Wait times shorter Tuesday as P.E.I. continues asymptomatic testing
Stratford clinic closed Wednesday
Though the wait times were shorter, there were still long lines and multi-hour waits for some, as people in their 20s continued to show up for testing at P.E.I.'s clinics Tuesday.
This comes after the province asked all those 20 to 29 in the Charlottetown area to get tested — whether they have symptoms or not — with the goal of detecting and isolating asymptomatic cases.
"That was definitely not what we were expecting," said Laura Lefebvre, who waited over seven hours to be tested at Charlottetown's Park Street Clinic on Monday.
"Everyone was super nice there and super considerate based on how long we had waited, but to get to that point was a bit excruciating."
P.E.I. tested about 2,000 people on Monday, but Craig Cooper was not one of them.
He and his son went to be tested at the Stratford clinic just before noon. They waited for a while before a traffic flow mishap put them at the back of the line.
Instead of going through the line again, they headed across the Hillsborough Bridge to the Park Street clinic. Their line moved incrementally over the course of the afternoon and it was dark by the time they approached the testing facility.
Around 5:30 p.m., the clinic staff and volunteers started to inform those waiting that it had reached capacity and they would have to return another time.
"They were just completely overwhelmed with the capacity," Cooper told CBC News on Tuesday. "I felt bad for them, but I also felt bad for us … we're going to have to go through this all over again."
Due to the overwhelming response on Monday, P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison made an amendment to the testing request during Tuesday's briefing, limiting who should be going for testing in the coming days, while also applauding P.E.I.'s young adults for their response.
On Tuesday, Islanders reported a shorter wait to CBC News.
Those who travelled outside of Charlottetown first thing in the morning for their voluntary test reported shorter wait times, under an hour in Montague and just over an hour in Summerside.
In Stratford, some were tested in under two hours, while lines at the Park Street clinic continued to wrap around the designated parking lots, with some Islanders reporting wait times around four hours.
P.E.I. has extended testing hours at several clinics in order to accommodate the demand. Officials told CBC News the Stratford clinic is not open Wednesday.
At the time of Tuesday's 11:30 a.m. briefing, Morrison said half of Monday's tests had already been processed.
All results were negative.
Reminder about symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
- Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
- Sore throat.
- New or worsening fatigue.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.
More from CBC News
with files from Nicole Williams