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Mobile COVID-19 testing being piloted near Donald Street apartments

The event aims to help vulnerable people living in the Vanier and Overbrook areas get tested for the novel coronavirus.
Photo: Tube containing a swab sample that has tested positive for COVID-19/Shutterstock

A single-day COVID-19 testing event is being held in Ogilvie North Park, near the RioCan St. Laurent Shopping Centre, in order to serve vulnerable residents living in the Vanier and Overbrook areas.

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) Ottawa says it identified a need in the area after a virtual meeting of its members -- many of whom are seniors, people with disabilities, immunocompromised and/or are living in precarious housing. 

The agency says common barriers to accessing testing include long bus routes with multiple transfers, fear of public transit, inability to afford the cost of a taxi, lack of internet access to stay informed and language barriers. 

The testing event is being put on by Ottawa ACORN, The Ottawa Hospital, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, CHEO, Ottawa Inner City Health, and the Paramedic Service on Saturday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1059 Ogilvie Rd.

Ogilivie North Park was identified by ACORN members as an ideal testing location as it's right beside 1244/1240 Donald St. -- two high rise apartment buildings with more than 400 units, which house a concentration of newcomers, tenants whose first language isn’t English, low income families and people with disabilities. 

The Saturday event will feature COVID19 testing delivered out of a bus fitted with medical equipment, free food from the Mission and an information station with pamphlets, free masks and hand sanitizer. 

ACORN says it's been reaching out to those most vulnerable to COVID-19 in the Vanier and Overbrook areas through phone calls, mass flyering and social media to let them know about this testing event.

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