Coronavirus: Drive-thru testing to expand to Curve Lake, Hiawatha First Nations and North Kawartha

Drive thru testing in Peterborough a ‘success,’ pop-up sites planned for more rural areas
Peterborough Public Health says over 1,800 people have been tested at the drive-thru coronavirus testing centre located at the Kinsmen Civic Centre. One test has come back positive, but that person was not from the area.

Drive-thru testing centres for the novel coronavirus will be expanding to Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations and in North Kawartha Township, Peterborough Public Health announced Wednesday.

During her weekly update on the pandemic, medical officer of health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra said that based on the success of the Peterborough drive-thru testing centre launched a week ago on Wednesday, the model will be expanded.

READ MORE: Drive-thru COVID-19 testing opens at Kinsmen Civic Centre

The temporary one-day testing centres — with tests conducted by Peterborough County-City Paramedics — will be held this Friday at Hiawatha First Nation, Saturday at Curve Lake First Nation and on Monday in North Kawartha Township.

The Hiawatha site will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the L.I.F.E Services Centre at 431 Hiawatha Line. The centre will be for community members and Otonabee-South Monaghan Township residents living south of the Hiawatha First Nation checkpoint.

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The Curve Lake site is expected to run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 65 Chemong St. (Curve Lake First Nation School) and will test asymptomatic residents. The clinics will be for community members only.

The North Kawartha Township testing will be held Monday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Apsley Paramedic Base next to the North Kawartha Medical Centre at 183 Burleigh Street in Apsley. The centre is open to all permanent and
seasonal residents.

At the Kinsmen Civic Centre in Peterborough, 1,855 people have been tested at the drive-thru centre since it opened May 27.

“It’s been very successful,” said Salvaterra. “That’s a daily average of about 265 people.”


Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health for Peterborough Public Health, provides an update on the coronavirus pandemic during a media conference on Wednesday.
Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health for Peterborough Public Health, provides an update on the coronavirus pandemic during a media conference on Wednesday. Katrina Squazzin/Global News Peterborough

Salvaterra noted that 1,350 tests (73 per cent) have been reported, with just one person testing positive for the coronavirus.

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“It was an individual from Durham Region who travelled here to be tested,” she said. “That will not be counted for our numbers.”

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The drive-thru centre in Peterborough is expected to continue until at least Friday, Salvaterra said.

Beginning Monday, the hours for the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Peterborough Regional Health Centre will
change to 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, seven days a week. Contact the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 705-876-
5086 to book an appointment if you have mild symptoms of COVID-19.


As of Wednesday morning, there were 89 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in the health unit’s jurisdiction of Peterborough city and county and Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations. One in 16 residents has been tested (9,150 tests total) with more than 1,800 tests done in the last week.

Almost 53 per cent of the health unit’s cases are from close contact with an existing case, while 19 per cent of cases are considered community transmission, as they do not have a link with travel or a known contact. The 19 per cent is consistent with the provincial average of 20 per cent, said Salvaterra.

The health unit reports 60 cases per 100,000 people, which is “notably less” than the provincial rate of 193 cases per 100,000 people, she said.

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“What we are seeing here is very indicative of what is going in other parts of the province. Even though our cases are lower and we don’t have as many, the proportion of where those cases are coming from seems to be in line with what is being experienced in other parts of the province,” said Salvaterra.

The health unit’s weekly situation update can be found online.


Salvaterra also said she was “very impressed” with physical distancing and the use of masks by participants in Tuesday’s Black Lives Matter rally held in downtown Peterborough.

The medical officer of health said she was among the several hundred participants. The rally included a march from Millennium Park to Confederation Square.

READ MORE: Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Peterborough attracts hundreds

“I did not see anyone that wasn’t wearing a mask,” she said. “At the very beginning of the organized remarks, the emcee asked people to adhere to physical distancing. And people did move apart. Household groups stayed together.

“I thought the community was very respectful both of the issue of racism but also in regards to the pandemic and ensuring they were adhering to physical distancing.”

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Salvaterra recommended any organizers of future rallies to contact the health unit for guidance on how to ensure individuals stay safe.