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Ottawa believes local COVID-19 testing capacity boost coming in 2022

Mayor Jim Watson thinks its ridiculous that residents in Ontario's second largest city have had to line-up in the early morning hours outside of a rec complex just for the chance to secure a rapid test.
Woman getting a rapid test done

Ottawa's medical officer of health and mayor say they understand the frustration that residents are feeling about not being able to get a rapid COVID-19 antigen test or PCR test, but they've been told that help is coming.

Dr. Vera Etches says the provincial government is looking to bring in third party providers who can help boost testing capacity.

Mayor Jim Watson thinks it's ridiculous that residents, in a city of 1-million people, have had to line-up at one local rec centre this week to see if they can get their hands on a rapid test.

"Ottawa residents shouldn't have to line-up at four in the morning to collect a rapid test," he said. "I'm again asking the province to prioritize Ontario's second largest city to receive additional rapid tests as soon as possible."

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) explained earlier this week that existing testing capacity (both obtaining samples and processing in the labs) would need to be preserved for essential workers, and in order to protect the city's most vulnerable populations. That's why residents have been asked to self-isolate for 10 days if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Click here for further guidance on Ottawa's self-isolation guidelines.

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