London’s Oakridge COVID-19 testing site to shut down July 16

Staff stand outside of the Oakridge COVID-19 assessment centre on June 30, 2021. Andrew Graham/Global News

Staff at a COVID-19 testing site in west London, Ont., were given a round of applause on Wednesday as the facility gets ready to close its doors.

The Oakridge COVID-19 assessment centre at 825 Valetta St. is set to permanently shut down on July 16, officials said Wednesday.

Many of the soon-to-be-defunct centre’s employees will move to either the city’s other assessment centre in Carling Heights or to Middlesex-London Health Unit‘s (MLHU) four mass vaccination clinics.

The Oakridge centre opened days into the pandemic with the aim of providing education and medical guidance about COVID-19, as well as triaging individuals and determining the next steps of their care.

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Opening day saw more than 300 people attend the site, but a limited supply of resources at the time meant only those who had to be hospitalized for symptoms related to COVID-19 would be tested for the virus.

In Fall 2020, both the Oakridge and Carling Heights assessment centres went weeks with hours-long lineups for visitors as the country grappled with surge in demand for COVID-19 testing.

This eventually led to the Oakridge site introducing online booking, one of several measures that helped dwindle down massive lineups.

That would mark the last time the assessment centre would dominate headlines, as the attention shifted on the MLHU’s mass vaccination sites in the following months.

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After the Oakridge centre shuts down on July 16, there will still be several other options for testing in London and Middlesex County.

The Carling Assessment Centre remains open at 656 Elizabeth St. and starting July 17, it will operate seven days a week from 9:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Residents can also seek testing at the MyHealth Testing Centre at 279 Wharncliffe Rd. N., Suite 024. Appointments for this centre can be booked online or by phone at 1-888-637-8661.

A full list of pharmacies that offer testing can be found on the provincial websiteand residents are also advised to check with their family physician.

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