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No drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Ottawa this winter

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce says it's 'cautiously optimistic' that the fourth wave of the virus is under control in the city.
20200921_ctc covid-19 pop-up test centre DD5
Drive-thru pop-up COVID-19 test centre on Sunday, September 21, 2020. (Photo/Dani-Elle Dubé)

The City of Ottawa is set to close its drive-thru COVID-19 testing centre at Coventry Road and will not be replacing it with another drive-thru option.

Last winter, the drive-thru centre relocated to the National Arts Centre’s indoor parking garage, but with programming resuming throughout the city, a suitable indoor location with the appropriate footprint and necessary infrastructure has not been secured.

The Coventry Road location's last day of testing for the year is set for Saturday, October 16.

To ensure this closure does not impact Ottawa residents’ access to timely COVID-19 testing, the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce says several changes have been put in place:

  • Coventry’s resources will be consolidated, and in some cases redeployed, to support other testing initiatives across the city. This will allow the city's hospital partners to open more testing slots each day.
  • The assessment centre at McNabb Community Centre will stay open to meet the community’s testing needs.
  • Residents in the west and east end of the city will continue to have access to extended weekend testing at the Moodie and Ray Friel COVID-19 Care and Testing Centres.
  • Take-home test kits have now been introduced in all 300 public schools across Ottawa. Students and staff who are exposed to COVID-19 or who develop symptoms can conduct a take-home PCR self-collection kit using the BON swabbing method that is then dropped off at school or an assessment centre for testing in the lab.
  • CHEO also recently launched Do-It-Yourself Test Kits at the Brewer Assessment Centre for kids 2 months to 18 years old. Instead of booking a traditional in-person appointment for a COVID-19 test, parents can schedule a time to pick-up a DIY Test Kit. The test kit includes instructions, a registration form and a self-swab BON PCR test to be completed either on-site, in the parking lot, in the car, or back at home. The test kit is then returned the same day to Brewer for processing at the lab.

Residents are encouraged to visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/CovidTesting to find the best assessment centre that meets their needs.

While the Taskforce says it's cautiously optimistic that the fourth COVID-19 wave is under control, it has the tools and resources to expand testing capacity in a matter of days if necessary. 

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