Drive-thru screening site closes with opening of Brewer facility
Queensway Carleton site was a temporary measure to ease demand for testing
Ottawa's first drive-thru COVID-19 screening site at the Queensway Carleton Hospital saw a steady stream of traffic Friday morning but has closed now that the testing facility at Brewer Arena has opened.
The temporary site was set up Thursday to minimize wait times for people who want to be tested for the coronavirus.
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With opening of COVID-19 assessment center at Brewer today, QCH has closed temporary drive through process. It was an effective short term measure to address backlog of 70 patients identified by <a href="https://twitter.com/ottawahealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ottawahealth</a> to be assessed by ED, and could be initiated again if needed in future.—@QCHOttawa
"Over the last few days we've seen this huge surge of patients being sent in for testing," said Dr. Bhaskar Gopalan, chief of the Queensway Carleton ER.
"For example, four days ago we only had five patients we needed to test. Yesterday, it was over 70."
Ottawa's second case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Thursday. Health authorities said the woman, in her 40s, travelled to Italy and also visited the Queensway Carleton Hospital, but is now in self-isolation.
"Most of [the drive-thorough patients] do not need any kind of investigations or anything like that," said Gopalan.
"They just need a test ... so what we've been doing is collecting all the information of the patients being referred by public health," he said.
Gopalan said visitors to the drive-thru site had to be referred by Ottawa Public Health.
A COVID-19 screening site at Brewer Arena in Old Ottawa South opens noon Friday.