Following the announcement of the region’s first three cases of the novel coronavirus, KFL&A Public Health said they’d be aiming to move Kingston’s COVID-19 assessment centre to the Memorial Centre.
On Thursday, KLF&A Public Health announced a fourth case in the Kingston region.
In a tweet sent out Tuesday, Mayor Bryan Paterson confirmed the move, saying they were hoping to get the new assessment centre open by the weekend.
On Thursday, public health confirmed the assessment centre will be open Saturday at the Memorial Centre.
Kingston’s first novel coronavirus assessment centre opened last Saturday, at Hotel Dieu Hospital’s St. Joseph’s building.
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Moore said the St. Joseph’s building simply isn’t offering the kind of space needed to assess the volume of people who have been visiting.
“We’re monitoring on a daily basis, but we think the physical size of it that’s available to us is too small,” Moore told Global News Wednesday. He added that the goal is to keep people from gathering in large groups, and to be tested efficiently — he believes the Memorial Centre will better allow health professionals to meet those goals during assessments and testing.
The new Memorial Centre testing Centre will be set up to assess returning travellers, as well as community residents who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, public health said Thursday.
Although everyone who comes to the new centre will be assessed, not all will be tested, Moore said.
“We’re trying to keep the tests to those that are most at risk and or those that appear to us at this time to be the sickest, to ensure that we’re able to provide them with the right care and management.”
Moore said KFL&A Public Health got the idea to move the assessment site to the Memorial Centre arena from Ottawa Public Health, who opened their first assessment centre at a local arena.
“We’re fortunate that Ottawa public health started in an arena and shared their plans with us.”
Moore also praised the city of Kingston for being accommodating with the space and assisting public health officials to set it up.
“I can’t sing the praises of the city enough that they’re working with us, helping us prepare that site.”
The Hotel Dieu site has already see a high volume of people coming in for testing, and Moore believes more will be coming following March break, when some people come back from vacation.
Moore wanted to stress that although the assessment centre will be moving to a busy neighbourhood, surrounded by parks, that people nearby should not be worried about increased risk of infection.
“Neighbours who live around that area are no point at risk of catching the infection because it’s at the site. The parks and areas around Memorial should continue to be used, patients that visit this site will be brought indoors and will be sitting indoors,” Moore said.
The Memorial Centre assessment centre will operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. The Hotel Dieu site will close once the Memorial Centre site is operational.