COVID-19: West Island Regional Health Authority working to ‘catch up’ on testing delays

Click to play video: 'Kirkland COVID-19 test clinic delays cause for concern' Kirkland COVID-19 test clinic delays cause for concern
WATCH: The Covid19 testing clinic has been struggling with delays in the last week, with results taking up to 7 days in some cases. It seems other regions across the province have been experiencing similar delays. The West Island delays have caught the attention of a local MNA who says he is working with the health authority to get things moving again. Elizabeth Zogalis reports. – Apr 27, 2021

Some West Island residents are dealing with long wait times to get their COVID-19 test results back. In some cases, there are reports people are waiting seven days.

While the West Island Regional Health Authority says they are working on fixing the issue, some West Islanders have even taken to social media to complain about the long lines and longer wait times, expressing frustration they are forced to stay home and miss work while waiting for results.

Read more: Coronavirus: People in Kirkland, Que., heading to Dollarama to shop after getting tested for COVID-19

“A lot of people can’t afford to take week off of work, often unpaid, to wait for results,” says one social media user.

“This delay can cause all manner of hardships and extra ongoing expenses,” another Facebook user added.

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The issue has caught the attention of Liberal MNA Gregory Kelley.

“We speak with our health board, our CIUSSS, frequently and they’re aware of the problem,” said Kelley. “It’s been flagged to them and they said that they’re going to make sure there are enough resources made available to resolve the technical issues that have been causing some delays.”

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Hélène Bergeron-Gamache with the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal confirmed to Global News their teams are working around the clock.

“Our teams are working hard to catch up on the delays and we are making sure that this situation does not happen again.”

Health Minister Christian Dubé confirmed several other regions are dealing with longer wait times, including Laval and the Laurentians.

“We will do the same analysis as we did in the Outaouais,” said Dubé during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. “I think there was a matter of equipment, but again we are on the case right now and I think we should see an improvement in the next few days.”

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But with allergy season upon us, Kelley adds it’s important these issues get resolved quickly.

“There might be more people to go get themselves tested. But at the same time, we want to make sure that system is working well so that people aren’t afraid to go use it.” He added some people might avoid getting tested if they think results would take too long.

Read more: Coronavirus: Rapid testing for COVID-19 to start in 2 Montreal schools

Meanwhile, one West Islander is giving Montrealers another option –at-home rapid testing.

“We thought this was a really great business to open and be able to do in the comfort of your own home,” says Elisabeth Albers, a registered nurse and co-owner of Santé Beacon Health Care.

“We come fully dressed and gowned in PPE so we’re not bringing anything into your home,” she said.

Albers has worked in the ER and says she has even worked at test sites, so she knows how it all works.

“We really want to make sure that people who are asking to get tested can get tested and that it’s not a complicated procedure.”

Albers says results are given within fifteen minutes and she soon plans to offer traditional PCR tests.

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Santé Beacon Health Care works with the major laboratories, including Dynacare and CDL Laboratories, but It’s important to note, a negative result from rapid antigen testing isn’t accepted everywhere.

All positive results are reported to Santé Public.

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