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New COVID-19 assessment centre opens at Kingston’s Memorial Arena, aims to help more people

New COVID-19 assessment centre opens at Kingston’s Memorial Arena in preparation to help more people
WATCH: The COVID-19 assessment centre is relocating from Hotl Dieu Hospital site to the Kingston Memorial Centre. It will assess returning travellers as well as community residents.

In less than 24 hours, the Memorial Centre in Kingston has undergone a big transformation.

On Thursday it was a working arena, the rink covered in ice.  But crews have been working around the clock to transform it into a COVID-19 assessment centre.

The new assessment centre will not only test those who just got back into the country but now any residents who are experiencing symptoms of the virus, which include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

READ MORE: Kingston businesses adapting to change during COVID-19 pandemic

The space will allow more people to be assessed, while avoiding close contact with each other and also have ample parking.

“We don’t want people to be in groups together. We want to streamline the process and ensure that people are using the process appropriately,” said Kieran Moore, the medical officer of health for KFL&A area.

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“The intended hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and I think we’ll have a large capacity to see a number of people fairly efficiently and effectively.”

Moore says while everyone entering the centre will get assessed, not everyone will be tested.

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“We’re trying to keep the tests to those that are most at risk and or those who appear to us at this time to be the sickest to be sure that we are able to provide them with the right care and management,” he said.

READ MORE: KFL&A Public Health announces 4th case of COVID-19 in Kingston area

After being tested, the current turnaround time to receive lab results is up to four days, but according to KFL&A they are able to receive the results within 48 hours.

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On Thursday they assessed 46 people who recently returned home from travelling. Starting Saturday, that number will go up as they also start assessing those with symptoms already in the community.

The new Assessment Centre is located at 303 York Street. It will be open seven days a week and begin taking patients on Saturday, March 21.