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Back-to-school, flu season leading to long lineups at Kingston COVID-19 testing centres

Click to play video: 'Who should be in covid testing lines?' Who should be in covid testing lines?
WATCH: Long COVID-19 testing line-ups but who should be in them – Sep 16, 2020

With back-to-school in full swing and cold and flu season looming, long line-ups at Kingston’s COVID-19 testing are prompting questions about who in fact should be screened.

Elizabeth Bardon, vice president of mission and strategy integration and support services at Kingston Health Sciences Centre told Global News there are several groups of people who are being advised to get tested.

“People who have been asked by public health to come for testing because their contact tracing results have suggested that they’ve been exposed. Similarly, people who have been notified by the app that they’ve been around somebody who has tested positive with COVID. And then will be people who were directed to come because they are symptomatic — so people who have symptoms that are consistent with COVID.”

 

Click to play video: 'Walmart employee one of five to test positive for COVID-19 in Kingston region this September' Walmart employee one of five to test positive for COVID-19 in Kingston region this September
Walmart employee one of five to test positive for COVID-19 in Kingston region this September – Sep 16, 2020

Global News spoke with a number of people in line on Wednesday. For the most part, they said they did understand the criteria, the waiting was frustrating but it is what it is.

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At least three adults with children said their respective kids had the sniffles but needed to be checked in order to go back to school — if not they would have to stay at home for two weeks.

Read more: Fall season presents additional COVID-19 risks and a ‘chaotic couple of months,’ experts suggest

Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health says it is important that kids with symptoms are screened.

“If your child develops the symptoms or signs of COVID-19 — so that runny nose, that fever, that cough, increasing wheeziness or chest congestion — they should get tested at one of our assessment sites.”

 

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 testing centers experiencing long wait times throughout Ontario' COVID-19 testing centers experiencing long wait times throughout Ontario
COVID-19 testing centers experiencing long wait times throughout Ontario – Sep 16, 2020

Bardon says anyone who is unsure about whether or not they should join the queue, the simplest answer is to go online and use the assessment tool to determine whether they really need to go to the COVID-19 testing centre.

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The bottom line for health officials is that it is better to be safe than sorry.

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