Kitchener-Waterloo

Walk-in clinic owners give out 25,000 masks after fielding calls from patients without

The owners of three walk-in clinics in Waterloo and Kitchener are distributing 25,000 disposable masks to people who need them. Rex and Meera Mohammed took action after receiving a number of requests from people who needed a face covering.

Patients called the clinic requesting masks after mandatory regional bylaw

Free disposable masks can be picked up at Westmount Place Walk-in clinic, which is also a COVID-19 assessment centre; the Waterloo Walk-In clinic on University Avenue; and the K-W Walk-In at the Boardwalk in Kitchener. (Submitted by Rex Mohammed)

The owners of three walk-in clinics in Waterloo and Kitchener are distributing 25,000 disposable masks to people who need them.

Rex Mohammed says he and his wife, Meera, took action after receiving a number of requests from people who needed a face covering.

The couple has purchased masks from a supplier, and will hand out them out at their locations at Westmount Place Walk-In clinic on Westmount Road, which is also a COVID-19 assessment centre; the Waterloo Walk-In Clinic on University Avenue; and the K-W Walk-In at the Boardwalk in Kitchener.

"When the [region's mandatory mask] rules came in effect, we noticed a lot of patients and a lot of the random public would call in and request if we had any masks," said Mohammed.

"They were having difficulty going for groceries and they did not have any masks. They wanted to come to the clinic but they didn't have masks. They want to go get their prescriptions, they don't have masks.So I said, 'We've got to do something.'"

Mohammed says one disposable mask will be available daily for people who really need it. 

'You need to act to make a difference'

The walk-in location at Westmount Road was one of the first COVID-19 assessment centres that opened in the region for testing, Mohammed says. He said they're now testing between 100 and 200 people a day. 

Staff have also provided transportation to people who need a drive to get a test. About 180 people have taken them up on the offer, he said.

This isn't Mohammed's first time witnessing a pandemic. When he was a university student during the SARS outbreak in Toronto he watched members of his family in the medical field testing and attending to patients who were ill.

"One thing I've learned from that first experience is if you sit on it you will never be able to make a difference," said Mohammed. 

"If you act on it right away. You possibly will be able to tackle it down."

About the Author

Joe Pavia

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Joe Pavia is a Reporter/Editor with CBC K-W 89.1 FM. He's normally heard weekdays on The Morning Edition but also covers a wide range of news and feature stories for both radio and web. If you have a story idea, email Joe at Joseph.Pavia@cbc.ca Follow him on twitter @PaviaJoe1964

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