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Brewer Park COVID-19 testing centre moving to do-it-yourself testing system

The move is to free up more health-care workers for hospitals that are struggling with employee shortages.
covid nasal swab images by tang ming tung getty
A stock photo shows a nasal swab COVID-19 test being administered.

It’ll be do-it-yourself COVID-19 testing for adults seeking testing at Brewer Park Arena starting next week.

As of Monday, January 24, the centre will distribute and collect test kits that adults will perform on themselves, opposed to in-person testing.

“The DIY model reduces interactions to keep assessment centre staff and patients as safe as possible during this current wave of COVID-19,” the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce said in an announcement on Friday, January 21.

“This transition will also free up clinical staff who can then be redirected to support hospital shortages or vaccination efforts.”

Residents who meet current testing criteria can continue to book an appointment at

Before arriving on-site, people are asked to watch this video to familiarize themselves with the swabbing process.

The taskforce said it is also important to remember not to eat, drink or chew gum 30 minutes before taking the test.

The DIY test kit includes instructions, a registration form and a self-swab PCR test.

Once completed either on-site, in the car or at home, the kit is then dropped off at Brewer for processing at the lab.

It is intended for the test kits to be picked up, completed and returned on the same day.

The taskforce stressed that the test solution has a short expiry period, which means the kits are not intended to be picked up and held onto for “just in case” testing scenarios.


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