Thunder Bay

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing available in Thunder Bay April 18 & 19, health unit says

Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 will be available in Thunder Bay on April 18 and 19, the local health unit announced Thursday.

Goal is to learn more about spread of the virus, whether or not public health measures are working

A healthcare worker issues a swab at a drive-thru COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) has announced drive-thru testing will be conducted this weekend at the TBDHU office for individuals who have contacted the TBDHU about their symptoms. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 will be available in Thunder Bay over the weekend, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) announced Thursday.

The health unit, in partnership with the Superior North EMS Community Paramedicine Program, will be conducting the tests at the TBDHU office at 999 Balmoral St. in the city on Saturday and Sunday. 

The weekend testing is part of a time-limited targeted surveillance initiative, focusing on northern Ontario and supported by the provincial government, with the goal of learning more about the spread of the virus and gaining a better understanding of whether or not current public health measures are working.

"I am encouraging people in the Thunder Bay area who are experiencing symptoms – whether they think they have COVID or not - to call TBDHU and arrange for testing. Even those with mild symptoms will be assessed for an appointment," said Dr. Janet DeMille, TBDHU medical officer of health. "This targeted testing will help us understand and better control our local situation."

The TBDHU said that "testing as part of this targeted surveillance is for anyone who has ANY of the following symptoms:"

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscles aches
  • loss of appetite
  • sore throat/hoarse voice
  • runny nose
  • loss of taste and smell
  • diarrhea

Because COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe, the TBDHU is urging individuals with any of the symptoms listed to contact the TBDHU at (807) 625-5900 or 1-888-294-6630 and they will be considered for testing this weekend.

The testing will be completed while individuals remain in their vehicle and further instructions will be provided at the time of booking, the TBDHU said.

Appointments required

Appointments are required for testing and walk-ins will not be seen, so people are asked not to go to the TBDHU office.

The health unit said it is also exploring additional opportunities for events similar to the drive-thru testing in other locations in the future.

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario's Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.

There is now an Online Portal to access COVID-19 test results directly from the provincial laboratory system. This portal was launched April 12 by the Ontario government and offers fast and secure access to test results on your computer and mobile device, the TBDHU stated.

For additional information about COVID-19 and the TBDHU area, please see the TBDHU website and social media channels. Additional updates will also be provided as needed. More information can also be found by visiting the Ontario government coronavirus website.