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Peterborough’s COVID-19 testing clinic relocates to Northcrest Arena

COVID-19 testing is now at the Northcrest Arena in Peterborough. File

Monday marked the first day of Peterborough’s COVID-19 testing centre operating out of its new location inside the old decommissioned Northcrest Arena.

The site had been there before as a drive-thru testing centre, but traffic lineups forced it to relocate to Eastgate Park in the fall to accommodate demand.

Earlier this month, the centre moved to appointment-only at the park and now is operating inside the rink, until further notice.

Read more: Coronavirus — Online appointment booking now available for Peterborough drive-thru testing centre

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“We needed to get our staff into a much more temperature-controlled environment, as opposed to the drive-thru,” Peterborough paramedics superintendent Craig Jones said.

“There are six appointments available every 15 minutes and those can be booked on Peterborough Public Health’s website or Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s (PRHC) website.”

The site is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

There are 180 available appointment slots each day.

“Don’t arrive more than five minutes before your appointment because you do have to wait outside. If you’re early, stay warm in your car and we’ll wave you in for your appointment time,” Jones said.

“Once you come inside, you’ll be greeted with a registration person and you’ll proceed to a swabbing station. You’ll be assigned to a station. You’ll have your health card and drivers’ licence scanned. They’ll perform the swab and you’re done.”

Patients are in the centre for about seven minutes and the site is sanitized in between groups of appointments.

Coronavirus testing is available if you:

  • Have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Have been advised by public health that you should be tested because you were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Have received exposure notification through the COVID-19 Alert app.
  • Have been advised by a medical professional that testing is required prior to a procedure.
  • Are required to be tested routinely, such as staff at long-term care homes or retirement homes.
  • Are planning to visit a loved one indoors at a long-term care home.
  • Are a student or staff member at a school who had symptoms and require a test to return to school.
  • Are a traveller without symptoms and require a test to confirm that you do not have COVID-19 before travelling internationally.

Read more: Coronavirus — Employee at Jo Anne’s Place Health Foods on Lansdowne in Peterborough tests positive

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Testing is also available at the PRHC assessment centre for those with symptoms seven days per week.

Appointments can be booked by calling 705-876-5086.

In an email, hospital spokesperson Michelene Ough tells Global News Peterborough, between August 31 and October 5, the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at PRHC had an average of 66 appointments daily.

“Over the last three weeks since October 5, we’ve seen lower patient numbers — an average of 50 appointments each day,” Ough stated.

“Over the last eight weeks, PRHC’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre saw its highest patient volumes on October 2; on that date, we had 102 appointments for assessment/testing.”

If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department.

Those without symptoms, who meet one of the following criteria, can be tested by appointment only at Shoppers Drug Mart at Lansdowne and High Streets in Peterborough:

  • Residents or workers in a long-term care home
  • Visitors to a long-term care home
  • Residents or workers in a homeless shelter
  • International students who have passed their 14-day quarantine period
  • Farm workers
  • Individuals who require a COVID-19 test for international travel clearance
  • Self-identified Indigenous
  • Resident or worker in other congregate living settings and institutions

In an email Monday, pharmacy owner Mohan Joshi tells Global News Peterborough it’s been very busy.

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“Right now it’s 40 appointments per day with many days becoming fully booked 48 hours prior to a scheduled day,” he said. “As the demand increases, we will be expanding to weekends. Dates will be determined for weekend testing.”

To book an appointment at Shoppers Drug Mart you can call 705-748-6141 or email asdm614@shoppersdrugmart.ca.

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