Saskatchewan

New drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Regina first of its kind in the city

Regina residents can now get tested for COVID-19 in a drive-thru. The new site opened Tuesday afternoon at Hall C in the International Trade Centre. 

No need to call 811 or have a referral to get tested at this site

A person approaches health workers in their car to get tested at Regina's new drive-thru testing site. (Jean-Baptiste Demouy/Radio-Canada)

Regina residents can now get tested for COVID-19 in a drive-thru. The new site opened Tuesday afternoon at Hall C in the International Trade Centre. 

Residents don't need to call 811 before going or get a referral from a family doctor. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is asking people to wear a mask to the site and to bring their health card. People can come for testing whether or not they are symptomatic. 

Sara Johnson, SHA primary health care director for the Regina area, said the process takes anywhere from six to 10 minutes once you're inside the facility. 

"Sometimes there's some education that has to happen with the individual in the vehicle and of course it would change based on the number of occupants," she said. 

People can come in a group to get tested, but Johnson said the SHA prefers if it's a family unit for privacy reasons. 

There are six lanes in the facility. Currently, the centre is open 4:00-8:00 p.m. CST on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Johnson said she hopes the later operating hours will be helpful.

"We will be working to update the sign that's located outside with wait times so that individuals know how long they'll wait," she said. 

Johnson said they'll learn a lot in the first couple weeks and will know more about wait times, demand, and workflow as time goes on.

Saskatoon's first drive-in testing site is opening on Thursday, September 10 at 3630 Thatcher Avenue. When open, it will test people Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 12 p.m. CST to 7:15 p.m. CST and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. CST to 4 p.m. CST.

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