Ottawa

Drive-thru screening site closes with opening of Brewer facility

Ottawa's first drive-thru COVID-19 screening site at the Queensway Carleton Hospital saw a steady stream of traffic Friday morning but has since closed with the opening of testing facility at Brewer Arena.

Queensway Carleton site was a temporary measure to ease demand for testing

ER chief Bhaskar Gopalan says only patients referred by Ottawa Public Health were being screened at the Queensway Carleton Hospital. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

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.

Health officials want to keep people with mild symptoms out of the emergency department so they can focus on cases unrelated to the respiratory illness, and help slow its spread.



"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 first drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 sees high demand, but is only taking referrals

CBC News Ottawa

12 months agoVideo
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Dr. Bhaskar Gopalan, chief of the Queensway Carleton ER, says the drive-thru COVID-19 screening site is only accepting referrals from Ottawa Public Health and will not be administering tests to walk-in patients. 1:19

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.

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