Some Montreal-area COVID-19 testing sites begin to close

Click to play video: 'Some Montreal-area COVID-19 testing sites begin to close their doors'
Some Montreal-area COVID-19 testing sites begin to close their doors
WATCH: With COVID-19 infections on the decline in Montreal, some testing centres are closing up shop. Last week the COVID test clinic at the MUHC closed to walk ins, on Friday, the clinic at the Martin-Brodeur arena will see its final nasal swab. Global's Elizabeth Zogalis has a look at what COVID-19 testing might look like moving forward. – Jul 23, 2021

Another COVID-19 testing site in Montreal has closed its doors.

As of Friday afternoon, the Martin Brodeur Arena in Saint-Leonard is no longer being used to screen people for the virus.

The arena is not the first testing site in Montreal to close its doors.

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On Sunday the MUHC closed its testing facilities at the Glen, while a testing site in Pointe-Saint-Charles became a vaccination centre in April.

Many experts say this was to be expected, as demand for testing has decreased and more and more of the population is vaccinated.

However, there will have to be a sweet spot where those who need a test can get one.

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Strategically deploying resources must also be considered.

“This requires not just money, not just testing supplies but also personnel that could be used in other aspects of the health-care system,” said cardiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Labos.

Health authorities will also need to start switching gears and focus on other factors.

COVID-19 Immunity Task Force co-chair Dr. Catherine Hankins says there will be an important diagnostic role going forward. She notes testing sites aren’t about to completely disappear any time soon, but as major activities resume, many venues will do their own screening and testing.

“Some might require vaccination proof. Some might say they also want on-site rapid testing done 15 minutes before you get into the stands.” said Hankins.

“We don’t know yet what’s going to be the demand,” she added.

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Experts agree, saying it’s vital that the majority of the population is fully vaccinated before testing becomes an afterthought, especially as a possible fourth wave looms.

But as testing sites continue to close their doors, health authorities say they are ready to backtrack.

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A statement to Global News from the MUHC says, “Should the need for testing increase once again, the MUHC will be ready to reopen its testing centre.”

Dr. Labos added even with a double dose of the vaccine, it’s important to monitor symptoms.

“If you have infectious symptoms whether it’s COVID, the flu or the cold, the point is don’t interact with other people while you’re still infectious.”

Click to play video: 'Montreal study to examine long-term effects of COVID-19'
Montreal study to examine long-term effects of COVID-19

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