

"We would like to promote, for the safety of yourselves, that you call ahead and book an appointment," she said.

Fairclough adds that St Mary’s has yet to have a day where they reach full capacity over the last week.

"We’ve set up the clinics in the region so that people can easily call and book an appointment to minimize people sitting in waiting rooms or in lineups," she said.

The hospital tested 44 people on Saturday andtypically has the capacity to test up to 55.

Faiclough says that while testing and tracing are an important part of fighting the virus, residents need to continue to be vigilant with the other public health measures in place.

"You can be exposed to this virus at any time," she said. "In the days that follow people still need to be monitoring closely if they are feeling unwell."

On Friday, Acting Medical Officer Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang for the Region of Waterloo said they would continue to follow the province's guidance when it comes to testing asymptomatic people.

The region first announced on May 15 that members of the general public who feel COVID-19 symptoms can be tested at one of their five assessment centres.