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Drive-thru coronavirus testing comes to Eastern Ontario

Click to play video 'Drive-thru COVID-19 testing hits eastern Ontario' Drive-thru COVID-19 testing hits eastern Ontario
WATCH: Over the weekend, 1,070 people used the drive-thru option to get tested, whereas 265 chose to go inside the testing centre, according to KHSC.

If you’ve spent time in downtown Kingston, Ont., these past few weeks, you’ve likely seen a lineup of people circling the Leon’s Centre.

Many of those people waited several hours outside to get tested for COVID-19.

Over the weekend, the assessment centre was moved five kilometres away to the Beechgrove Complex to accommodate a drive-thru option.

“We’re trying it this weekend to see how it goes, and then we’ll assess as we go,” said Elizabeth Bardon, the VP of Mission & Strategy Integration and Support Services for Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

That assessment was short-lived, as KHSC said late afternoon on Monday that it reopened one of the drive-thru lanes to accommodate the large number of people waiting to get tested.
According to KHSC, over the weekend, 1,070 people used the drive-thru option to get tested, whereas 265 chose to go inside the testing centre.
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The pop-up drive-thru assessment centre was also adopted across Eastern Ontario over the last few days. Athens and Gananoque both ran testing sites in their communities to take the pressure off of the regions only assessment centre in Brockville, according to Jeff Carss, the chief of Leeds Grenville Paramedics.

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“Our plan to rotate through the communities through Leeds and Grenville for the next couple of weeks,” said Carrs from the drive-thru testing site in Gananoque.

Carrs says around 400 people were tested in Gananoque on Monday at the drive-thru site and 380 in Athens on Friday.

On Monday, Kingston area public health reported three new cases bringing the total active cases to 15. Leeds, Grenville and Lanark also reported three new cases, bringing the region’s active case total to 11.

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Read more: Ontario reports 700 new coronavirus cases, highest daily infections ever recorded

On Monday, the province announced  700 new cases of the novel coronavirus — a record for the most daily infections ever recorded in Ontario.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said more than 41,000 tests were processed in the last 24 hours.

According to Monday’s provincial report, 344 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 104 in Peel Region, 89 in Ottawa and 56 in York Region.

All other public health units in Ontario reported 20 or fewer cases.