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Regina drive-thru COVID-19 testing site expanding hours due to high demand

Click to play video: 'Regina drive-thru COVID-19 testing site expands hours due to high demand'
Regina drive-thru COVID-19 testing site expands hours due to high demand
WATCH: The Saskatchewan Health Authority is expanding the drive-thru testing site's hours to meet demand as COVID-19 variants continue to climb in Regina – Mar 26, 2021

Regina’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will be open longer to better serve the rising need for testing in the city, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) announced on Thursday morning.

The site at Evraz Place will open at 11:30 a.m. and stay open until 9 p.m. The site was previously open until 7 p.m., according to the SHA’s website.

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“This will allow the SHA to better meet the demand for testing that has steadily increased in the past week as variants of concern (VoC) have become more prevalent in the community,” the SHA statement read.

The SHA added that as staffing and resources allow, it will be opening the site for 12 hours and eventually 16 hours.

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COVID-19 tests are offered on a first-come, first-served basis at the site.

Individuals are asked to enter from the Lewvan and 11th Avenue entrance and follow the yellow signs to testing.

Wait time varies at the clinic from no wait to waits of three or more hours, the SHA said.

At 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, the wait time at Regina’s drive-thru site was listed at four to five hours.

Update wait times can be found on the SHA’s website.

At a press conference on Thursday, SHA CEO Scott Livingstone addressed long waiting times.

“It’s not acceptable to have people wait that long for a test,” he said.

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Livingstone said the SHA is aware that demand for testing has increased, especially in Regina. He added that the SHA is projecting to administer 1,900 tests a day in Regina’s drive-thru testing site alone.

The SHA is also looking at introducing pop-up clinics around the city with point-of-care testing equipment to further expand capacity.

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Livingstone added that resources are being shifted to help Regina deal with increased demand for testing.

“We are bringing in some over the next couple of days from outside of Regina in some of our southern areas to help support expanded capacity in the short term,” Livingstone said. “But we are drawing most of the resources, if not all of them, to increase capacity at the testing center directly from Regina.”

A total of 1,019 tests were completed in Regina on Wednesday.

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