Kitchener-Waterloo

Pop-up COVID-19 testing coming to 2 Kitchener community centres

A new pilot project will see COVID-19 tests offered at two Kitchener community centres, in an effort to improve access to testing for neighbourhoods hit hard by the novel coronavirus.

Testing clinics will serve Vanier/Rockway, Highland West and Victoria Hills neighbourhoods

The Region of Waterloo has announced COVID-19 testing will be offered at two community centres in Kitchener to make it easier for those living in hard-hit neighbourhoods to get tested. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

A new pilot project will see COVID-19 tests offered at two Kitchener community centres, in an effort to improve access to testing for neighbourhoods hit hard by the novel coronavirus.

Six clinic dates are currently planned for people living in the Vanier/Rockway, Highland West and Victoria Hills neighbourhoods. More dates may be added if the clinics are a success, said public health in a news release.

The clinics will be held at:

  • The Kingsdale Community Centre on Feb. 11, 18 and 25 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Victoria Hills Community Centre on Feb. 16 and 23 and March 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People who live in the neighbourhoods don't need an appointment if they have COVID-19 symptoms. They can also be tested if they have a high-risk contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms, such as if they share a household with them. An Ontario Health Card is not required.

Anyone attending the clinics must follow public health guidelines, which means wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance. 

The project comes after data released by regional public health showed the pandemic is hitting Black and racialized people and those living on low income especially hard

The clinics are the result of advocacy from the African Caribbean and Black Network of Waterloo Region, the African Family Organization and the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA). Regional public health, the City of Kitchener and St. Mary's General Hospital supported the project, according to a news release.

"Advocates have ensured that services are brought to the communities that have been disadvantaged most overall in the COVID response to date," said ACCKWA executive director Ruth Cameron in the release.

"When we ensure that the communities with the highest rates of COVID are supported in convenient, accessible ways, we have opportunities to bring them other necessary supports as well."

Clarifications

  • An initial version of this story listed the Victoria Hills pop-up running on February 22. St. Mary’s General Hospital said it provided the wrong date and in fact, clinics at Victoria Hills will run February 16, 23 and March 2.
    Feb 09, 2021 2:23 PM ET

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