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Hamilton set to close 2 COVID-19 testing centres

Hamilton Health Sciences Urgent Care Clinic at 690 Main Street West, has been closed to assist COVID-19 efforts amid a new surge in the pandemic. Global News

With COVID-19 cases dropping and no reported outbreaks in the city as of the weekend, Hamilton is set to shutter a pair of testing centres in July, leaving just one city-run site on the Mountain.

Public health says the clinic at 2757 King St. East will be the first to go on July 10 followed by the west end assessment centre at 690 Main St. West on Thursday the 15th.

“Following a decreasing demand for testing, and direction from the Ontario Health West to consolidate symptomatic testing, Hamilton will be scaling back the number of testing and assessment centres in the city in the coming weeks, ensuring the continued ability to increase testing if required in future,” the city said in it’s release on July 5.

Asymptomatic testing will also continue for vulnerable populations, such as those in long-term care facilities and retirement homes, through the Shelter Health Network and mobile testing teams operated by Hamilton Paramedic Service.

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Asymptomatic testing will also continue at select pharmacies.

Read more: Hamilton, Toronto closing field hospitals amid dropping COVID-19 hospitalizations

The two sites were opened to “help to contain the spread of infection” and reduce pressure on the “already over-burdened health care system,” Dr. Elizabeth Richardson told Global News the day the clinics opened on March 16, 2020.

The testing centre at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s (SJHH) at Mohawk College on Fennell Avenue West will soon be the only city site remaining in 10 days.

That site has the capacity for 400 appointments daily, with the ability to ramp up to 1,000 tests daily as needed.

To date, of the city’s 738,000 completed COVID tests over 345,000 began with a visit to a city run assessment centre.

At the peak of operation amid the pandemic, Hamilton was administering about 1300 COVID-19 tests per day at local assessment and testing centres. The current average number of tests completed in Hamilton over the last 7 days has dropped to just 286.

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