Hamilton’s medical officer of health says people experiencing delays in receiving COVID-19 test results have another option thanks to an interim solution with the city’s partners at the Dave Andreychuk Arena Assessment Center.
In the city’s pandemic update on Tuesday, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said that individuals who, after four days or more, don’t get test results from the province’s portal can return to the drive-thru for the outcome.
“A nurse will be there at the main entrance to retrieve results online through a different portal that they have access to,” said Richardson, “and they can print them out and give them to that individual.”
Public health says the service is available Monday through Friday from noon until 3 p.m. and government-issued photo ID is required to retrieve results.
Richardson says it’s only an interim solution as the province attempts to work on a more “enduring” fix to the issue.
Earlier in July, public health received a number of concerns about delays in test results which led to reports of some people going back to assessment centres to get tested a second time.
Richardson said she’d heard from a number of residents who told her can take up to 10 days — even longer, in some cases — for results and urged individuals to not go back for a second test.
“In fact, what they end up doing is adding to the burden that is going on within the laboratory system in terms of getting the results processed,” said Richardson.
The province has previously told Global News that test turnaround times for the West region were in-line with those of the rest of the province saying missing information was likely a factor in delayed results.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province was averaging about 96 per cent of its COVID-19 test results returning within 24 hours, with the remainder coming back within 48 hours.
Hamilton’s assessment centres are currently testing about 450 people every day, according to the city.
Hamilton reports 2 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday
On Monday, Hamilton public health reported 2 new COVID-19 cases from the weekend which puts the city’s overall case-count since the pandemic began at 868, with 860 confirmed and eight probable.
The city has no current institutional outbreaks.
To date, 800 of the city’s known COVID-19 cases — 92 per cent — have been resolved.
There were no new reported deaths on Tuesday. The city has 44 total coronavirus-related deaths with 34 connected to an institutional outbreak.
On Monday, the province announced that Hamilton will remain in Stage 2 as a number of other regions move to Stage 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan on Friday.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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