First drive-thru coronavirus test site in Saskatchewan yields 260 swabs in 4 hours

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has made drive-thru coronavirus testing available seven days a week in Regina. File / Global News

Saskatchewan’s first drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opened on Tuesday night — and it was busy.

Over the course of the inaugural four hours of operation in Regina, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said 260 swabs were done.

All six lanes at the International Trade Centre at Evraz Place in Hall C at 1700 Elphinstone St. were occupied and no one was turned away, according to SHA officials.

As it stands, the site will continue to do tests from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays but SHA said increasing service is certainly an option to be considered in the coming weeks.

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In Saskatoon, drive-thru testing is scheduled to start on Thursday at 3630 Thatcher Ave. Testing at this location will take place Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 7:15 p.m., as well as Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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There were 757 coronavirus tests performed in Saskatchewan on Tuesday, the government said in a press release. This is the lowest COVID-19 daily test count since Sept. 1, when there were 653.

To date, nearly 152,530 tests have been carried out in the province.

Click to play video: 'How drive-thru coronavirus testing will work in Saskatchewan'
How drive-thru coronavirus testing will work in Saskatchewan

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.

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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.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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