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Coronavirus: Relocated Peterborough drive-thru testing centre closes early; no new cases reported

Click to play video: 'Relocated COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Peterborough closes early due to backlog' Relocated COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Peterborough closes early due to backlog
A new week, a new drive-thru test site for COVID-19 in Peterborough. Paramedics packed up their equipment at the Northcrest Arena and moved to Eastgate Memorial Park. But wait times were so long, the centre had to shut down early – Sep 21, 2020

On its first day at its new location, Peterborough’s COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre had to close early due to a lengthy lineup.

On Monday, the drive-thru centre opened at Eastgate Memorial Park on Ashburnham Drive after operating for a couple of weeks at the Northcrest Arena. It was relocated due to traffic congestion concerns in the city’s north end.

Read more: Ford says Ontario’s COVID-19 2nd-wave strategy to be outlined Tuesday

Prior to that, the centre for asymptomatic individuals was operating at the Kinsmen Civic Centre from late May until late August but relocated as the arena was reopened for public use.

However, Monday’s lineup was long and the average wait time for a test was estimated to be two hours. The result prompted health officials to close the centre at 2:40 p.m. to any new individuals. The centre usually runs daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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The centre was closed early “to ensure they can complete testing on those already in line,” stated Lily Hamill, Peterborough County’s corporate services communications co-ordinator.

Due to an increased demand for testing we are urging people to hold off being tested if they do not have symptoms, have not travelled and have not been in contact with a confirmed case.”

Testing for those with symptoms continues at the assessment centre at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 705-876-5086 to book an appointment.

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“We would ask that if you don’t need to be tested, if you’re not symptomatic and haven’t gone to the (PRHC) trailer to try and hold off for another day in the week,” said Craig Jones, Peterborough paramedics’ superintendent of emergency management.

Jones says the rebound of COVID-19 cases in the province and the re-tightening of some restrictions are major factors behind the increased lineups for testing. How long those lineups will last is not known.

“We don’t know — we’re still working on sort of a fall-into-winter plan,” he said. “We’re looking at sourcing some options.”

The early closure comes as Peterborough Public Health reported no new cases of the novel coronavirus in its jurisdiction over the weekend and on Monday.

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As a result, cases remain at 111 in the health unit’s jurisdiction of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation. Overall testing surpassed 27,550, the health unit reported Monday.

Of the 111 cases, 103 are resolved. According to the provincial COVID-19 case data, there currently remain six active cases for Peterborough Public Health. Each has no known source of acquisition. Cases include:

  • A man in his 20s (reported Sept. 17)
  • A woman in her 40s (reported Sept. 15)
  • A man in his 30s (reported Sept. 14)
  • A woman in her 40s (reported Sept. 14)
  • A man in his 20s (reported Sept. 14 — related to an outbreak)
  • A woman under age 20 (reported Sept. 7)

The outbreak declared Sept. 15 is related to an employee at Fairhaven long-term care who tested positive.

Since the pandemic was declared, two people have died due to COVID-19 complications.

The health unit says as of Monday, more than 27,000 people have been tested. It’s approximately one out of every six residents in the jurisdiction.

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